Adaba Foods Ingredient Choices

In a nutshell: I choose my ingredients with great care for a few different reasons…

Nourishment – I believe that all foods, including treats, should nourish our bodies.  I think all food should be natural, balanced, and should provide nutrition for our bodies. 

Diversity – I value diversity, so I try to create products that are expansive and broaden our knowledge of different tastes and textures.  I value the foods I use and I encourage anyone who tries them to really appreciate their flavors, and to avoid masking them. 

Accessibility – I like to accommodate as many people as I can, so I avoid most of the common allergens, like gluten, dairy, soy, and usually eggs.  I disclose every ingredient I use so that anyone and everyone is free to use personal discretion regarding whether a product is nourishing for his or her body. 

Respect – I respect animals, the environment in which we live, and human health.  I generally avoid the use of animal products, though I do very rarely use local, free range, organic eggs or organic ghee.  I use them thoughtfully when I do.  I believe in buying everything organic, because I believe it makes a statement. 

Fresh, organic produce:

During Colorado’s growing season, I am constantly inspired by the beautiful produce provided by my local farmers.  From April to November, I buy my fruits and vegetables from the Farmers’ Market and my local farms as much as possible.  Occasionally, my kids might talk me into grapes from California, but we mostly love to follow the seasons from the freshness of spring to the absolute abundance of Fall.  In the Winter, I do buy produce from the grocery store and it does mostly come into Colorado by truck.  Everyone has their definition of eating seasonally and for me that means buying Colorado produce when at all possible and, for the few months that dwindles away, buying organic produce from no farther than California.

My soups are made from scratch with lots of organic vegetables, soaked/sprouted beans and grains, and just enough seasoning to really let those flavors shine.  I love to make dips like Za’atar hummus from sprouted chickpeas and Savory Carrot Pate.  Veggie pancakes, made from soaked red lentils or split mung and stuffed full of vegetables are another favorite.  And then there are curries, sautes, and more.  I love to cook and come up with new dishes that nourish the body and the soul.


A diverse set of whole grains:

When I use grains, I like to use them in their whole, sprouted form.  Occasionally, I do use flours that I have ground myself from sprouted whole grains.

Amaranth –Amaranth has an excellent amino acid profile (including high levels of lysine) and is considered to be one of the best vegetable sources of protein (18%).  Amaranth is also high in iron, calcium, and fiber.  Incidentally, the photo above is one of many forms of amaranth grown right here in Colorado, taken at Abbondanza Farm right before the first freeze.  It’s an amazing and beautiful plant.  


Buckwheat – Buckwheat is rich in B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese.  Buckwheat is also a good source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (an essential fatty acid) and fiber and contains a rich supply of flavanoids.    

Millet – Millet is the most easily digestible of all the grains.  It is a good source of protein and is high in B-vitamins (especially niacin), as well as fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.  Millet is a staple grain in many Asian countries, but is also grown right here in Colorado. 

Quinoa – Recently dubbed a “supergrain,” quinoa is an excellent source of high-quality protein (up to 20%), and is also a good source of B-vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and Vitamin E.  Much quinoa is imported from South America, but Colorado is also a large domestic producer.  Seek out Colorado quinoa and encourage more farmers to grow it!    

Teff (Tef) – The smallest of the grains, teff is mainly composed of bran and germ, the most nutritious components of grains.  It’s high in calcium, as well as thiamine, iron, and other minerals.  Though it’s most well-known as the flour used for the Ethiopian flatbread injera, it is now cultivated in South Dakota and Idaho, as well. 

 *Soaking/Sprouting makes grains more digestible and makes their nutrients more available.  Seeds, grains, nuts beans are dormant when they come to us in dried form, so if we germinate them, we open them up so we can receive the maximum amount of nutrition from each bite.  Of course, in baked goods, the enzymes are destroyed, but many of the benefits of sprouting are retained.

Natural Sweeteners:

I use natural sweeteners mindfully to enhance, rather than overpower the other ingredients; my products tend to be “lightly-sweetened.  My favorite sweeteners are whole fruits, both fresh and dried.  My next choice is coconut sugar, which is relatively new sweetener in our market and is said to be one of the most sustainable.  I also occasionally use grade B maple syrup, which has a stronger flavor and retains a higher level of nutrients than grade A, or brown rice syrup, which is made from brown rice and has a lower glycemic index than most other sweeteners. 

Healthy, unrefined oils

I use three types of oil in baked goods:

Unrefined Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is thought to be more easily metabolized than some other oils and also is less prone to rancidity.  I find that it adds a rich, satisfying flavor to baked goods and provides a nice balance to the abundance of vegetable oils we tend to consume. 

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – A monounsaturated oil with proven health benefits, as well a food that is tolerated by most people, I use extra-virgin olive oil in all of my savory baking.

Macadamia Nut Oil – I love macadamia nut oil for its mild flavor, as well its high level of monounsaturated fats and balanced ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. 

1 Comment »

  1. Joanne mahlowitz said

    I just googled adaba and found your site as well as the fact it is a district in Ethiopia. Interesting. I can learn something from your site. My eating habits approach yours but I am not as pure or idealist yet in my approach. I am listening more lately to intuition and cravings. Licorice came up and it was enlightening.

    By the way, I googled adaba because I say adaba frequently as I pray in tongues and that word comes up.

    ( not evangelical -I hope anyway)

    I do eat sprouted grain as you do but buy the bread. I don’t do as much of the work as you do or like I used to. My husband eats so differently that I fall under his influence sometimes and he is slightly influenced by me.

    What do you think of agave nectar. I just read on dr mercolas site it wasn’t processed well. I do use maple syrup too as I am from nh and was raised on it. Anyway to be succinct I am influenced mostly by caveman diet or to be more like hunter gatherer. It would be nice to be near small farms in nh or Vermont since I don’t expect to be farmer.

    Anyway. I will look at your site a bit.. Sorry to ramble. Oh and I have used coconut oil for a while. Olive oil I use mostly.


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