Sprouts are fun and easy to grow and are delicious, alkaline and packed full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These fun little projects are also a great source of vitamins E, C, B and A as well as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and protein. Sprouting unlocks the nutrients & protein inside the plant cells more readily and makes the protein found beans as well as nuts & seeds more bioavailable and more digestible. Sprouting as well as soaking, or fermenting foods also significantly reduces enzyme inhibitors, greatly increasing the digestibility and absorption of all nutrients in food, including amino acids.
For a more in-depth look at why sprouting is so awesome, check out my guy Dr. Josef Marcela’s article.
Step #1 Select Your Bean & Quantity:
Use organic beans such as adzuki, lentils, mung beans or chickpeas. The beans beans will at least double in size during sprouting, so only prepare as many sprouts as you can eat in about 4 weeks. The fastest to sprout are mung beans and lentils, especially if you live in a humid climate. My favorite beans are adzuki beans (shown here) for their nutty texture, high protein and iron and anti-oxidant content. Most dry beans are good for sprouting but you want to avoid black beans as they can be toxic. Note that “split” beans or peas will not sprout.
Step #2- Soak Your Beans:
Place your beans in a wide-mouthed glass jar and fill with filtered water until the beans are covered by about 4 inches of water (use this rule for any amount for beans). Allow them to soak in the water overnight, or for about 8 to 12 hours and then rinse and drain them very well as they can go off if they are too moist. I do this several times inside the jar. Cover with a piece screen from the hardware store (shown here) or a piece of cheesecloth. Leave the jar in a semi-lit place while the beans sprout (I like my kitchen near the window).
Step #3- Rinse Your Beans:
Rinse and drain the beans well 2-3 times per day. The easiest way is to add water through the screen over the top as you can fill it and drain it without having to remove it. Watch your sprouts grow over the next few days. You can stop sprouting after 2-3 days or when the tails are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long or as long as the body of the bean. You can also keep them growing up to 4 days for large, plump sprouts. Note: chickpeas or garbanzo beans get bitter if you sprout too long so you just want the very tip to be sprouted.
Step #4- Rinse and Store:
Finish sprouting by giving your beans a final rinse and then placing them in the covered jar in the refrigerator. Sprouts should last about 2-4 weeks; however, it will depend on the length of sprouting and amount of moisture on the beans when you placed them in the refrigerator. Make sure that you smell the sprouts for spoilage after 2 weeks and toss them if you are in doubt or you can gently cook them in a soup which is what I do if they are not super fresh as they still have plenty of nutritional value!
I toss them in to salads, in a stir fry (at the end so they stay raw), right before I serve a soup or into a pasta. I also put them in to smoothies to add some living food and some extra protein! (more…)
This outstanding Cinnamon Tahini Oatmeal Cookie recipe is an adaptation of my dear dear friend, fellow chef and devout foodie Robbin Russell. I have always been a sucker for oatmeal raisin cookies and these are a unique and easy twist to the classic cookie and of course gluten-free, refined sugar free and can be made vegan. This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to prep and only 10 minutes to bake so no excuses! There are tons of fun things that you can add to change them up to your tastes.
Cinnamon Tahini Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 pastured egg or 1 flax egg*
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup quick cooking oats (or 2/3 cup rolled oats)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
pinch of sea salt
Makes 1 dozen 2 inch cookies
This fabulous, decadent and somewhat “naughty” recipe for Gooey Double Chocolate Chip Cookies was the brainchild of our Chef Heather Valdes. She created it for one of our clients who is not super concerned with healthier alternatives, he just wants clean and thoughtful food made in a classic style. You may know by now that at The Naked Bite we rarely use conventional baking recipes so of course we needed to experiment on our own and try a “nicer” version. Both are here for you to choose which option you want to make, whether your feeling naughty OR nice. Thank you Heather, my husband just LOVES himself some double chocolate chip cookies!
Gooey Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
The NAUGHTY Version
1/2 cup grass-fed butter, softened
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
1 pastured egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup high quality raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
Cooking, eating with friends and family and being grateful for the abundance in our lives is what The Holidays are all about. Enter my 20 Thanksgiving & holiday recipes to excite your tastebuds and help make the experience fun! As you well know, there is quite a bit of planning and preparation that goes into making this all happen, and this can be a source of stress and anxiety for some.
Whether you are the host or joining a gathering- chances are that you might be cookin’, and you should be! Preparing food for yourself and loved ones is one of the most gratifying experiences (once we get rid of any energetic or logistical roadblocks we might have) and The Naked Bite is here to help.
As a professional chef you can imagine how often I have prepared holiday meals, for loved ones and for work purposes. I have also taught several holiday cooking classes that are always packed with peeps wanting some fresh and inspired material. Since I cannot be there in person to teach you all- I wanted to virtually share with you my classic go-to recipes for your contemporary holiday feast as well as some organization and time-saving tips to help you enjoy the process and reduce some stress.
These recipes are plant-centric, gluten-free, and can even be made vegan. We have kept the classic flavors and added a unique approach. You can use them all on their own, as a group or in addition to some of your family favorites and even alongside some turkey. We have included some suggestions for your customize for your palate or dietary needs and several make-ahead tips to ensure success, yay!
Check out which recipes are offered in our first eCookbook, and purchase here!
Austin LOVES tacos…well and who doesn’t quite frankly? I think we love them because they can be filled with just about anything- which is part of the fun. Get creative to celebrate National Taco Day or just follow the this delicious and plant-based and paleo friendly recipe below for Eggplant Banh Mi Tacos and you cannot go wrong. This recipe was developed in collaboration with our incredibly talented chef Heather Valdes for a summer cooking class. The initial recipe was made with shiitake mushrooms, yum! This one was adjusted to use up some of the bountiful eggplant happening in Austin & Miami right now. Whatever your filling choice, this is a great template for all sorts of interesting options.
Eggplant Bánh Mì Tacos with Pickled Veggies & Spicy Aioli
Quick Pickled Veggies~
1 medium carrot, julienne or grated (or butternut squash to be uber seasonal)
1-1/2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced into thin half moons
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup filtered water
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1-1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into ¼ inch x 3 inch strips
3 Tablespoon reduced sodium tamari
2 Tablespoons filtered water
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Siracha (or to taste)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1” piece of ginger, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Tacos & Optional Garnish~
8 small corn tortillas, warmed through either in the oven or on a stove top
Lettuce Wraps instead of tortillas
Generous handful of fresh cilantro and/or mint- tough stems removed
Scallions, thinly sliced on bias
Thinly sliced radish
Quick Pickled Veggies: Add all ingredients to a large glass jar, secure the lid, and shake for 10 to 15 seconds to mix. You’ll want to allow the vegetables to soak for at least 30 minutes (at room temp) up to 24 hours- the longer the better. If you plan to do hours in advance, place the jar in the fridge until ready to assemble.
Eggplant Filling: Whisk together the maple syrup, tamari, chili garlic paste, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and black pepper in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, add the coconut oil and the eggplant and reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
Add the tamari mixture to the pan and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
Fill each corn tortilla with a small spoonful of the eggplant and then the pickled vegetables. Drizzle with the aioli (recipe follows) and top with the fresh, cilantro, mint, scallions and peanuts if using. Serve immediately.
Tip & Notes~
This recipe would also be delicious with a variety of mushrooms or other veggies such as squash, peppers, cauliflower or broccoli.
1/2 cup mayo of your choice (we like brands with very little ingredients- Just Mayo is a good one)
2 Tablespoon sriracha
Juice of one lime
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Allow to sit overnight for flavor to develop if you have time.
Many of you know by now that I have quite the sweet tooth. I actually don’t do much baking for the particular reason (I would eat it ALL, sigh). This Raw Chocolate Bark has become my favorite go-to along with my Perfect Banana Ice Cream. I love it mostly because it’s easy, uber fast and I can take a few nibbles and be satisfied. It is also packed full of nutrients and minerals and won’t leave you feeling like you were naughty. It is also easy to customize to your liking so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Raw Dark Chocolate Bark
3/4 extra virgin coconut oil*
1/2 cup high quality raw cocao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
4 drops liquid stevia**
A pinch of Himalayan Salt (more…)