Sprouted Mung Bean and Garlic Scapes Pesto

 

garlic scapes

 

It’s now halfway through the 10 Day Sprouting Challenge and I have to say, it’s been easy; because when you consider the other methods of sprouting, as in with the mason jar and the effort and babysitting required, having only to water my sprouts twice a day is the raw foods equivalent of “set it and forget it“!

From the moment I started the challenge I was already brainstorming ways to incorporate my sprouts into recipes, in a way that would be entry level for the newbie sprouters among us; so when I was on my weekly farmer’s market shop, and saw the beauty that are garlic scapes looking up at me for the low price of $2 for a giant bunch, I knew that somehow garlic scapes would find their way onto my plate- and this site!

So why is the everyone all a twitter about garlic scapes? Easy, because they are the perfect marriage between garlic and scallions. Now, don’t get me wrong, garlic scapes are 100% garlic but not the bulb; they are the immature flowering stalks of what we know as garlic, and have the same health benefits without all the sass.

Let’s rap about health benefits. Garlic is renowned for being antifungal and antibacterial; and garlic is a potent digestion system aid and immune booster, helping the body to eliminate unwanted toxins. As with most foods, cooked garlic doesn’t provide the same amount of potent vitamins and minerals, which, when you are considering eating the bulb of garlic raw proves challenging; however, because of the mild flavor profile of garlic scapes, eating them raw doesn’t seem like quite as much of a dare but, rather, an enjoyable experience.

You’re probably wondering “why am I just now hearing about garlic scapes?” And I’ll be honest, I felt the very same way when I discovered these gems; and, simply put, chefs we’re keeping this secret to themselves, but now that garlic scapes are so widely available at markets, everyone has jumped on the garlic scapes bandwagon.

Garlic scapes are so mild and subtle that I knew that they would offer some lightness to the depth of earthy flavor that characterizes mung bean sprouts; and because this pesto is raw AND sprouted, it’s pretty much one of the most life giving foods you can eat. As with any pesto, the herb you choose is completely up to you; I used Moroccan Mint because it was at the market and I LOVE mint, but should you hate mint and love basil, go ahead and make your day!

There are many ways to use garlic scapes, sprinkled over salad, in an omelette, and in various sauces; because of garlic scapes half scallion half garlic nature, you can substitute it for either in recipes- so many options, so please don’t limit yourself!

Sprouted Mung Bean and Garlic Scapes Pesto? Uh…yes please!

2 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 30 minutes and drained
2 heaping tbsp sprouted mung bean sprouts
1/3 cup garlic scapes
1 1/2 tbsp Moroccan Mint
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp coconut vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until desired consistency is achieved. For a raw spread, blend until incorporated but still chunky; for a pasta pesto sauce, blend until smooth.


Self Love For Valentine’s Day

Today is Valentine’s Day; and I, like many, take this day to reflect on love. As a single girl, this year I do not have an object to direct my affection; so instead I will reflect on loving thyself.

I’d like to tell you a story…

I used to be incredibly cruel to myself; when I was younger, I hated the reflection staring back at me. I blamed the chubby girl in the mirror for everything; I called her fat, stupid, ugly, worthless- anything an enemy could imagine saying to me, I had already said to myself.

I grew up thinking I didn’t deserve success, love, or the body I wanted; as a result, I sabotaged myself in many of my youthful endeavors. Convinced that love and happiness were joys reserved for others. I managed to hide these demons inside with a humorists approach to life; I’d laugh and crack jokes, hoping that while others laughed they wouldn’t be able to see my sadness. I managed to fool everyone; but it became increasingly hard for me to run from my own truth. I lived like this for years; and although I lost weight and began to date in my post secondary days, I still felt worthless. The reflection in the mirror had changed but what I saw remained the same.

2010 was the year that something dramatic changed. I decided that I really wanted to like Bianca. I wanted her to be happy; I wanted to be able to look into the mirror and love the reflection staring back at me, regardless of waist size or mood. This also happened to coincide with the realization that I wanted to use my skills to empower myself, and others- my skill was what I could do with food!

I’d lived for years with a love/hate relationship with food; although I loved it, I felt like it hated me. I blamed food for making me fat, and unlovable. When I decided to quit catering, and focus on what food meant to me and how I wanted to use my skills to improve my life, I immediately felt empowered. Over the last two years, I have helped others transform their lives and in the process completely changed my own.

I had an AHA moment recently, I was looking the mirror, naked, and for the first time in almost EVER I liked what I saw; I didn’t feel gross, hatred for the reflection or the desire to change anything- I genuinely liked the girl in the mirror. I get weepy thinking about it, because I had never felt that way before. I will never forget that moment.

For a very long time, I had never realized the importance of self love; but from the moment I decided to take charge of the love I had for myself, my career took off and my relationships improved, because I genuinely believe that I deserve love, success and happiness. This isn’t to say that I don’t have days where I feel like crap- I do; I’m not perfect and I will never profess to be. However, being imperfect and having flaws doesn’t, for one second, mean that I am undeserving of love.

Love- SELF LOVE, changed everything!

So this Valentine’s Day, the object of my affection is me. I ask every woman to take today, the day of love, to reaffirm the love she has for herself. Say it LOUD and be proud; shout it from the highest rooftop “I LOVE ME!”

I wish to you, my lovely readers and friends, a happy and love filled Valentine’s Day.

You are loved!


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Love Thy Self- Self Love Pep Talk!

self love, confidence, positive thinking

We all have those days when we feel blah. We look in the mirror and instead of seeing strong, beautiful women, we see all the things we dislike about ourselves; a roll here, a wrinkle there, you name it. I have those days on occasion; where I find myself being over critical of everything. I get into a mood, I lose all motivation to exercise or cook healthy meals; and the negative self talk kicks into high gear. Serving only to feed the bad energy.

It’s seems to be a part of the female existence; because we, as women, tend to be very hard on ourselves. Questing for the perfect body, an amazing career and strong relationships can be a heavy burden to bear and it can get to be a little much. And, although it is easy to blame society and the media, the responsibility falls on us to stand together in solidarity; and shout from the rooftops that WE ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY WE ARE.

Could I stand to lose 10 pounds? Maybe. Would I like to make more money? Who wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean that who I am, in this very moment, isn’t worthy of happiness. Self love is so often calibrated on factors that have nothing to do with true love; and it can be so easy to attempt to measure our merits on things that have no bearing on our worth as women, mothers, daughter, wives and human beings.

I wax poetic about stopping the clock, losing weight, eating healthy; and I do this, not for the sake of vanity, but because I believe that we are all worthy of the abundance that living a healthy life brings. And when we fill our heads with negative thoughts, they begin to permeate our minds and deceive us into thinking that we aren’t worthy of this abundance.

Appreciating where we are at this very moment is easier said than done, I struggle with it all the time; but when a mood hits, being in the now is what helps me climb out of the doldrums and get my groove back. Taking the time to exercise, eat healthy and take inventory of the wonderful things I continue to accomplish on a daily basis goes a long way to helping me appreciate my station in life and my body- rolls, wrinkles and all!


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