Yes, sometimes when you commit to eating a healthy diet and get away from hotcakes and bacon for breakfast (God, I still miss them!), you can end up eating stuff that at first may seem, well, a bit... funky.
This dish might at first fit under that category, yet don't underestimate this delectable power-bowl of deliciousness and nutrition, my friends!
This might not look too pretty, I admit, but it packs a punch of nutrition and flavor that you will feel all morning long.
The basis of this power-bowl are soaked or sprouted almonds and other nuts (I'll tell you why they're soaked and how to soak them in a minute...) On top of that, the luscious cashew cream I love and have mentioned before in other posts (and you will lick the bowl afterwards, I promise!). Then some berries - packed with major anti-oxidants - and yes... as weird as it may be, topped with powerful dynamos of energy and added protein: lentil sprouts.
Are you salivating yet? Didn't think so.
I really tried, though, to explain how good this is, not only for your taste buds, but for your body! So, you'll have to wait to make it for yourself to believe me.
Almonds and nuts have healthy fats with lots of dietary fiber. They're great in the morning because they help you feel full, which curbs overeating and going for those not-so-healthy snacks during the day.
Yes, nuts are high in fat and calories, but that's why they help you feel satisfied after you eat and, as an added plus, they help make your blood sugar more stable than lower-fat meals full of carbs.
Please don't be afraid of healthy fats like nuts, avocados, olive oil. Especially if you're eating a recommended diet that's low on simple carbs - meaning no processed flour products like pastries, cookies, donuts, and sugary treats.
Instead of getting your energy from a quick sugar fix - empty calories lacking any significant nutrition - you can get lots of energy from these healthy fats, and by using them for that, they won't end up getting stored in your body around your belly, thighs or anywhere else. You'll be skinny-mini, like me!
Almonds are known for helping to reduce cholesterol, and although high in calories, they are a great source of protein and they provide a whole range of important nutrients that are often not found in most people's diets (referring to the "standard American diet.")
Nuts are good for you!
So, why soak the nuts first?
I'll give you the short, lay-person version. Basically, nature is very smart. Nuts, as well as grains and legumes, have a protective coating to keep them from germinating until the ideal conditions are present (water, soil, sun.) Also, this coating keeps little bugs from eating them, so it is a natural self-preservation mechanism.
This coating around nuts, grains and legumes, however, when ingested by humans works as enzyme inhibitors, meaning, it makes these foods very difficult to digest. Have you ever eaten nuts that later felt really heavy in your tummy? Maybe even bloated?
Yep! Those nasty enzyme inhibitors!
AND, they also have something else called phytic acid which binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract, which prevents them from being absorbed in the intestine. This can lead to mineral deficiencies.
Lovely, right? Why didn't anybody tell you?!
Well, now you know. You will LOVE eating nuts after they've been soaked first. They taste better, are plump, and easily digestible!
How do you soak nuts?
It is SO easy! You simply soak the nuts in salt water overnight, which helps to neutralize the enzymes, and then, if you're not using them right away, you need to dry them.
For this recipe, just like in the Almond Milk recipe on the blog, you simply soak 1 cup of RAW almonds in a bowl, covered with fresh, purified water, with about 1/4 tsp of good salt. That's it! Let them soak overnight, covered with a light cloth or bamboo mat on the kitchen counter.
While you're at it, do the same thing, in a separate bowl, for 1 cup of pecans, if you have them, and 1 c. raw cashews for the cashew cream. (You won't need that much, but you'll have leftovers for snacks later.)
You will be amazed how the water looks in the morning! Full of gunk! So, drain the water, rinse the nuts, and they're ready to go!
NOTE: If you're not going to use them right away, dry them in a dehydrator, OR if you don't have one, in your oven at the lowest setting (hopefully at or under 150 degrees Fahrenheit.) Place them on a cookie sheet, and keep your eye on them, tossing them once in a while, till they are fully dry. You can then store them in an air-tight glass container and keep them in the fridge.)
Okay! Now on to our recipe!! It's fast and easy, really, I promise!
1/2 c. soaked almonds
1/2 c. soaked pecans (or other nuts)
1/2 c. cashew cream (see recipe HERE)
1/2 c. organic strawberries (conventional strawberries are not considered too safe...)
1/2 c. organic blueberries
1/2 c. sprouted lentils (optional, but highly recommended! See recipe HERE.)
In the morning, after you drain and rinse the nuts, place the almonds and pecans in a NutriBullet. Pulse them 1 second! You want them just barely chopped up, not turned into mush. (Or you can take the time to chop them with a knife.)
Place in your bowl.
Add desired amount of cashew cream.
Add your berries on top (In cold winter I like to slightly parboil berries into a semi-compote, otherwise fresh are great!)
And at the very top add your sprouted lentils. (See recipe HERE.)
And that is it! Now, if you're like me, go finish off the cashew cream and then lick the container!
Now, tell me PLEASE if you enjoyed this odd combination of nuts, luscious cashew cream, fruit and powerful lentil sprouts, ok? I love when you leave us COMMENTS BELOW!
Thanks for reading!