Date and Nut Balls

Ingredients:

4 cups roasted and salted peanuts
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups medjool dates - seeds removed

Directions:

Place 1 cup of the peanuts in a food processor and process until they are finely chopped

Add the dates and water and process until smooth

Place half of the remaining peanuts on a plate; take the date/nut dough from the food processor and work the peanuts into the dough.

Place the other half of the remaining peanuts on another plate. Form the dough into small balls (use a heaping teaspoon as a measurement) and then roll in the remaining peanuts, pressing them into the dough.

Place the date/nut balls into mini cupcake cups on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer until firm

Remove from the freezer about 30 minutes before serving

Notes:

Use medjool dates for best results as they are very sticky.

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Healthy Popcorn

Ingredients:

2/3 cups organic unpopped popcorn
4 teaspoons oil (I like peanut oil)

Seasoning Variation 1 -- Cheesy

1/8 cup nutritional yeast (also known as nooch by vegans)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
pinch of cayenne pepper---if you like it hot
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

Seasoning Variation 2 -- Bloody Mary

2 tablespoons tomato powder
big pinch of saffron
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Seasoning Variation 3 -- Everything Bagel

2 teaspoons toasted caraway seeds
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion powder

Seasoning Variation 4 -- Mexican Corn

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Directions:

Cook popcorn on the stovetop by placing oil in a pan and heating. Once hot, add the kernels and continuously shake until you no longer hear popping. Remove from heat to avoid burning. OR, use a Cuisinart Easy Pop Popcorn Maker (my preferred method). Place the oil and kernels in the maker, affix the lid, turn the machine on and wait for the kernels to pop. If you use an air popper, spray the popcorn lightly with olive oil so that the seasonings will stick. 

Place the seasoning ingredients in a coffee grinder or small food processor. Pulse until coarsely crushed. You can also use a mortar and pestle. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl and sprinkle the seasoning on top. Stir with a wooden spoon. Now enjoy!

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Hummus

Ingredients:

1 cup garbanzo beans (use either canned, soaked or sprouted)
1 tablespoon tahini
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Directions:

Mix all ingredients to desired consistency using a food processor. You can add more oil for a smoother consistency.

Variation:

Artichoke/lemon: add 1/2 cups of artichoke hearts and 2 tablespoons lemon to the ingredients above

Roasted red pepper: add 1/2 cups of roasted red peppers to the ingredients above

I LOVE to sprout! When you eat a sprouted food, you are putting a living food into your body and they are loaded with nutrition and protein. Most people only know about alfalfa sprouts but you can sprout so many other things--broccoli, any kind of bean, chives, radishes, clover....the list goes on. You can grow it right on your counter top at home in mason jars. I can't think of any home grown food that is more economical and nutritious.

How to sprout garbanzo beans:

Take one cup of dried garbanzo beans and put them in a quart mason jar. Place cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and tighten the metal ring (this is the simplest way--with supplies that you most likely have at home. I buy plastic rings with metal mesh screens because I am a serious sprouter). Pour water to cover the beans and then drain the water. Do this a few times--we are rinsing the beans. Then pour water to cover the beans plus another inch or two. Allow the beans to soak in the water for 12 hours. After 12 hours, drain the water, rinse beans two times and set the jar upside down in your dish drainer for the next 12 hours. Continue this for the next 2 days. The beans will start to sprout tails and are now ready for use.

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