Good Morning, Washington!

I’m delighted to be a guest on GMW again this morning – this time to talk about grains and seeds!  It was hard to nail down which dishes I’d make this time, since the potential given the topic is endless…and hard, too, to nail down what we consider grains and seeds!  In short, grains are seeds – they’re the seeds of plants in the grass family.  We also eat the seeds of flowering plants (poppy, chia), legume plants (beans), and trees (nuts).  In their whole form, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds all contain protein, fat, and carbohydrate, though the ratios of those nutrients, specific amino acids, and micronutrient vary a lot between them.

Many seeds also contain phytic acid, a naturally occurring chemical that binds to minerals (limiting our absorption of them).  Cooking, sprouting, fermenting, and soaking can reduce phytic acid, so it’s not a matter of avoiding foods that contain it, just ensuring that you’re eating a variety of those foods through a variety of cooking methods!  Some research even shows beneficial effects from phytic acid, including cancer prevention and improvement of blood cholesterol.  So don’t be scared off by the “anti-nutrient” rap you may have heard…try these recipes and enjoy!

Get cookin!

All of these recipes are bulk-prep friendly – meaning that you can make batches at the beginning of the week to have a few times, cutting down on time in the kitchen, at the store, and just deciding what to have!  I love to have chia pudding as a breakfast base, a nutritious muffin as an afternoon snack, and some sort of bowl or single pot meal that reheats well for weeknight lunches and dinners.  If you need a menu planning & prep strategy, check out RealPlans – individualizable, easy and fun to use, and will have you trying lots of new recipes!

Bonus recipe!

For the Mexican Street Corn Quinoa Salad, I skipped the sour cream & mayo dressing in the recipe and made my own: so easy, SO delicious, and featuring a bonus seed: the cashew nut!  It’s creamy & protein-rich, just make sure you either soak them for a few hours ahead of time or have a high speed blender.

Smoky Southwest Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 c raw cashews
  • 1.5 c water
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions

Puree all ingredients together until smooth – makes enough for 8 servings, so halve it if you don’t need so much!

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