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Sweet Potato Sugar Cookies.

Since I can’t keep up with his awesomeness, El Diablo took it upon himself to share his latest in kitchen alchemy on his blog.  Yes, he has a blog…who knew?

At any rate these cookies are the business. They are relatively healthy as cookies go and they have received rave reviews and endorsements from Amy’s kiddos including, “I love it! It’s my favorite!”

They are my favorite too.

Check out his recipe in the above link. I may return when I come down from the mountain of grading to tell the story of how the cookies came to be.

 Through a strange series of events I recently acquired a live-in indentured servant.  That may sound like a wonderful thing, and surely it is; however, we’re both still coming to terms with the change.   While I am adapting to the loss of my quiet solitude and independence, she is adjusting to eating (and usually preparing) the vegetarian menu. 

Earlier this week she baked vegan pumpkin cupcakes at my request.  They were so good that she baked another batch a couple days later to share with her friends.

 “I just won’t tell anyone they’re vegan.”  She said. 

I was bewildered by that statement, so I asked, “Why not tell people?”

“Because they won’t understand.”

“What’s not to understand?”

“Vegan sounds healthy, and people don’t think health food tastes good.”

“You need to tell everyone they’re vegan to eliminate that ridiculous misconception.”

“Ok, I’ll tell them after they eat it.”

This exchange left me thinking about culture and the role of language and perception in food taste.

First, why would the terms “healthy” or “vegan” automatically be perceived as something that doesn’t taste good?

Second, when I think “cupcakes,” I don’t think “health food,” vegan or not.  Despite the mass quantity of sugar, I suppose vegan pumpkin cupcakes do have relative health merits – vitamins A, E, C & K to name a few. Plus pumpkin is a pretty good source of iron. Still, it is a cupcake! Cupcakes are usually considered “junk food.”

Finally, on a related note, why would something that stays “fresh” in a box on a grocery store shelf for months (e.g., Twinkies) be perceived as food at all?  (Hint: an annual $10,000,000,000 food marketing machine.)

Truly man is the king of beasts, for his brutality exceeds them. We live by the death of others. We are burial places.

—Leonardo Da Vinci

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.

—Leo Tolstoy

Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

 

******

To all I haven’t scared off with the above quotes,

Welcome to the latest adventure in my vegetarian escapades: broccoli sprouts! 

Broccoli is good for you.   We all know that.  It contains a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane, which helps the liver detoxify carcinogens and other funky stuff that floats around in your body, wrecking havoc on the system.  What you may not know is that broccoli sprouts contain 10-100 times the amount of this compound than mature broccoli.  Thus, eating one ounce of broccoli sprouts is roughly the equivalent of eating a pound and a half of broccoli.  Who knew?   

Here’s the weird thing about broccoli sprouts: They taste nothing like broccoli and they burn. Horseradish is one of their cruciferous cousins. I didn’t know this before hand and I was alarmed by the fire that ignited in my mouth and throat when I began gobbling them down with wild abandon.  They need to come with a warning and recipes.  So there’s your warning and in a little bit, I’ll give you recipes.  Consider this an altruistic public service announcement.  Or if you’d prefer, you can send me money.

Here’s how I made the healthful burning magic happen:

          1.  Buy sprouting seeds and sprouting containers. 

This can be done easily online at Handy Pantry by clicking  HERE.  (I’ve also found their sprouts at Whole Foods.)

          2. Pour two tablespoons of broccoli sprouting seeds into a tray, put the tray in the sprouting cover, fill it with water, and soak ’em overnight.

          3. Let the water drain from the tray and cover the tray with the cover. Rinse and drain seeds three or four times a day for three or four days. 

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

          4. Uncover tray and put the tray in the sunlight for about a day so the sprouts will start producing chlorophyll.  Rinse them a couple times this day too.

          5. Remove hulls by letting them soak in water so thell hulls float up to the surface.  Pour them off the top. 

          6. Enjoy!

Below you’ll find a couple ideas and links to recipes for the sprouts.

1. Top off salads with broccoli sprouts.

2. Add ’em to veggie burgers in place of lettuce.

3. Dana of zona pellucida said she makes a mean multi-sprout springroll, which sounds amazing.

4. Spicy broccoli sprout sushi.

I haven’t tried this one yet, but given their heat, I bet broccoli sprouts would add the perfect kick.

****

(image courtesy of Tim Ferriss: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/)

In the spirit of full disclosure, Handy Pantry graciously supplied the broccoli sprouts pictured in this blog in exchange for the sprouting tutorial I wrote above.  All opinions of said broccoli sprouts are soley mine. 🙂

If you want to read something completely untainted by trade agreements, though still touting sprouting, you may check out  my first post on the topic:  Sprout it Out Loud

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