Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spicy Roasted Sprouted Chickpeas

Do you find beans hard to digest? I do, even after years of cooking my own beans and following all the tips and tricks: Soak beans overnight and discard soaking water, boil with kombu, etc. Beano was never an option because it's expensive, especially if you take some every time you eat beans. I prefer a more holistic approach.

A couple of weeks ago I read about sprouting beans before cooking them, something that had never occurred to me. The method: Soak the chickpeas overnight, and then sprout them over a couple of days. Cook the sprouted chickpeas for about a hour. Wow, what a difference it made in their digestibility.

I had some leftover sprouted chickpeas (uncooked) and figured they'd be delicious roasted – and they are! A spicy, delectable treat for your salad. These sprouted chickpeas are much tastier than using canned or cooked. After baking them, they remind me of roasted potato.

For greater detail on sprouting and the digestibility of beans, read this ForTheLoveOfFood blog post. It may seem like a hassle to sprout before cooking but I'm here to tell you it's really not. I like to keep goodies sprouting all the time. It's like having a garden right next to the sink. It's cheap, easy, quick, and empowers you in your choices of what to eat.

Spicy Roasted Sprouted Chickpeas
1 cup dry chickpeas
 Avocado oil
Susitna Chili Blend

Cover chickpeas with water and soak overnight. Drain, rinse, and drain again and place in sprouting container. Rinse and drain 2-3 times a day until a tiny sprout starts to emerge from the peas. Rinse, drain, and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss chickpeas in a bit of avocado oil, spicy chili blend to taste, and spread onto cookie sheet. I like to line the sheet with parchment paper. Stir chickpeas every 10 minutes until lightly browned. They take about 25 minutes to roast.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Triple Dipped Carob Frozen Banana Bites

triple carob frozen banana bites

I've been watching "Arrested Development" on Netflix. I never watched it when it was originally aired on TV but when Netflix released a new season and I read all the hype I decided to watch a few of the original episodes. I've seen half a dozen and they are funny. The action takes place in Newport Beach, California, my hang out when I was a kid.  The Bluth family owns a frozen banana stand on Balboa Island. When I was a teen we'd drive out to Balboa Island specifically for frozen bananas. I don't know if that stand exists any more but I consumed many of their frozen bananas. Now I'm on a frozen banana jag. Expect more recipes!

This first recipe is for a frozen banana that can be eaten after 6pm and will not interfere with your sleep. I love and adore chocolate but it's a no-no in the evenings. Carob powder is a decent stand in and won't keep you up at night.

If you have a Silpat sheet, use it for this recipe. The frozen bananas will not stick to it and you will be dipping the banana pieces 3 times. The recipe uses only one banana but of course you can make several. There will be a lot of sauce left over that you can use for more frozen bananas, ice cream topping, carob mochas, carob banana smoothies, whatever!

1 very ripe banana (or more)
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup toasted carob powder (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1 TB coconut oil
1 TB agave syrup
1 TB maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp chocolate extract (optional)

Peel and slice banana into about 6 pieces, put toothpick in top and set cut side down on Silpat sheet on cookie sheet. Drape loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze for about 1-1/2 hours.

In the meantime, make the sauce. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk and carob powder. Bring to a simmer and add coconut oil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Take off heat and add sweeteners and extracts. Taste and adjust sweetness. I found 2 tablespoons about right. Let sit to cool.

When banana pieces are frozen, take out, hold by toothpick and dip into carob sauce. Place back on Silpat sheet and put back in freezer for an hour. Dip again and let freeze another hour. Dip a final time and freeze for about an hour. They are ready to eat! I like to store them placed loosely in a plastic container.

Next post: Triple Dipped Almond-Chocolate Frozen Banana Bites

A year ago: I was making Steel Cut Oats. If you haven't tried steel cut oats, you are missing out. Here is a recipe to make some tasty steel cut oats ahead of time in your slow cooker for those busy mornings when you don't have time to cook!