Wholesome Nut and Seed Bread| Seeds and Sprouts

Wholesome Nut + Seed Bread

It took me a while to build up the courage to make this bread. I had seen versions of this super-healthy, gluten-free-and-vegan, nearly grain-free bread on blogs like My New Roots and Nutrition Stripped, and these loaves of “bread” simply seemed too good to be true. No flour, no eggs, no oil – and yet it was all supposed to stay together? I was a little dubious.

The secret to this recipe is psyllium husk powder. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of it, I hadn’t either. While I usually have a rule against buying ingredients that I only plan to use in a single recipe, I caved – this bread wouldn’t get off my mind. Psyllium husk powder is typically sold as a dietary supplement. It’s one of the best sources of soluble fiber – which is great for people with GI issues – and it’s been shown to be greatly beneficial to those with conditions like IBS. As a supplement, it can be mixed into water. For this purpose, it’s mixed into the dough and its ultra-absorbent properties work miracles by holding together the dough in a truly unbelievable way. When I was finally ready to attack this loaf, I ordered a container of the psyllium husk powder on the cheap from Amazon (gotta love Amazon Prime). Then, I was finally ready to dig in.

Wholesome Nut + Seed Loaf | Seeds and Sprouts | http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/wholesome-nut-seed-bread//

For all my fears about messing up this bread, it’s pretty goof-proof. Here’s a sparknotes version of the recipe:

  1. Acquire a few cups of your favorite nut/seed combinations.
  2. Throw them in a bowl with some other ingredients that most healthy foodies have in their pantry, like coconut flour, oats, and chia seeds. 
  3. Mix in some liquid and spices. Walk away from it for a few hours, then throw in the oven, and call it a day.

That’s right – no kneading, no resting the dough, nothing scary. In fact, this would be a really fun recipe to make with kids; all you have to do is measure and mix, and they would think it was cool to see how much liquid can be rapidly absorbed by the psyllium husk powder and coconut flour. 

Wholesome Nut + Seed Loaf | Seeds and Sprouts | http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/wholesome-nut-seed-bread//

 Moving on to this wonder bread’s taste: it’s a bit unlike anything I’ve had before – in a very good way! It’s dense and nutty, with pockets of intact nuts and seeds. There’s plenty of moisture in the bread, so it doesn’t taste dry at all. The slightly nutty flavor pairs really well jam – I tested out some blueberry jam from the farmers’ market on my first slice. Other great ways to have this are with ricotta, fruit and honey (one of my favorite ways to have toast), mashed avocado with lime and salt (my other favorite way to have toast), or a savory onion marmalade with goat cheese. The world is your oyster! You can also cut the bread into cubes and broil them to use as salad croutons. 

Wholesome Nut + Seed Loaf | Seeds and Sprouts | http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/wholesome-nut-seed-bread//

I credit this bread – and the nutrients a single slice packs – with powering me through a 10.5-hour-drive from D.C. to Nashville, by myself, in one day. A few slices of this, plus some fruit (and some coffee) energized me throughout the drive. A single slice of the bread is incredibly filling in the best possible way, and sticks with you for hours. It’s great as a light meal or hearty snack for any day when you’re pressed for time. 


Wholesome Nut and Seed Bread
  1. 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  2. 1 cup raw almonds
  3. 2 tbsps chia seeds
  4. ½ cup ground flax seeds
  5. 1 cup rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  6. ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  7. 3 tbsps psyllium husk powder
  8. 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds
  9. ¼ cup coconut flour
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. Freshly ground black pepper
  12. 3 tbsps coconut oil, melted
  13. 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  14. 3 cups water (start with 2½, adding more as needed)
  1. In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds, almonds, and chia seeds. Pulse until they form a fine powder, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the flax seeds, oats, pumpkin seeds, psyllium husk powder, sesame seeds, coconut flour, salt and pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and water until combined.
  3. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients into the large bowl. The wet ingredients will be rapidly absorbed into the dry ingredients. When the mixture is totally combined, the result will be a very thick, firm dough. Pour into a 9x5 inch bread pan (lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with oil). Spread the dough evenly and firmly press down. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the loaf for about 70 minutes. Remove from the oven, and gently remove the loaf from the pan by lifting it up by the parchment paper. Place the loaf on a baking sheet and bake for 60 minutes. When the loaf is golden with a firm crust, remove from the oven and let cool before serving.
  1. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator - it'll keep for about 10 days. Alternatively, it can be frozen and thawed.
  1. Calories - 216. Fat - 16g (Saturated Fat - 4g; Monounsaturated Fat - 2g; Polyunsaturated Fat - 4g). Carbs - 13g (Dietary Fiber - 7g; Sugar - 3g). Protein - 8g.
Adapted from Nutrition Stripped
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Grain Free Carrot Cake | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/grain-free-carrot-cake/

Grain-Free Carrot Cake

What’s your favorite cake? Mine is hands-down carrot cake. I simply can’t resist its sweet, toothsome texture and tangy cream cheese frosting. If you haven’t tried it because you think dessert + vegetables = wrong, I beg you to give it a try. 

This version is not only gluten free, but also grain free, thanks to almond flour. I chose to make it a sheet cake, which seemed appropriately special-yet-relaxed for the occasion: my dad’s birthday. However, it would be very easy to turn this into a round layer cake or cupcakes – whatever suits your fancy. 

Grain Free Carrot Cake | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/grain-free-carrot-cake/

 Carrot cake’s naturally hearty texture lends itself well to gluten-free adaptations; because of this, I decided to go one step further and make it completely grain-free. The result was sublime: still hearty – yet fluffy – and incredibly soft and tender. I didn’t alter the traditional cream cheese frosting very much, because hey, it’s the best part – and there aren’t too many ways to make a combination of cream cheese, butter, and sugar “healthy” (although I did cut out about half of the standard amount of sugar). So, save this for a special occasion, or maybe just a “treat yo self” kind of day. 

Disclaimer: this recipe doesn’t easily adapt to a vegan diet. A key part of the recipe is eggs, and although I would assume a combination of flax seeds, applesauce, and oil would more than adequately, I haven’t tried it yet. This cake does, however, contain a generous amount of protein, especially for a dessert. At 7 grams, one slice contains more protein than an egg! So dig in and enjoy – whether you’re a carrot cake newbie or a seasoned vet, it surely will not disappoint. 

Grain Free Carrot Cake | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/grain-free-carrot-cake/

Grain-Free Carrot Cake
For the Cake
  1. 12 oz carrots, peeled with ends removed (about 3-4 large carrots)
  2. 1/2 cup pecans
  3. 5 eggs
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp dark maple syrup
  5. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 9 oz almond flour or almond meal (or 2 cups firmly packed)
  7. 6 oz coconut sugar (about 1 cup, cane sugar also works)
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. 1 tsp ground ginger
  11. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  13. Pinch of salt
For the Frosting
  1. 8oz cream cheese (non-dairy works well, too)
  2. 1 stick butter (again, non-dairy if necessary)
  3. 2 tbsps maple syrup
  4. 2 cups powdered sugar
  5. 1 tbsp lemon zest, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9x13 baking pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Using a food processor, grate the carrots and place in a small bowl. Next, pulse the pecans in the food processor until they are chopped into small pieces. Add the pecans to the carrots and set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl. Add maple syrup and vanilla, and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then, add in the egg mixture and stir until well-combined. Finally, fold in the carrot and pecan mixture. Once the batter is fully combined, pour into the prepared baking pan and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
  1. With an electric mixer, beat all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Smooth over the cooled cake, and serve.
  1. Nutrition information for one slice. Calories - 317. Fat - 19g (Saturated Fat - 6g; Monounsaturated Fat - 4g; Polyunsaturated Fat - 1g). Carbs - 33g (Dietary Fiber - 3g; Sugars - 28g). Protein - 7g.
Adapted from Delicious Everyday
Seeds and Sprouts http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/
Spiced Mango-Lime Pops | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/spiced-mango-lime-pops/

Spiced Mango-Lime Pops

Ready for another popsicle? I sure am. And I must say, this batch is one of my finest yet. It doesn’t need much of an explanation; the ingredients speak for themselves. Fresh mango – aka, the king of fruit – is blended with yogurt, lime juice, honey, and some spices to create a creamy, sweet, and slightly tangy treat. 

These pops are so healthy, it wouldn’t even be a sin to eat them for breakfast. Vegans, you can enjoy these, too! Just use a non-dairy yogurt or coconut milk in place of the greek yogurt. With that substitution, this recipe is perfect for anyone with dairy issues and anyone an anti-inflammatory diet.

Spiced Mango-Lime Pops | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/spiced-mango-lime-pops/

But who cares about all that health stuff, when these pops are so delicious? Just whip these up and pop ‘em into the freezer for a sweet treat that’ll last the week (ok, maybe less… these are a little too tempting). 

Spiced Mango-Lime Pops | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/spiced-mango-lime-pops/


Spiced Mango-Lime Pops
  1. 8 ounces mango, diced or sliced (about 2 large mangos)
  2. 1 cup plain greek yogurt OR 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the kind from a can)
  3. 2 tbsps honey
  4. 1 tbsp lime juice
  5. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  7. pinch of salt
  1. In a blender or food processor, puree all ingredients until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze. Before serving, run the molds under warm water to loosen the pops.
  1. Calories - 75. Fat - 1g. Carbs - 14g (Dietary Fiber - 1g; Sugars - 13g). Protein - 4g.
Special Diets
  1. These are naturally gluten free. Vegans can use coconut milk and agave instead of yogurt and honey. To make this SCD-legal, use coconut milk or SCD-legal yogurt. With coconut milk, this also works for anti-inflammatory diets.
Seeds and Sprouts http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/
Fish Tacos with Kale Slaw | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/fish-tacos-with-kale-slaw/

Fish Tacos with Kale Slaw

Do you remember the first meal you made? I do. I was 11, and I was testing out my first cookbook. The recipe I chose? Tacos. I have no recollection why – tacos certainly weren’t my favorite food – but I suppose that perhaps, I enjoyed the challenge of making something so different from what usually appeared on my dinner plate. So, enlisting the occasional help of my dad, I spent hours meticulously chopping onions, measuring spices, and browning ground beef. The product: a build-it-yourself spread on the kitchen table where my family gathered around and pile their preferred toppings over ground beef. I was so pleased with myself, I refused to make anything else for a year.

Eventually, I moved on from tacos. I started cooking other things for my family: stir fries, salads, even whole-roasted chicken. In high school, I became more health-focused, and when I was 17, I stopped eating meat. I haven’t made tacos since I was young – until now. 

Fish Tacos with Kale Slaw | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/fish-tacos-with-kale-slaw/

Going to school in Nashville has given me an affinity for fish tacos. There are a ton of great places around campus (Local Taco, I’m looking at you) that sell creative, fresh tacos. This is my interpretation of my favorite variety: grilled, tender white fish with fresh pico de gallo, citrus-y slaw, and avocado – all of it doused in lime. It’s easier than it seems, and the best part about making tacos is that everyone can build their own individually at the table. I can add extra avocado, my dad can add jalapeño and sour cream, and my brother can skip on the kale. Everyone wins! The main filling can be customized, too: marinated tofu, cooked black beans, and portabello mushrooms all make good fillings. Constructing dinner at the table makes it feel like a special night, and brings a true sense of togetherness. 

Fish tacos are perfect for summer. They’re casual, refreshing, and they beg to be eaten outside. Slaw for fish tacos is typically made of cabbage, but I created one out of kale. I usually have it lying around anyway, I love its strong, slightly bitter taste, and its a nutritional powerhouse. Feel free to use whatever veggies you like best. 

Fish Tacos with Kale Slaw | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/fish-tacos-with-kale-slaw/

Fish Tacos with Kale Slaw
  1. 1 1/4 lb white fish, such as red snapper, mahi mahi, tilapia, halibut, cod, etc.
  2. 2-3 limes
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1/4 tsp chili powder
  6. 1 1/2 tbsps olive oil
  7. Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  8. 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  9. 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  10. 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  11. 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (with seeds, more or less to taste)
  12. 2 cups kale, finely shredded
  13. 8 soft tortillas (corn, wheat, or whatever you prefer, gluten-free if necessary)
Prep the Fish
  1. Place the fish in a large, shallow dish. Pour the juice from half a lime over it. Then, add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, one tablespoon of the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the fish over a few times until it is evenly coated in the marinade. Set aside while prepping the rest of the ingredients - in between 15 minutes and an hour is ideal.
For the Pico
  1. Mix the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, onion, jalapeño, lime juice, and a few pinches of salt and pepper together in a small bowl. The pico will keep for up to one day in the fridge - just be sure to drain any excess liquid at the bottom before serving.
For the Kale Slaw
  1. In a bowl, combine the kale, the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and the juice from half a lime. Season with salt and pepper. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands until the kale is noticeably darker and more tender. Set aside until serving.
Heat the tortillas
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in at a time, and flip after about 30 seconds, until warm on each side. Store the tortillas on a plate with tinfoil or a clean cloth over them, to keep warm.
Cooking the fish
  1. There are a few ways to cook the fish. You can roast at 400F for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your fish. You can also pan sear it - be sure to divide it up into separate fillets for easier flipping - in a heavy-bottomed skillet with a bit of oil, about 4-5 minutes per side over high heat. To grill, heat the grill up to medium-high, and oil a fish rack (so that if the fish crumbles, it doesn't all fall through the grates). Cook about 3 minutes on each side. With all these methods, you'll want to make sure that the fish is white and opaque all the way through - this isn't the the right kind of fish to eat with a rare center. Transfer the fish to a serving plate - it's okay if it crumbles, because it's just going into a taco after all!
To assemble
  1. Place the warmed tortillas, pico de gallo, slaw, fish, and any additional toppings on the table, and enjoy.
  1. 2 Tacos - Calories - 318. Fat - 8g (Saturated Fat - 1g; Monounsaturated Fat - 4g; Polyunsaturated Fat - 1g). Carbs - 34g (Dietary Fiber - 5g; Sugars - 4g). Protein - 30g.
Adapted from CHOW
Adapted from CHOW
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 Fish Tacos with Kale Slaw | Seeds and Sprouts | seedsandsproutsblog.com/fish-tacos-with-kale-slaw/

Roasted Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-mushrooms-with-creamy-polenta/

Roasted Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

Mushrooms – people either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I’m definitely a part of the former group; I can’t get enough of these veggies’ chewy, juicy texture and rich, umami flavor. They’re great for giving extra oomph to omelets and frittatas and for mixing into a quinoa salad, but my favorite way is this: roasted simply with lemon, herbs, and a touch of parmesan, and enjoyed as the star of the meal. 

Usually, mushrooms require a bit of sautéing. This method, however, is foolproof: just chop them up, toss with dressing, and bake! That gives you plenty of hands-off time, in which you can whip up a quick batch of polenta, or whatever grain you choose to serve this over. Mashed sweet potatoes would be another good option, and paleos can use mashed cauliflower. 

Roasted Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-mushrooms-with-creamy-polenta/

Besides the bit of cheese in this dish, there’s not a whole lot of protein – although there’s more than you’d think – and that puts some people off. I was fine with a lower-protein dinner today, because I just wanted a light meal and had already had plenty of protein earlier in the day. For those who want more protein, it would be easy to throw in a couple handfuls of chickpeas (canned and rinsed) into the mushroom mixture before cooking. This also makes a great side dish, accompanied with marinated tofu, white fish, or chicken – whatever’s your thing. 

I used fresh thyme here, but feel free to use whatever herbs you have on hand. Rosemary would be great – I may try that next time I make this. What I love about this meal (besides that it’s super easy) is that it really lets the flavors of all the ingredients shine. Since everything is prepared so simply, you can really savor the earthy mushrooms, fresh thyme, tangy lemon, and sharp parmesan. This meal drew enthusiastic compliments even from those who claim to be “meh” on mushrooms. 

Roasted Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-mushrooms-with-creamy-polenta/


Roasted Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta
For the Polenta
  1. 3/4 cup dried polenta
  2. 4 cups water
For the Mushrooms
  1. 1 lb mushrooms (I used a blend of cremini and baby bella, but use whatever you like)
  2. 1 lemon
  3. 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  4. 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  5. Extra virgin olive oil
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Polenta
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, slowly add the polenta while whisking vigorously. Keep whisking for a few minutes, or until the grains no longer settle to the bottom of the pan. Keep on low heat, stirring every couple of minutes for about 30 minutes. It will appear to be done before that; however, by cooking it longer the product will be softer, creamier, and far less meal-y. Add extra water if it begins to dry. Before serving, season with salt, pepper, a dash of olive oil, and a bit of leftover thyme and parmesan from the mushrooms.
For the mushrooms
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. In a large bowl, combine the zest from the lemon and thyme. Add enough olive oil so that the consistency is liquid, about 1/4 cup. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. After rinsing the mushrooms and slicing them, add the mushrooms to the bowl and toss until the coating is evenly distributed.
  3. Cover a large pan with parchment paper, and add the mushroom mixture to the pan. Arrange the mushrooms so that they are in a single layer. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant and shrunken. Sprinkle on the parmesan, and return to the oven for about 5 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and serve on top of polenta, garnishing with extra parmesan if desired.
  1. Calories - 372. Fat - 27g (Saturated Fat - 5g. Monounsaturated Fat - 18g. Polyunsaturated Fat - 2g.). Carbs - 26g (Dietary Fiber - 4g. Sugars - 3g.). Protein - 11g.
This meal is a good source of the following nutrients
  1. Potassium (15% DRV), Vitamin C (12% DRV), and Calcium (14% DRV)
Special Diets
  1. This dish is naturally gluten free. To make it paleo, simply substitute mashed cauliflower or another paleo base for the polenta. To make it vegan, omit the parmesan cheese, perhaps garnishing with nutritional yeast at the end.
Adapted from Simple Provisions
Adapted from Simple Provisions
Seeds and Sprouts http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/
Roasted Beet & Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-beet-and-quinoa-veggie-burgers/

Roasted Beet and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Veggie burgers get a bad rap. We vegetarians, vegans, and general plant-eaters are accustomed to a regular smattering of jokes at our expense (“don’t worry, this cow died of natural causes”) , well-meaning yet uneducated concerns (“but what about your protein?!?”), teasing (“just one little bite won’t hurt!”), and just plain sneers from those in our lives with distinctly different eating habits. And that’s okay. It really is. But I think veggie burgers get more than their fair share of teasing and snide comments, and I feel morally obligated to stick up for them. 

You see, it’s not the veggie burgers’ fault – they’re just always in the wrong place at the wrong time. They’re usually brought out at BBQs, where they stick out like a sore, green thumb in a sea of animal products. Everyone gets really jazzed about grilling up their meat, and the poor veggie burgers are looked upon as impostors, trying to masquerade as something they’re not. 

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-beet-and-quinoa-veggie-burgers/

Allow me to begin my defense of the veggie burger. First of all, they’re not trying to masquerade as a “real” burger – at least the kind I like the most don’t. That’s why meat burger-lovers shouldn’t feel threatened by them: they exist in two totally different categories. I don’t even like eating my veggie burgers with buns – although many do – so in that case, I guess its definition as a burger at all is a little hazy. 

Now, that being said, these particular burgers – and the reason I think they’re among the best ones out there – embody all the highlights of a juicy beef burger (while still being 100% vegan, mind you). The quinoa and crushed black beans provide the foundation for a chewy, ground meat-esque texture. The smoked paprika and well-done onions add a smoky flavor not often often found in vegetarian dishes. Most importantly, the beets lend a juiciness that is lamentably lacking in most veggie burgers (not to mention, they provide a positively gorgeous color). 

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-beet-and-quinoa-veggie-burgers/

These babies have been a runaway hit with everyone I’ve made them for – including those who “hate beets” – I promise, these don’t have an overwhelming beet taste! They’re insanely flavorful, while balanced enough to serve most any purpose, whether wedged between two buns with a slice of melted cheese, topped with an egg, or – my favorite – served over mixed greens with a few slices of avocado on top. 

Roasted Beet and Quinoa Veggie Burgers
  1. 3 large red beets
  2. 1 1/3 cups quinoa, cooked
  3. 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil or melted coconut oil
  4. 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  5. 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  7. 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or oat flour (use gluten-free oats if necessary)
  8. 2 cans black beans
  9. 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
  10. 1 tbsp flax meal
  11. 3 tbsp water
  12. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  13. 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  14. 2 tsps brown mustard
  15. 1 tsp cumin
  16. 1/2 tsp coriander
  17. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  18. Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Roast the beets - wrapped loosely in aluminum foil - until they are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork, about an hour. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until very well done - after about 10-12 minutes, the onions should be golden and just beginning to blacken. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then, add the vinegar to deglaze. Stir the onions around, scraping the bottom of the skillet to pick up all the burnt bits - these will be key to adding the smoky flavor later. Set aside to cool.
  3. If using old fashioned oats, process them in a food processor until they are formed into a fine flour. Set aside.
  4. Drain and rinse the cans of beans. Place half of them in the food processor along with the prunes and pulse until chopped - but not so much that they become a paste. Place them in a large bowl, along with the rest of the (whole) beans.
  5. Peel the roasted beets, once they've cooled. You'll likely only need a spoon, the skin should come off easily. Grate the beets, and strain the gratings in the sink. Use a paper towel to press out as much excess moisture as possible. Once dried, add the beets to the beans in the large bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the flax meal with 3 tbsps water. This makes a "flax egg", and it'll help the burgers to stay together better. Let the mixture sit in small bowl for a few minutes to form a gel. Meanwhile, add the quinoa and onions to the beets and beans. Add the oil, smoked paprika, mustard, cumin, coriander, and thyme: mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Then, add oats and flax egg, and mix well.
  7. Allow the mixture to refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours - overnight works well too. Then, form burgers with your hands - you should end up with about 8 large burgers.
  8. Heat a heavy skillet - such as a cast iron - with a bit of oil over medium-high heat. You'll want the heat to be relatively high so that the burgers form a delicious crust. Once the skillet is hot, sear the burgers - it should take about 4 minutes on each side.
  9. Serve on hamburger buns, over a salad, or even just snack on them alone!
  1. Calories - 209. Fat - 3g (Monounsaturated - 2g; Polyunsaturated - 1g). Carbs - 37g (Dietary Fiber - 9g; Sugars - 6g). Protein - 9g.
  2. Excellent source of dietary fiber and iron, providing 34% DRV for dietary fiber and 21% DRV for iron.
  1. The uncooked burgers will keep in the fridge for about a week. These burgers also freeze beautifully: just form the patties and wrap them individually - then, they're ready to defrost for a quick meal!
Adapted from The Kitchn
Adapted from The Kitchn
Seeds and Sprouts http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/
Roasted Beet & Quinoa Veggie Burgers | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/roasted-beet-and-quinoa-veggie-burgers/

Avocado Pops | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/avocado-pops/

Avocado Pops

This post encompasses a hybrid of two of my favorite things to eat. First and foremost, we have avocados. I know, putting avocados into a dessert sounds blasphemous to those without a cult-like passion for the fruit, but keep in mind that avocados are just that: fruit! Cultures south of the border have been using avocados in sweet dishes for ages, and I personally am totally in favor of hopping aboard that delicious train. 

The other thing I love in this recipe is the fact that these are popsicles. Summertime in my kitchen means popsicles, popsicles, and more popsicles. The molds are inexpensive, and once you have them, you’re in store for desserts that require no heat (ideal for sticky weather) and are virtually goof-proof. Just mix up a few sweet ingredients and freeze ‘em in the molds, and they can’t be bad. 

Avocado Pops | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/avocado-pops/

I got the idea to make avocado pops after having an avocado paleta from Nashville’s paleta place, Las Paletas. It was creamier than a fudge pop, just the right amount of sweet, and with a distinct avocado flavor that completely harmonized with the rest of the paleta. Don’t knock it ’til you try it: if you like guacamole in your burrito bowl, you’ll love this. 

I love a cold sweet treat at the end of a summer day, and there’s a lot less guilt involved with these pops than with ice cream; I know exactly what’s in them, and it’s usually just a mix of fruit and either coconut milk or yogurt. If you haven’t invested in a set of popsicle molds yet, dixie cups work really well – just tear off the paper cups when you’re ready to eat.  Soon, you’ll be a believer in avocado desserts, too: welcome to the club. 

Avocado Pops | Seeds and Sprouts seedsandsproutsblog.com/avocado-pops/


Avocado Pops
  1. 1 1/2 large ripe avocados
  2. 1/2 cup light coconut milk (the canned kind)
  3. 2 heaping tablespoons honey
  4. 1 tablespoon lime zest
  5. pinch of pink himalayan salt
  1. Blend all ingredients together, either by hand or in a blender. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until hard, or about 5-6 hours.
  1. Calories - 183. Carbs - 18g. Sugars - 11g. Fat - 13g. Protein - 2g. Sodium - 22g.
Adapted from Brook & Lyn
Adapted from Brook & Lyn
Seeds and Sprouts http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/
Lentil + Quinoa Love Sandwich | Seeds and Sprouts Blog http://seedsandsproutsblog.com

Lentil + Quinoa Love Sandwich

There’s a salad + sandwich place in Cape Town that’s wildly popular – even Michelle Obama ate there on her visit. It’s called The Kitchen, and it features fresh, plant-based dishes – no wonder the health-conscious first lady ate there! When I first tasted one of their “Love Sandwiches,” I immediately knew it had to be first on my list of meals to recreate when back in the states. It’s so simple, and yet it was one of my favorite things I ate while abroad.

Vegetarians and vegans out there know that a great veggie sandwich is a lot harder to find than a great meaty sandwich. Since it’s often easier to make a salad with greens and grains, I rarely make sandwiches anymore (unless it’s a grilled cheese, mmm…). The only problem is, sandwiches are just so perfect for days when you need to pack lunch and eat it on the go. I also think of sandwiches as a kind of comfort food, reminding me of the PB&J sandwiches I devoured daily growing up. 

Lentil + Quinoa Love Sandwich | Seeds and Sprouts Blog http://seedsandsproutsblog.com

This sandwich contains some key ingredients stereotypically found in healthy, vegetarian – dare I say hipster – foods: quinoa, goat cheese, pesto, and avocado. Hummus and roasted red peppers would be two excellent additions, in my opinion. The variations are endless: the main ingredient is the quinoa and lentil cakes that serve as the “meat”. Once you have those on hand, just pile them in with your favorite ingredients over the freshest, nuttiest bread you can get your hands on, and you’ll be in for a real treat. 

Lentil + Quinoa Love Sandwich
  1. 2 slices of your favorite bread
  2. 2 quinoa cakes, warm or room temperature (see separate recipe)
  3. 2 slices of eggplant, seared in a cast iron skillet or roasted (warm or room temperature)
  4. 1/3 of an avocado, sliced
  5. Small handful of mixed greens
  6. About a tablespoon of goat cheese
  7. About a teaspoon of basil pesto
  1. Lightly toast bread, if desired. Spread basil pesto on one piece, and the goat cheese on the other. Place the quinoa cakes on one slice of bread, followed by eggplant and avocado slices. Top with mixed greens and the remaining slice of bread.
Special Diets
  1. Vegan - this sandwich can be made vegan by substituting hummus in for the goat cheese, and using flax seed meal in place of eggs in the lentil + quinoa patties
  2. Gluten Free - this sandwich is gluten free as long as you use gluten free bread, and gluten free oats in the lentil + quinoa recipe
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The Big Kale Smoothie | Seeds and Sprouts Blog seedsandsproutsblog.com

Kale, lemon + ginger smoothie

I love green smoothies in the morning. There’s nothing like the sound of the blender, the smell of lemon, and the kick of ginger and cayenne to wake me up in the morning. In fact, I never feel the need to drink coffee when I begin my morning with a smoothie. 

The exact contents of my morning smoothie largely depend on what’s in my fridge. Some days I rely heavily on a few ingredients if that’s all I have, but my favorite smoothies incorporate a large variety of ingredients.

The Big Kale Smoothie | Seeds and Sprouts Blog seedsandsproutsblog.com

Even though my smoothies vary, I still follow a basic formula for them:

  • 2 cups leafy greens. I almost always use kale, but you can use spinach or any other dark leafy green, or a combination.
  • Banana. I always include a banana to add creaminess and substance. Frozen ones make the drink colder (I suppose that’s obvious), but I usually forget and just use a plain ol’ banana. 
  • Fruit. More fruit to add sweetness – I usually use half a large apple, or a cup of frozen fruit. You can even use half an avocado if you’re feeling particularly crazy.
  • Liquid. We’ll need one cup of liquid – it can be water, milk, or a combination of the two. I usually do half coconut milk, half water. 
  • Extras – make the veggies taste good! I add in a bit of cucumber and a stalk of celery if I have them on hand – they add nice flavor and some extra liquid. Other add-ins in my repertoire include juice from half a lemon, a bit of ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, and fresh parsley.

The Big Kale Smoothie | Seeds and Sprouts Blog seedsandsproutsblog.com

Everything in this smoothie packs a big nutritional punch. Because it contains so many superfoods, this is a good breakfast to start the day fresh and “reset” after an indulgence. For example:

  • Kale is just about the most nutritionally dense food out there, because it contains a crazy amount of essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin K, and calcium while still containing very few calories.
  • Besides containing a ton of potassium, bananas help regulate blood sugar (so you won’t crash mid-morning) and help your body produce the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin.
  • The fat in the coconut milk helps to raise good (HDL) cholesterol; in addition, the magnesium helps regulate blood pressure.
  • The high vitamin C content in lemons not only boosts the immune system, but also helps the body absorb all the other nutrients efficiently. Lemons also help balance the body’s pH system, resulting in a wide variety of benefits from preventing bone loss to warding off UTI’s. 
  • The rich vitamins and minerals found in parsley are excellent at strengthening the immune system and healing the nervous system.
  • Ginger also helps with vitamin and mineral absorption; it also is great at clearing up sinus congestion.
  • Cayenne helps with digestion and boosts metabolism.
  • Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and bad (LDL) cholesterol. 
  • Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has also been shown to have cancer prevention properties
Kale, lemon + ginger smoothie
  1. 2 cups kale (or other leafy green vegetable)
  2. 1 banana, broken into pieces (fresh or frozen)
  3. 1/2 apple, chopped, OR 1 cup frozen fruit (I used mango)
  4. 1 celery stalk, chopped
  5. 1/4 of a large cucumber, with peel, chopped
  6. Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  7. 1/2 inch of ginger root, peeled and chopped
  8. Several sprigs of parsley
  9. Sprinkle each of turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper
  10. 1/2 cup milk (coconut or almond are best, or simply use more water)
  11. 1/2 cup water
  12. small pinch of pink himalayan salt and black pepper
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
  1. Calories - 275; Carbs - 60g; Sugar - 31g; Fat - 3g
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lentil quinoa cakes 1

Lentil + Quinoa Cakes

I’m baaack! After an indescribable 5 months abroad in South Africa, I’m finally back in the USA and ready to get back in the kitchen. It’s time to jump into summer after weathering through the beginnings of a harsher-than-expected South African winter, and for me that means veggies, veggies, and more veggies! While I loved my South African food, after months of indulging in samosas, rotis, Nando’s, and the weekly Old Biscuit Mill binge (anyone who’s been to Cape Town knows what I mean), I was thrilled to hit up the old farmer’s market and fill up on some greens.

lentil quinoa cakes 2

Today, I made a big batch of these lentil quinoa cakes, inspired by a dish I had while abroad. While at the aforementioned Old Biscuit Mill – a Saturday morning paradise filled with stands of local businesses selling brunch goods – I devoured the best sandwich of my life. The ‘meat’ of the sandwich was a delicious lentil and quinoa creation. Call it a cake, burger, patty, I don’t care: it was delicious. I recreated the sandwich here – and I did not disappoint my memory.  

lentil quinoa cakes 3

I’ve made a variety of veggie cakes in the past, and I love them because they’re wonderfully versatile. These lentil and quinoa patties are no exception. You can top one with a poached egg, throw a few on a salad, add bread and make it a sandwich, or make a yogurt-based sauce to dip some in. The possibilities are endless, and non-vegetarians tend not to feel as if they’re missing out on meat. Today, I ate them over mixed greens tossed with lemon and olive oil for a delicious lunch. 

With and iron-rich lentils and quinoa high in protein and fiber, the cakes are incredibly satisfying and keep me going for hours without growing hungry. One recipe makes a lot of little patties, so I’m looking forward to finding ways to gobble these up all week long!

Lentil quinoa cakes 4

Lentil Quinoa Cakes
  1. 1 cup dried green or brown lentils
  2. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  3. 1 tsp ground ginger
  4. 1 tsp ground cumin
  5. 1/2 tsp chili powder
  6. 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  7. About 3 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil with a high smoke point, such as grape seed oil)
  8. 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  9. 2 garlic cloves
  10. 1/2 cup oats (or oat flour)
  11. 2 eggs, beaten
  12. 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, add lentils, turmeric ginger, cumin, and chili powder to two cups water and bring to a boil. Let simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. While the lentils simmer, add quinoa to a saucepan or rice cooker with 2 cups water and cook until all water is absorbed. Let both the lentils and the quinoa cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onions until golden and tender. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. If using oats, blend oats in a food processor on high speed to create a flour.
  4. When lentils have cooled, add them to the food processor and blend until only a few whole lentils remain. Add the lentils to a large bowl along with the quinoa. Add 2 tablespoons oat flour, eggs, salt and pepper. Stir until well-combined. If the mixture appears too wet, add more oat flour; if it appears too dry, add a bit more egg.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, preferably a cast iron skillet, over medium heat. With your hands, form patties by taking small handfuls, rounding the dough into balls, and flattening it out with your hands. Sprinkle both sides with remaining oat flour (this creates a nice crust). Sear the patties, letting them cook about 4-5 minutes on each side. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Special Diets
  1. Vegans can substitute each egg for one tablespoon of flax seed meal and 3 tablespoons water - just mix the flax seed meal and water together in a separate bowl and let sit for a minute or two before adding.
  2. To make this recipe truly gluten free (for those very sensitive to gluten), use oats or oat flour that are certified gluten free.
  1. Serving size: 2 small cakes. Calories: 234; Fat: 7.7g; Carbs: 32g; Protein: 11g
Adapted from MindBodyGreen
Adapted from MindBodyGreen
Seeds and Sprouts http://seedsandsproutsblog.com/