Archive for Soaked/Sprouted

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of providing lunches for a yoga teacher training.  Doing Kundalini Kriyas from 7am to 7pm four days in a row builds up quite an appetite, as you can imagine, so I wanted to offer a good array of foods in good amounts to keep them nourished throughout the day.  I was asked to provide salad each day, among other things, which was a bit of a challenge for me, because I typically don’t make/eat salads in the colder months.  Requests like this that are outside my usual norm can provide such wonderful inspiration and that’s exactly what happened.  I did provide raw green salads each day, but as the days went on, I realized that I needed some heartier salads and sides as well.

This salad is simple and delicious.  Of course, it requires a little prep if you don’t have cooked quinoa and sweet potatoes on hand, but I usually either have them or want them in my fridge, so I either use leftovers or cook extras and have leftovers for something else.  Even if you start from the beginning, this will only take you an hour to prepare, max, with only about 15 minutes of your attention required.  Doubling or tripling it won’t add much to the prep time, and it’s a great dish to bring to a potluck.

I’m going to provide the basic recipe, but there are many options for creating more complex flavors with spices or garnishes – I made a Southwest version to go with my Chile-Lime Vegetable soup, but I know I’ll make many other versions of this in the future.

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (start with 1 cup dry)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, roasted
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, unfiltered if you have it, or the best-tasting oil you have on hand
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 big handful of parsley, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Optional embellishments:

  • For a Southwestern flavor, use minced red onion instead of the shallots, lime juice instead of lemon juice and sprinkle with pepitas; use cilantro instead of parsley, if you wish.
  • For an African version, add up to 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger and Berbere spice (start with 1/2 teaspoon – amount will highly depend on the heat of your particular blend; if you don’t have Berbere spice, try 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, fenugreek, coriander, cardamom, paprika, and cayenne, or as close as you can get with what you have on hand).
  • For an Asian flavor, add up to 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger, use 2 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar instead of the lemon juice, tamari instead of salt, and add a splash of toasted sesame oil; garnish with crushed nori.
  • For a Moroccan version, add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon each ground tumeric, cumin, and cinnamon, stir in about 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, and garnish with cilantro.
  • For a Spanish version, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic to the shallots about 1 minute before you stir in the spinach and spice with 1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads and 1 2 teaspoons smoked paprika.
  • To add some simple deliciousness to the basic salad, garnish with roasted leeks and crispy kale
  • If you’d like to add a little more protein, add some cooked beans to the quinoa before dressing (chickpeas would be delicious with the basic version, as well as the African and Moroccan versions; white beans would be great with the spanish version, black beans with the Southwestern version, and maybe some baked tofu with the Asian version)

If you haven’t already, get the sweet potatoes roasting and the quinoa cooking.  Meanwhile, saute the shallots in olive oil until they are just beginning to brown, stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted.  When the quinoa is ready, dress it with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt, then stir in the parsley and crushed red pepper.  Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper as needed.  Stir in the roasted sweet potatoes and garnish as you wish.  Enjoy!

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Samosas

Samosas are savory stuffed pastries thought to have originated in Central Asia. They have been around since before the 10th century, so the concept has spread and different cultures have adapted them to their own regional cuisine. I think that they are probably most widely known here in the US as fried turnovers filled with a spicy potato and pea mixture.

My version is made with a chickpea pastry, rather than the usual wheat-based dough, and filled with coconut curry vegetables. I think they are delicious, and what a bonus that they are also healthy and portable. The chickpea pastry is quite easy to work with and you could use anything you want for a filling – this is a great use for leftovers. Be inspired and have fun!

For the filling:

  • 3 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 cup of coconut milk, plus enough water to just cover the potatoes
  • 3-4 Tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder, or more to tast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts sliced
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional (depending on the heat of your curry powder)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pastry Crust:

  • 4 cups sprouted chickpea flour, if possible, or regular chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water, or as needed

To make the filling: place the potatoes, coconut milk/water, ghee, curry powder, and salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer, partially covered, for five minutes. Add the carrots and continue to simmer. When the potatoes are nearly soft, add the scallion, cabbage, and kale and continue to cook for another five minutes. Add the peas and cook a minute or two. Taste and adjust seasonings, as necessary.

To make the pastry: if you have a food processor, place the flour and salt in the bowl fitted with the metal blade and pulse a couple times to combine. Add the olive oil and pulse a few more times until the oil is dispersed. Continue to pulse, adding the water a little at a time until the dough balls up. If you are making it by hand, mix the oil in with a fork, then switch to a spoon when you add the water in. It is ready when it sticks together, but isn’t sticky, when you pinch it between your fingers. Knead a few times with your hands. It should make a smooth dough and hold together without cracking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 baking sheets. Divide the dough into quarters. Cover three of the quarters with a barely-damp cloth and cut one quarter into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3-inch round and put about 1 Tablespoon of filling in the center of each. Use your fingertips to brush a little water around the rims, then fold over and seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and bake them until they are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Birthday Cupcakes

I was asked to make cupcakes for the birthday party of a sweet little girl who was turning two years old.  She cannot eat gluten or dairy and her mom is holding off on introducing her to the world of refined sugar.  Just in case, we left nuts out too.  She’s fine with eggs, so these cupcakes do contain eggs, though I did a little testing with a vegan version and can offer some notes on that below.  The biggest challenge was decorating.  I’m a pretty simple girl and I don’t use a lot of the ingredients most pastry chefs would use to make their beautiful, artful desserts, but, of course, we wanted these to be cute and special for the birthday girl and her guests.  The next challenge was that I wanted to maintain the integrity of the ingredients and also make a dessert that would please a variety of little palates, including those that might be accustomed to more mainstream desserts.

The first challenge was fun – I made a cherry version of these cupcakes with a vanilla frosting that was faintly tinted pink with pureed raspberries.  Though I think I could have piped the frosting on with a pastry bag, I decided to hold off on that until I had worked with it more and instead stick to the theme of the party, which was butterflies.  I had recently made some fruit leather from the last of my apples and some frozen berries, so I formed 3-D butterfly shapes by using a slice of raisin as the body and fruit leather hearts for each of the wings.  When I stuck the bottom points of the hearts into the frosting by the body, voila, I had butterfly wings.  Simple, sweet, on-theme, and a healthy and fun decoration that every child could eat!

The second challenge was also relatively simple.  Truthfully, I find that most children do really well with wholesome, less-sweet treats as long as they aren’t way too different from what they are used to eating.  I used a mix of flours that included just a little bit of tapioca and arrowroot starches to keep the taste more neutral and the texture more traditional.  You can certainly leave them out and I might on another occasion, but I felt perfectly fine using them for a special treat, especially since the recipe is based mostly on whole, sprouted grain flours.  You can, of course, use traditional flours if you don’t have access to sprouted ones.  I used agave as a sweetener, but you could also use maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or your favorite sweetener.  I think these were plenty sweet – appropriate for a birthday treat – but you could cut the sweetener by as much as half if you choose (unless you use coconut sugar which is less sweet than the others, in which case, I would stick with the full amount).  I used coconut oil and I would recommend keeping that as is, because it provides a delicious rich taste and a nice mouth feel.  If you would prefer not to use eggs, you can use a flax slurry instead (1 Tablespoon ground flax mixed with 1/4 cup of flour = 1 egg).  I think I will work with the vegan version a little more, but if you veganize this one, expect a more delicate texture, so you’ll have to be a bit more careful frosting them.

I really had fun making these and it opened me up to the world of alternative pastry decoration.  If you like to play around in the kitchen and/or have a special birthday coming up, think of a theme and then use your creativity to find healthy ways to execute it – y0u will be pleased with your results for sure.  Just keep it simple and have fun with it.  And, no one minds eating the experiments and mistakes…

For about 18 regular-sized cupcakes, or 12 jumbo cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups of this flour blend: 1/3 cup each of sprouted amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa flours and 1/4 cup each tapioca and arrowroot starches; see notes on flours below*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup agave, honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup room temperature water, to use as needed
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • optional additions/flavor options: chopped frozen or fresh berries, orange zest and almond extract, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, jam filling

*Notes on flours: as I said above, I used sprouted grain flours.  Sprouted buckwheat flour is much lighter in color and more neutral in flavor than what you might find at the store, though I think it’s possible to find light buckwheat flour.  It’s always helpful to use a mix of gluten free flours because they all have different qualities and can complement each other nicely.  In this case, the amaranth flour tends to create moist baked goods, but has a strong flavor quite different from conventional flours.  Quinoa flour creates some lightness, but also can have a strong flavor when used on its own.  Buckwheat flour is a sturdy flour and, while not related to wheat at all, probably acts more like wheat than any of the other gluten free flours I use.  When ground from whole buckwheat, including the hull, the flavor can be strong and the color dark, which works great in some baked goods, but may not work in others.  Tapioca flour creates a slight chewiness, or bite.  Arrowroot creates a lightness and fluffiness.  It can helpful to keep these things in mind when substituting flours or creating your own flour mixes in this or other recipes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and oil/line 12-18 muffin tins.  Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.  In a separate, larger bowl, beat the agave, coconut oil, and eggs until very creamy, using a hand mixer or whisk.  Beat in the vanilla.  Continue to beat/whisk the wet ingredients and add the dry ingredients, about 1/3 at a time.  The batter should look silky and should be a pourable, but not watery, consistency; if you life up the whisk/beaters, the surface of the batter should flatten out on its own.  If it’s too thick, add a little water, as needed, to get to that consistency.  Fold in the applesauce until just incorporated and immediately pour the batter into your prepared muffin tins/papers.  Put in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then without opening the door, turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake another 10 minutes, or until the muffins are set and evenly browned.  When they are done, remove the pans from the oven and let the muffins cool for about 5 minutes in the tin.  After they have cooled slightly, remove them from the muffin tin and cool them completely on a cooling rack.  Frost and decorate as desired.  Enjoy!

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Cookies!

My mom used to make a whole bunch of different cookies for the holidays. She would spend a few days baking, then keep them in the freezer, ready to take out to offer to guests. Of course, my brother and I would make numerous trips to the freezer to eat them throughout the days of Winter Break and beyond.

It felt so festive to see plates of so many different types of cookies and I would like to carry on this tradition, but on a smaller scale. So, I created a basic recipe that can be tweaked any number of ways so that I can make a variety of cookies with just a batch or two of dough. More freezer space available, less sugar overload, but plenty of cookies from which to choose.

By changing the type of nuts/nut butter, the flavorings, and the shape of the cookies, you could come up with dozens of different kinds of cookies with this one recipe….I’ll give you a few ideas to get you started, then be creative and have fun and recreate your own childhood favorites!

I am working on a shortbread recipe that can be shaped/decorated. Send me an email if you are interested in a cookie like that and I’ll be happy to give you a sneak preview. These cookies are drop cookies, so think spice cookies, thumbprints, chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, etc.

Basic Cookie Recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cup flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts, seeds, or nut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup other sweetener (could be coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, or whatever is your favorite/complementary to your cookie
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened or melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • water or other liquid
  • Other flavorings/add-ins, (spices, dried fruits, chopped nuts, extracts, chocolate chips, etc) or granulated sweetener/chopped nuts to roll them in before baking; you can also replace 1/2 cup of the flour with rolled oats, popped amaranth, etc.

*The flour mix I use is 1/2 cup each of amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat flours, plus 1/4 cup millet flour. I use grind my own flours from sprouted and dehydrated grains, so my buckwheat flour isn’t as dark/strong as what you will find in the store. If you have a grain mill or a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, try grinding your own flours from hulled raw buckwheat groats and other fresh grains – you will notice a great improvement in taste! Otherwise, for a lighter cookie, I suggest you consider replacing it with a nut flour, more millet, quinoa, or amaranth flour, or a different flour of your choice.

Flavor Ideas:

  • Spice Cookies: use coconut sugar as your other sweetener, add 1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses, use pecans and grind them with 1 Tablespoon candied ginger (which you can make yourself with coconut sugar or another sweetener), 1 teaspoon dried ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon cloves; if you have ginger syrup from making candied ginger, use that instead of water, roll the balls in coconut sugar or another granulated sugar before baking
  • Spiced Thumbprints: Make the spiced cookies as above, but instead of rolling them in sugar, made an indentation in the balls with your finger and fill it with fruit-sweetened preserves
  • Cranberry-Walnut Cookies: Use agave as your other sweetener, use chopped walnuts, and add 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and fold in a handful each of dried cranberries and coarsely-chopped walnuts
  • Lemon Thumbprints: Make the same as cranberry-walnut cookies, but leave out the cranberries and coarsely-chopped walnuts, make indentations in the balls and fill them with fruit-sweetened preserves
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: Use maple syrup as your other sweetener, almond butter as your nut, add 1 teaspoon cinnamon , and fold in chocolate chips
  • Cinnamon-Raisin Cookies: Make the same as chocolate chip cookies, but fold in raisins instead of chocolate chips, or of course you could do both
  • Chocolate Chip or Cinnamon Raisin Bars: Make the same as chocolate chip or cinnamon raisin cookies, but add enough liquid to get a spreadable dough, then spread it onto an oiled baking sheet. Cut into bars as soon as they have cooled enough to stay together when you cut them, 4-5 minutes max
  • I could come up with cookie flavors for the rest of the night, but that gives you a good started point! Try other extracts, other spices, any dried fruit or nuts, etc, etc. These are sturdy enough to handle quite a few add-ins.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and oil 2-3 cookie sheets. If you have a food processor, grind your nuts first, then pulse in the dry ingredients. Measure the wet ingredients in a measuring cup, give them a stir, and pulse them in, adding small amounts of water (or other liquid) as necessary to get a smooth, thick dough. You may not need additional liquid if your other sweetener is a liquid or if you are using a nut butter, so just use it as needed. If you are making them by hand, mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate, larger bowl. Either way, the dough should be wet enough to stick together easily, but firm enough to be able to be shaped into a ball. If it is too soft, you can firm it up by putting it in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, but not too long or it will be too dry/firm to work with. Roll the dough into balls and space them out about 2 inches apart. Roll in sugar, indent, fill as you please, and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until they are firm in the middle. Underbaking them slightly will keep them softer, while baking them until they are a little more brown will result in a crispier cookie. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove them with a spatula and let them cool completely on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

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Sprouted Corn Pupusas

Pupusas are a traditional Salvadoran dish. They are thick corn tortillas filled with some combination of cheese, ground pork, squash, and/or refried beans. The beauty of making them yourself is that you can fill them with whatever you like. My kids really like pupusas, and will eat them for any meal. They are purists and like bean and cheese the best, but they tolerate me throwing some veggies in there too. It’s well worth it to make a double, triple, or bigger batch and keep them in your freezer to heat up in the toaster for a quick and easy meal. The filling here is pretty standard, but you could do all kinds of fun things…roasted winter squash, any kind of greens, cabbage, caramelized onions, scrambled eggs, etc, etc, etc. Have fun with it!

I have made pupusas three different ways – with masa harina flour, with masa dough made the traditional way by soaking dried corn in lime water (calcium hydroxide, also known as pickling lime, but not the citrus fruit), and now with sprouted corn. Like anything, each method has its benefits and drawbacks. Making masa dough from scratch is traditional, and that’s always a plus from my perspective. Back in the days of yore, people tended to have an amazing way of making the most of what they had and, in this case, soaking the corn in lime water made (makes) it more digestible. The drawbacks are that it should soak at least a day and up to several days (I’ve even read up to two weeks), and that’s a lot of advance planning, and that you are supposed to rub the hulls off of the corn and I didn’t have much luck with that when I tried. I ended up leaving them mostly on, which was fine, but I don’t really like to do things halfway like that. Finally, It’s typically made with a special tool called a metate to grind the corn. That’s apparently quite laborious and I don’t have one, so I used my food processor. It worked fine, but had to work pretty hard to get the corn reasonably fine. Masa harina is dried masa dough and is the most convenient way to make pupusas. However, my understanding is that the corn is only soaked for about an hour, rather than several days, so it loses out on the digestibility front. It is also not available organically, at least as far as I could find, and I strongly suspect it’s made from genetically modified corn, which I’m not into. So, for me, the happy medium is using sprouted corn. Sprouting the corn makes it more digestible, maybe even for people who don’t do great with corn in general. This recipe does require some advance planning, but mostly in the form of letting the corn sit in a colander and soak, so I can deal with that.

Ok, after all that talking, I feel like I need to be really clear that these are quite easy to make, especially if you make a large batch and freeze them. I knew I wanted to try these, so I sprouted some corn earlier in the week and stuck it in the fridge until I had some time. I also had some cooked black beans that needed to get used up. With those things prepped, it only took about 20 minutes for me to make enough pupusas for 2 boys’ breakfasts, plus leftovers for lunch. If I wanted to make a whole batch to freeze, say maybe a dozen more, it would only have taken about 15-20 more minutes, and that’s using a small griddle.

This recipe will make about a dozen 4-5 inch pupusas.

  • 2 cups field corn, sprouted* (you can find this by the other dry grains at the health food store
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water, or enough to make a soft dough (will depend on how dry your corn is)
  • 1 recipe refried beans
  • olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of spinach, chopped
  • grated cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste

*To sprout the corn, soak it in water overnight. Drain into a colander, discarding the soaking water, and rinse thoroughly. Keep the corn in the colander and place over a bowl to catch any dripping water. Leave on counter until you see little sprouts growing, about 24-36 hours. Sprouted corn can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

To make the dough: grind the sprouted corn into a fine meal in a blender or food processor. I used the dry container for my vitamix and it ground it quite easily. If you are using a regular blender or food processor and it isn’t perfectly fine, don’t worry about it. Set aside a little corn flour to sprinkle on your trays to keep the uncooked pupusas from sticking. Pour the remaining ground flour into a medium-sized bowl and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix in water, starting with 1/2 cup and continuing to add small amounts until you have a soft dough. It’s good when you can press a small amount of dough between your fingers and it won’t crack on the edges. Better too soft than too dry.

To make the filling: heat a pan to medium and add a little olive oil and the chopped spinach. Cook until just wilted and stir the refried beans into the spinach. Season to taste. The filling should taste good on its own before it goes into the pupusas.

To make the pupusas: Make an assembly line with your dough, your bean/spinach mixture, and grated cheese, if using. Have a tray or trays ready, sprinkled with your reserved flour, to place the pupusas on once they are formed. Coat your hands with olive oil. Take a spoonful of the filling and form it into a ball a little bigger than a golf ball. Press your finger into the middle and then press out toward the edges to form a little bowl. Place about 1/3 cup of filling into the little bowl and bring the sides together to cover the filling. Gently press the filled pupusa back into a round so that it looks like a thick pancake. Place the formed pupusa on the floured tray and continue until all of the pupusas are made. If you plan to store the pupusas, you can freeze them uncooked on the trays. Once frozen, they can be stacked in a plastic bag or other sealed container for longer storage. If you are cooking them right away, heat a griddle to medium heat, then coat it with olive oil. Place as many pupusas as will fit on the griddle and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until they are slightly browned and puffed up. Keep the cooked pupusas on a tray in a warm oven while you cook the rest. Serve the pupusas hot with fresh salsa and cabbage salad. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cake

I don’t make a lot of chocolate treats, because I don’t eat the stuff myself and it’s hard for me to serve something without taste-testing it firsthand. But, my seven year old just had a birthday and requested chocolate cupcakes for his school birthday treat, so what was I to do? I now had two internal conflicts. First, the aforementioned serving without tasting issue, But, even more critical than that, I do not believe in serving unhealthy snacks to children, or anyone else for that matter. No, not even for birthdays. I mean, treats, fine, but I stand firm to my belief that all food should have some balance and nutritional merit, even if it’s a treat, even if it’s a birthday, even if it’s a vacation…you get the picture. In the end, chocolate cake it was, because I am a total sucker for my children. So, I set off to find the perfect chocolate cake that 24 first graders would enjoy, and that I could live with. I used freshly ground sprouted buckwheat and quinoa flours, but using standard buckwheat and quinoa flours will work fine. I added cinnamon because it’s a good blood sugar regulator, plus some almond butter and hemp seeds for a little protein and healthy fat to help balance out the sugar. I used brown rice syrup and grade B maple syrup for the sweeteners – brown rice syrup because it’s richer in complex carbohydrates than other sweeteners and is absorbed more slowly in the bloodstream, and grade B maple syrup because it retains more minerals than grade A, has a richer flavor, and just tastes delicious.

The cupcakes were a hit, then we made it in cake form for the actual birthday party. Kids who have made it quite clear in the past that they “don’t do gluten free” gobbled it right down and asked for more, so I would say this recipe is a keeper! We frosted it with chocolate frosting and sprinkles per the birthday boy’s request, then had some cupcakes with vanilla frosting on the side, but as with any cake, there are many other options. Be creative and enjoy!

This recipe makes 2 8-inch layers, one 11×7 rectangular pan, 12 cupcakes, or 24 mini-cupcakes

  • ¾ cup buckwheat flour
  • ¾ cup quinoa flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup macadamia nut or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons flax seed, ground
  • 1 1/2 cups hemp milk*, or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cup dark chocolate chips, optional
  • Frosting of your choice, optional
  • Sliced or crushed almonds for garnish, optional

*to make hemp milk, blend ½ cup hemp seeds with about 1 cup water until smooth; depending on the flours you use, you may need additional liquid, so if you might have another use for hemp milk in the next day or two, make a little extra. If not, you can use water to thin as needed.

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat your baking pan(s) with coconut oil, or line with muffin papers or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix almond butter, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and coconut oil until smooth, heating gently over a pot of hot water if necessary. Stir in vanilla, flax seed, and hemp milk. Gently mix in the flour mixture about a third at a time, adding more hemp milk or water if necessary to form a smooth, pourable batter. Fold in the chocolate chips. Gently, but thoroughly, stir in the apple cider vinegar (it will start to bubble – this is good; it’s the acidic vinegar reacting with the leaveners to create the bubbles to make it rise) and immediately pour into prepared pans. Bake until center is firm; approximate baking times follow, but please watch carefully as they can vary from oven to oven:

20-25 minutes for 2 9 inch rounds
30-35 minutes for 11×7 rectangle
15-17 minutes for cupcakes
12-15 minutes for mini-cupcakes

Cool completely before removing from pans/frosting. Enjoy!

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Savory Crisp Mung Bean Pancakes

I love a dish that provides protein and veggies in one place, is portable, and can be easily eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack. Fritters and vegetable pancakes are one such dish and the options for filling, seasoning, and serving them are endless, making this one of the more flexible recipes out there. This recipe is for a thinner batter baked in a cast iron skillet into a slightly crunchy flatbread-type pancake. By varying the liquid in the batter, you can change the texture to a thicker, softer griddle cake. Either way, they are delicious, so experiment and enjoy!

Mung beans are easy to digest and a good source of protein; soaking and rinsing them improves their digestibility and softens them for blending. If you would prefer to use sprouted beans, use whole mung beans and leave them in the strainer to sprout after soaking. This will take about 18 hours or so.

You can decide how you want to add the vegetables and whether you want to cook them first. You can just stir in quicker-cooking vegetables like chopped greens, tomatoes, and peas; I prefer to cool onions and broccoli and other pungent or hard vegetables first.

The batter keeps in the fridge for at least a couple days, so feel free to make a double batch and cook the pancakes as needed. If you only have one oven-proof skillet, you’ll need to make these in batches or make additional pancakes on the stove top.

  • 1 cup split mung beans
  • water for soaking
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water
  • juice from 1/2 lemon or lime (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • ghee or olive oil
  • 1 baby walla walla onion or 4-5 scallions, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, flowerettes chopped, stem peeled and sliced
  • 4 inches or so garlic scape, sliced (or chop a clove of garlic)
  • 2 handfuls of parsley, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, roughly chopped
  • optional – sliced or chopped hot peppers, diced tomatoes, fresh or frozen peas, parboiled sliced potatoes, thinly-sliced bell peppers

Soak the mung beans overnight. Drain and rinse. To make the batter, put the rinsed mung beans, 1/2 cup water, citrus juice, cumin, cayenne, salt, and a few grinds of pepper into a blender. Blend until very smooth, adding water as necessary. The batter should blend easily and should be pourable (like a crepe batter). At this point, you can either refrigerate the batter in a tightly covered container to finish later, or proceed with the recipe.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the ghee or olive oil and saute the onions until they begin to brown. Add the broccoli and garlic scapes, sprinkle with salt, and cook until the broccoli is crisp-tender. Mix the cooked veggies into the batter with the rest of the ingredients. Pour olive oil into the skillet to coat the pan and pour batter into the skillet, tilting if necessary to help it spread to the edges. Bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until brown on the bottom, then flip and cook another 5-7 minutes until the second side is speckled with brown. Serve plain, with a slaw or chutney for dipping. Enjoy!

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