Looks decadent doesn’t it? Sure, you can have this for dessert, but its also great for breakfast, or even dinner…I’m eating it as I type right now and its 5:27pm =)
Quinoa is a complete protein. That means it has all the essential amino acids that your body needs, just like a piece of steak, without all the saturated fat and cholesterol. Quinoa is a whole grain, well, actually its a seed, but its used the same way you would use millet, barley, rice or couscous. One serving of quinoa (1/3 cup) has only 2.5 grams of fat. Besides being so versatile and a complete protein, its full of niacin and thiamin, which help your metabolism.
Tofu and Probiotics:
On to the tofu, tofu is made from fermented soy beans. I mentioned probiotics in another post, so here is where I”m going to get into that. In our gut we have what the experts call “gut flora”. There’s bad bacteria, and good bacteria. There’s a whole world going on inside your gut. The good bacteria are like little soldiers. They teach your body how to protect itself, in turn boosting your immune system. (So really they’re like soldiers with PhDs. hehe) They fight off the bad bacteria, they help us produce vitamins, they even produce hormones that regulate our fat, helping us to loose weight. Many times people have an over abundance of BAD GUT FLORA. That means that they are sick, they are tired, they are depressed and anxious. This happens for many reasons, but one of the big ones is that they aren’t eating the right foods. One way to get your gut flora back in order is to stop eating crap. (god I seem to say that a lot lol), but if you’ve already done that and you’re still not feeling top notch, you might need to give your gut a kick start. This is where eating probiotics comes in. Probiotics are found in fermented foods. So for my non-vegan friends, you might have heard that yogurt commercial saying it had probiotics in it? Well it does…they all do. Yogurt is fermented, so ALL yogurt has probiotics. (that commercial is just a bunch of hoopla, their yogurt is no better then anyone else’s yogurt) But there’s also probiotics in other fermented foods. So fear not vegans, because we can benefit too! Tofu, Tempeh, and kimchi (a spicy fermented cabbage) all have a ton of probiotics!
On top of all that goodness, it too is a complete protein.
On that note, I will say that when soy beans are fermented they become easily digestible, however that processed soy protein bar you’re eating? Its not good for you. So stop eating it…”according to the extensively researched book, The Whole Soy Story: the dark side of America’s favorite health food, by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN….the Chinese first started eating soybeans about 2,500 years ago, after they figured out how to ferment it. Somehow, the ancient Chinese knew that soybeans still contain many toxins after cooking and thus avoiding eating it until they learned to neutralize those toxins through fermentation. And in traditional Asian diets, soy is only used in small amounts as a condiment, with pork, seafood and other animals providing the bulk of the protein. Only very recently has soy been eaten the way we typically eat it, consuming large amounts in an unfermented and often highly processed form. Soy was originally considered an inedible plant, used to fix nitrogen in the soil. Even today you can find people from farming families who remember that as the primary use of soy.” (http://www.optimumchoices.com/Soy.htm)
Soy mimics estrogen, so for women going through menopause, eating tofu is a really good idea.
Cinnamon is anti-clotting, improving circulation. It is anti-inflamatory, helps control blood sugar, and the scent boosts your brain power. Yes, just smelling cinnamon makes you smarter. This spice has been used in Eastern Medicine for thousands of years.
(makes 2 servings)
- 1/2 cup silken tofu
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 dashes stevia
Mix it all up in a food processor, blender, or very well with a spoon.
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 8 dried apricots, cut into little pieces
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tbls cinnamon
- 2 tbls honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 crushed nuts (I used Brazil nuts, but raw almonds, or walnuts would work very well too)
Cook the Quinoa over low heat, covered, in the water for about 15 minutes. Its done when all the water is absorbed. Take it off the heat, and mix the cooked quinoa with everything but the chopped nuts, and stir to combine.
Top it with the tofu sauce, and then the nuts. Enjoy!