10 Incredible Buddha Bowls to Update Your Diet

Buddha bowls are typically viewed as a complicated meal that only professional nutritionists are able to make. But in reality, even the laziest girl in the world can make it herself. Buddha bowls are known for their versatility, healthy nutrients, and variety. One bowl can keep your energy going all day long and boost your overall wellness. While Buddha bowls are easy to make, perhaps you find yourself confusing about what to put into your bowl.

1. Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl


Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Subtly spiced, comforting and amazingly delicious, this Buddha bowl will rock your entire world in a jiffy. Get the recipe here.

2. Noodle Buddha Bowl


Noodle Buddha Bowl
Fuel your brain and make your stomach happy with a protein- and antioxidant-packed bowl. Find the recipe here.

3. Turmeric Sweet Potato Bowl


Turmeric Sweet Potato Bowl
The main spice in curry, turmeric can turn any meal into a masterpiece. Spice up your sweet potato bowl with this spice for added healing properties. Get the recipe here.

4. Spinach Quinoa Patty Bowl


Spinach Quinoa Patty Bowl
When superfoods combined together, they create a fantastically healthy Buddha super bowl that will provide your body with so much needed phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are crucial for your health. Get the recipe here.

5. Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl


Brussels Sprouts Eggplant Buddha Bowl
One of my favorite Buddha bowls, this one is a true goodness for health food junkies. Plus, it is so fast to make. Get the recipe here.

6. Vegan Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl


Vegan Thai Tempeh Buddha Bowl
Rich in protein, a Thai tempeh Buddha bowl is an excellent way to get this vital nutrient when you go vegan. Find the recipe here.

7. BBQ Tempeh With Vegan Ranch Bowl


BBQ Tempeh With Vegan Ranch Bowl
After all, the barbecue season is approaching so fast. Get the recipe here.

8. Winter Buddha Bowl


Winter Buddha Bowl
But since it is the cold season outside, enjoy your comforting and satisfying winter Buddha bowl right now. Get the recipe here.

9. Roasted Rainbow Winter Bowl


Roasted Rainbow Winter Bowl
Mix up your favorite healthy foods in one rainbow-inspired meal. Find the recipe here.

10. Moroccan Couscous, Chickpeas, and Olives Bowl


Moroccan Couscous, Chickpeas, and Olives Bowl
Nutrient-packed Buddha bowl is a great way to update your diet and help you drop a few pounds along the way. Get the recipe here.

All these Buddha bowls are perfect for your waistline when you enjoy them in moderation. The next time hunger strikes out of the sky, allow yourself to cook one of these bowls.

The Benefits of Sprouts and Microgreens

Sprouts of certain seeds and nuts are an inexpensive and simple way to add extra nutrients to the diet. They are easy to grow at home and the ultimate local superfood. Even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can grow a jar of sprouts on your kitchen counter!

I’ve made different types of sprouts on and off for years and had stopped making them for a while, then my doctor recommended broccoli sprouts to help support my thyroid. This renewed my interest in making them, but I was also curious to learn more about them.

What are Sprouts?

Sprouting is a process of germinating seeds or beans to create sprouts which can be eaten cooked or raw (depending on the type). Sprouts are often added to salads, stir frys and other dishes.

Most types of nuts, grains and seeds can be sprouted and many can be easily sprouted at home with minimal equipment (see tutorial here).

The process of sprouting makes beans and seeds (and grains) easier to digest and increases the nutritional profile. In fact, if I eat grains (other than white rice), I make sure they are properly soaked or sprouted.

Benefits of Sprouting

Just like the plants themselves, different sprouts have different benefits, but in general, they are beneficial in several ways:

Neutralize Anti-Nutrients & Phytic Acid

Sprouting helps break down anti-nutrients in nuts, grains and seeds that can make them difficult to digest, especially for those with underlying digestive or autoimmune issues. Anti-nutrients like Phytic Acid bind to magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron, making them harder to digest. In nature, this serves the purpose of allowing the seeds to pass through the digestive system of an animal intact and then grow into a plant.

This is beneficial for the seeds, but not so helpful for those of us trying to utilize the nutrients in our foods. Sprouting solves this problem by breaking down anti-nutrients, enzyme inhibitors and lectins. (1) In fact, soaking and sprouting for even one day can reduce the anti-nutrient content by 90% or more.

At the same time, sprouting increases the content of many beneficial nutrients and amino acids by making them more available to the body.

Ever gotten gas from consuming beans? Chances are you won’t notice this problem if you consume properly soaked and sprouted legumes as the compounds that cause digestive disturbances and gas are broken down.

Increase Beneficial Enzymes

It is estimated that there are up to 100 times more beneficial enzymes in sprouts that in raw vegetables. The rapidly growing sprouts need these enzymes for their own growth and cellular health make them beneficial for us as well.

Sprouts are also an excellent source of enzyme inducers that protect against chemical carcinogens (2)

More Vitamins & Minerals

Sprouting increases the vitamin and mineral content of nuts and seeds and increases the nutrient absorption of these foods. Sprouting dramatically increases the content of B-Vitamins, Carotene and Vitamin C. (3, 4)

Sprouts are considered a good source of (non-complete) proteins, antioxidants and minerals. One study found a 10x increase in antioxidants like rutin from only three days of sprouting. (5) Sprouting increases the amino acid content of nuts and seeds, especially of certain beneficial amino acids like Lysine. (6)

Create Protective Compounds

Sprouts are high in a variety of compounds that help protect the body. When a person consumes a sprout, he or she is essentially consuming the entire plant and getting all the benefits of that plant.

Sprouts contain antioxidants and enzymes that support healthy cell regeneration and protect against free radical damage. Different types of sprouts support the body in various ways:

Broccoli sprouts contain sulforaphane, a cancer-fighting compound that has been extensively studied (7) Sprouts contain 10-100x as much sulforaphane than adult broccoli plants and are often recommended for this reason. (Fair warning- they stink when sprouting)
Alfalfa sprouts are quick growing and a good source of Vitamins C and K and B-Vitamins. They are also a source of saponins, which are said to help balance cholesterol and support the immune system
Most sprouts are a good source of hydrolytic enzymes that help the body assimilate food
Clover sprouts are a good source of isoflavones
Sunflower sprouts are high in protein, phytosterols, essential fatty acids and fiber
Lentil sprouts are an excellent source of protein and a great way to consume lentils
Soaking vs. Sprouting

Soaking is a great way to reduce the harmful compounds in some nuts, beans and seeds by soaking them in warm water with an acidic substance (like lemon juice) added for a certain amount of time.

Sprouting is an extension of soaking. An acidic medium is not usually used, and a process if followed that allows the seed to germinate and start to grow. Some foods like beans should always be soaked before consuming, but don’t necessarily need to be sprouted.

Others, especially seeds and some nuts, benefit from the additional step of sprouting.

What to Sprout?

Beans and nuts can always be soaked and most can sprout. A few nuts, like pecans and walnuts, do not sprout and are better to soak. Alfalfa seeds are a controversial plant to sprout as they contain canavanine, which some sources say are harmful to humans because it can inhibit the immune system. (8) (Though this article gives a good explanation of why alfalfa sprouts may be perfectly safe.)

Chia, Hemp and Flax seeds are difficult to sprout and are not typically sprouted, though they can be (I recommend growing as microgreens instead).

Red Kidney beans should not be sprouted as they contain a toxic compound once they sprout. They can be soaked but must be cooked before eating.

Best Things to Sprout:

Most nuts (except those listed above)
Most grains (if you consume them)
Most Seeds including Pumpkin, Sesame, Chia, Radish, Alfalfa, Broccoli, Red Clover, Sunflower, and others
Most Beans – Lentils and Mung Beans are the most common for sprouting
Problems with Sprouts?

Sprouts have gotten some negative attention lately for their potential to carry bacteria that cause food borne illness. In the past, they have been connected to outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli. So are sprouts too dangerous to eat? Not so fast…

The bacteria that causes illness is often found on the seed itself and proper preparation and sprouting methods can help avoid problems. It is also possible to find seeds that have been tested for bacteria, which MAY help reduce the likelihood of a bacteria that causes illness.

The jar or vessel used for sprouting should also be washed or sterilized before each use and care should be taken to wash hands and any surfaces near the sprouts. Following the proper rinsing schedule also minimizes risk.

One source recommends soaking sprouts in a lemon juice and water solution (1 part juice to 6 parts water) for 10-15 minutes before consuming since the pH of the lemon juice helps kill any bacteria on the sprouts.

Bottom line: sprouts do carry the potential for food borne illness but they also have a lot of health benefits. Statistically, a person is more likely to get sick from eating meat or eggs, but illness definitely can be caused by sprouts. Do your own research and make sure you understand the risks and benefits before consuming sprouts.

What I do: I personally still feel comfortable sprouting nuts and seeds and consuming them regularly. I would absolutely soak and sprout any grains or beans I consume, since these are cooked anyway, which would reduce the likelihood of bacteria related problems.

Microgreens: A Better Solution?

I’ve been experimenting lately with growing microgreens, which are essentially very small edible plants (like lettuce, radishes, beets, watercress, spinach, herbs and greens) that are harvested when they are very young instead of being allowed to grow to full size.

They carry many of the same benefits as sprouts, but since they are grown in soil under normal growing conditions, they don’t carry the risk for illness. This can be done indoors or outdoors and seeds that are normally sprouted can just as easily be grown as microgreens and still contain the extra nutrients:

The researchers looked at four groups of vitamins and other phytochemicals – including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — in 25 varieties of microgreens. They found that leaves from almost all of the microgreens had four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant. But there was variation among them – red cabbage was highest in vitamin C, for instance, while the green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E. (9)

While sprouts are germinated and grown in just water, microgreens are grown in soil with sunlight or a grow light and contain higher levels of certain nutrients. They are also incredibly easy to grow and I grow them in our kitchen with a simple seed tray and grow light.

Some seeds, like chia and flax, are easier to grow as microgreens than as sprouts.

Check out this tutorial on how to grow sprouts and microgreens in your own kitchen.

Ever had sprouts? What is growing in your kitchen?

How to Grow Sprouts In Your Kitchen

“A total hippie food”… that was what I thought as I looked down at the turkey, sprouts, and avocado sandwich on flax bread that my friend had insisted I “had to try.”

This was well before my transition to real food and I wasn’t enthralled with the rather dry sandwich, but I really liked the texture of the sprouts.

These days, if sprouts are hippie food, I must be a hippie because I have some growing on my counter right now.

Turns out, sprouts have a lot of health benefits and are an inexpensive and easy-to-grow local superfood.

Why Grow Sprouts at Home?

Sprouts are soaked and germinated seeds, nuts or grains that are full of beneficial enzymes, vitamins and amino acids. They are also incredibly easy to grow at home on a kitchen counter with plain water and minimal equipment.

I prefer to sprout any beans or grains that I consume to make the nutrients more bioavailable and to reduce lectins and phytic acid. I also like sprouting certain seeds and nuts for adding to salads and stir frys.

Sprouts are incredibly nutritious and inexpensive, and take only a few days to grow. Sprouting increases the nutrient content of seeds and legumes and makes them easier to digest. If you’ve never tried to grow sprouts at home, you are missing out on an easy way to have fresh food year round.

The most common seeds used to grow sprouts are:

  • Alfalfa
  • Broccoli Seeds
  • Red Clover Seeds
  • Lentils
  • Mung Beans
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Chia Seeds

Supplies to Grow Sprouts

There is equipment specifically designed for sprouting, like sprouting trays, which make sprouting easier and allow for more growth at once, but all that is really needed are:

  • A wide-mouth quart size or half gallon size mason jar
  • A Sprouting lid or a piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band
  • A bowl or box to help the jar stand upside-down at an angle
  • Organic Sprouting seeds (I buy mine in bulk here) – Make sure they are specifically labeled “sprouting seeds” and “organic”

How to Grow Sprouts

 

  1. Wash hands well and make sure that all equipment is clean and sterile.
  2. Pour one type of seed into the jar. Use about 1 teaspoon of small seeds like alfalfa or broccoli or 1/4 cup of beans and lentils (for a quart size jar).
  3. Cover with 1 cup of filtered water and put lid or cheesecloth over the jar.
  4. Allow to soak for up to 12 hours. It is often easiest to do this at night and soak overnight.
  5. In the morning, strain off the water. This is easily done with a sprouting lid. If you are using a cheesecloth, strain through a fine strainer and return to jar.
  6. Rinse well with filtered water and drain again.
  7. Place upside down at a slight angle so that excess water can drain off and air can get in. I find a dish rack or medium size bowl is perfect for this.
  8. Re-rinse the sprouts several times a day with filtered water, returning to the tilted position each time.
  9. You should see sprouting in a day or two and most sprouts are ready to harvest in 3-7 days.
  10. When done sprouting, rinse thoroughly in cool, filtered water and store in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.

There are some important notes about growing sprouts. Please read this article for cautions and specific instructions. Some seeds (like walnuts and pecans) do not sprout and some beans (like Kidney beans) are dangerous and should never be eaten sprouted. Also, special care should be taken to avoid bacteria growth in sprouts.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Brussel sprouts… the dreaded vegetable of childhood! Cooked the right way, these can become a (kid-approved) favorite! They are also a great addition to a Thanksgiving or holiday menu!

My kids call brussel sprouts mini cabbages, and love the addition of bacon. This is an great vegetable to add to a quick dinner, and it is super easy to make.

If you haven’t tried brussel sprouts since childhood, I’d encourage trying this healthy and delicious version! My kids actually like drizzling the cooked version with a little raw honey for a sweet and salty mix!

These delicious roasted brussel sprouts are a simple and fast kid-favorite recipe at our house. Roasted brussel sprouts make a perfect side for chicken or fish and it comes together in half an hour with only one baking pan needed.

Delicious Brussel Sprouts!

This recipe was inspired by a restaurant I once visited. I didn’t think I liked brussel sprouts but I tried them because everything was served family style and I was absolutely blown away by how good they were! After many attempts, this recipe is pretty close.

Usually, when I make these, I let the kids help by chopping the Brussels Sprouts in halves or quarters. I keep one of these crinkle cutters on hand for each child so they can help without cutting their fingers. I also let them chop carrots and celery for snacks or parsnips, zucchini, etc for soups.

These roasted Brussel Sprouts also make a great side dish to bring to events and leftovers are good scrambled in eggs the next day.

Don’t think you are a Brussels Sprouts person? You’ve probably just never had them prepared well. Try these… they might change your mind!

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts Recipe

prep 5 mins

cook 25 mins

total 30 mins

author wellness mama

yield 4 +

The dreaded vegetable of childhood can be feared no longer! This delicious recipe will convert even the most adamant opponent of brussel sprouts into a fan!

Ingredients

1 pound fresh Brussels Sprouts
1 medium size yellow onion
4 slices of thick cut pastured bacon
1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper
optional: 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut or olive oil
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and dry the Brussels Sprouts.
Chop in to quarters or halves (or let kids help with this step)
Place on a large baking sheet.
Slice onion and add to baking sheet.
Cut bacon in to 1/2 inch pieces and add to baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to mix.
Place in oven and bake 25-30 minutes until Brussels Sprouts are starting to brown and bacon is cooked. Toss 3-4 times throughout cooking to prevent sticking.
If using balsamic vinegar, toss in to pan in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking to let it caramelize.
Enjoy!
Drizzle the mixture with olive or coconut oil and mix well.