Chocolate, Sprouts and Broth

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No, I don’t have a recipe to share with you that uses those three ingredients. (That would be pushing the limits for sure). I realized I needed to answer some questions about sprouts and I also wanted to include some of my tips for how I use broth for Cheeseslave’s carnival today, and who can resist saying one more thing about chocolate?

So before we get into broth and sprouts, let me say one more thing about chocolate. And thank you everyone, for sharing your delicious and nourishing chocolate recipes yesterday. It was great!

With excellent timing, while I was in the midst of adding chocolate links in yesterday, I got a package from Navitas Naturals. They had kindly sent me a new item to try which was particularly fitting for the day. It was raw cocoa nips that are covered with chocolate liquor and cane juice (pictured above).Β  I eagerly opened them to try, as all those chocolate recipes were making me hungry! I have to say, that they are really delicious! Definitely the best cocoa nips I’ve ever tried. They have a slightly crunchy outside texture, and they sort of remind me of chocolate covered coffee beans. They would be so delicious in ice cream (perhaps like Kimberly’s Mocha Ice Cream with Cocoa Nips!) or added to a trail mix. So all cocoa nib lovers, take note.

Now, to answer some of your questions about sprouting (for more info on sprouting, check out my post Why Sprout)

Sprouting Q & A

Q: How long do sprouts last?

A: This depends on what you are sprouting. I find that sprouted grains and lentils should be used up a bit faster, as sometimes they can continue to sprout while in the refrigerator (lentils with a 1/4 inch sprout tail are nice, but with an inch long tail aren’t as pleasant). I also read that they can become bitter after more than a few days. I just used some sprouted lentils to make my Curried Sprouted Lentil dish and the lentils were 4-5 days old, and it was just starting to get to the point where I wouldn’t want to use them anymore.

Just make sure that you always store your sprouts dry! If they are wet, they will spoil very quickly.

Now, for a more “green” sprout like clover, they can actually last a very long time. According to Sprout People, they can even last up to 6 weeks if stored properly!

Q: I am new to sprouting….so here is a basic question. When you sprout the beans or lentils do you just use them in your recipe as you would have unsprouted?

A: I am still in the “experimental” stages of using sprouted beans and lentils in recipes. This is what I have found out so far. First, they don’t take as long to cook, think about half the amount of time. Secondly, they don’t need as much water to cook. You are more “steaming” them. They don’t seem to absorb water like non-sprouted beans do. Because of that, you will probably want to lower the amount of water in recipes, and also expect the consistency to be different. I noticed that my sprouted black bean soup I made the other day wasn’t quite as “creamy” as when made with soaked beans. Something in the texture had changed, and the outer ‘skin’ of the bean, if you will seemed just a bit more assertive.

Q :I have loved reading your recipes. I am trying to find a good – doable- recipe for sprouted Ezekiel Bread. I love the Food For Life brand – but it is pricey and I want to make it myself. Any ideas on this? Have you made it? I will definitely follow the colander method for my sprouting- how easy for large batches.

A: I have been reading about some different ways to make sprouted bread. I think that it is certainly doable, but will take a little skill to really be able to mimic the store bought kind. Some of the grains they use are a little harder to sprout, so it may take a little practice to get the sprouting right for all of the different types of grains. Before I work on a recipe for yeasted sprouted bread, I am probably going to try to make some “essense” bread, sometimes also called manna bread. It’s a non-yeasted sprouted bread that is usually cooked at a low temperature. It’s not as light as the yeasted sprouted breads, but I have to watch yeast consumption in my family. If I come up with something good, I will share it for sure!

Q: This seems like a silly question, and the answer is probably β€œno,” but can you sprout split legumes? We use a lot of chana dal, which are split black grams. I know I can soak them, too, but I would love to start sprouting if I can.-

A: My understanding is that you have to use “whole” legumes to be able to sprout, so you are right, the answer is “no”. πŸ™‚

Broth

All winter I have been planning on doing a post about the wonders of broth, but just haven’t gotten to it yet. So today I offer you just a few thoughts on broth.

Broth Saves Time

Last night, I had a huge pot of turkey broth going. Elena has been fighting off a chest cold, and so life has been a little bit crazy the last few days. But with the broth happily simmering away, I was able to simply skim off a cup of rich, delicious, nutritious stock (poured through a little tiny strainer), salt it, and give it to my sick daughter to enjoy at any moment. Many may feel that making stock is just too time consuming, but in my experience, it actually is a huge time saver! To continue on in my story of yesterday, Elena had several glasses (she would rather drink it in a cup then use a bowl) through the morning and afternoon along with her other food, and then for dinner, I made a hearty soup out of some more broth. I was fighting off the same cold, so it was such a relief to have something so healing and easy to serve.

Broth Utilizes Leftovers

The other wonderful thing about broth/stock, is that it helps you not waste anything. I mentioned this in my post about lamb broth. But even beyond using up bones, you can also use up vegetables that have seen better days. Another addition I tried the other day was the stems from cilantro. I made my cilantro sauce one night, and I didn’t want all of those flavorful stems to go to waste. I added it in to my pot with some bones from some chicken legs, carrots, onions and celery, and the next morning we woke up to a delicious, fragrant broth that would be perfect for a Mexican soup. Broth helps you not waste which helps you save money in an extraordinary way.

For more about broth, visit the carnival devoted to broth today, over at Cheeseslave’s.

And so, there you have it, chocolate, sprouts and broth.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. Kimber says

    I was wondering why I don’t ever see a recipe for pork bone broth. Is there something I’m missing?? Is there some reason NOT to use pork bones to make bone broth?

    Thanks so much!

    • KimiHarris says

      Hi Kimber,

      I think the reason you don’t often see bone broths for pork is because many of us don’t eat pork as much. And if we do, it’s more often in the from of bacon and sausage (at least it is in my kitchen!). I don’t eat pork products a lot, but I would think that pork bones would be great in a broth!

  2. annie says

    When I cook a pork butt for tamales I get a great broth which I then use as the liquid when I mix up the masa for the outside of the tamale. However, it never sounds appetizing as a soup base or for drinking straight. Beef, chicken, and lamb broth are all lovely but I just can’t see relishing a cup of hot pork broth. I love broth. I just found a bunch of organic chicken necks for 99 cents a pound at whole foods and after I make chicken murgh masala I’ll use the bones with the neck for an enormous batch of broth.

  3. Rosy says

    My Daddy likes to use a ham bone to make bean soup. He likes pinto beans and onions in it. I can’t remember what all he uses. He also makes cornbread to have on the side. Always yummy.

  4. Angela says

    I’d still really love to know whether anyone has ever soaked cocoa beans and whether it might help those of us who are chocolate intolerant? Or, are cocoa beans a different type of bean altogether. And, if anyone knows whether you then dehydrate them and grind them into cocoa powder? My husband adores chocolate but can’t have it, and I’d love to come up with a way that wouldn’t bother his sensitive system.

  5. says

    Angela,

    That is an interesting question! I have never heard of anyone soaking chocolate beans (they generally come already roasted), but you could get some raw ones and try! Anyone else ever heard about soaking chocolate beans?

  6. says

    Kimi, Can you post the recipe for your blackbean soup please? I’d love to give it a try. I usually make blackbean curry/almost like a chili yesterday with some shopped green peppers added in the last 5 mins. I just made it yesterday and was wondering how it would taste if I sprouted the beans. and here’s the answer in your today’s post! πŸ™‚

  7. says

    Hey, I am a long time lurker and have to come out of hiding to comment on the chocolate question. Here is a quote from my Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia:

    “The processing of the cacao seeds, better known as cocoa beans, is complex. The fruit harvest is cured or fermented in a pulpy state for three to nine days, during which the heat kills the seeds and turns them brown. The enzymes activated by fermentation impart the substances that will give the beans their characteristic chocolate flavor later during roasting. The beans are then dried in the sun and cleaned in special machines before they are roasted to bring out the chocolate flavor. They are then shelled in a crushing machine and ground into chocolate. During the grinding, the fat melts, producing a sticky liquid called chocolate liquor, which is used to make chocolate candy or is filtered to remove the fat and then cooled and ground to produce cocoa powder.”

    That said, cocoa powder seems to set better with me than chocolate bars (although I still eat them), but I don’t understand why. Maybe it is the fat or the other ingredients. Most chocolate candy has soy in it, in some form. Maybe that is it. I don’t know.

    By the way, on another subject, about a year ago, while making vinegar from homegrown apple juice, I ended up with what seems to me to be a kombucha mushroom! (!!!) I transferred it to different juice, lastly tomato juice, and just yesterday decided to try making kombuch with a couple of its babies. When I was cleaning up my vinegar-making laboratory (also known as “kitchen”) I found I had about a dozen of the mushrooms, but the jar with most of them had green and black mold on top. I went to dump that down the garbage disposal and the carbonation was quite impressive! LOL! So, I have a jar of “kombucha” working, now, and I am praying that it works.

    That first batch of “kombucha” which showed up out of nowhere smelled like a luscious fizzy apple wine which I could not bring myself to drink, but I used it as vinegar. I think I have good bacterias around here. LOL!

    Anyway, I am a very new convert to the Nourishing Traditions way of eating. I was a vegan for many years and I have many health problems. I have been following your blog for a little while now and enjoy it.

    πŸ˜€

  8. says

    Oh, by the way, I recently made my first batch of bone broth. I used beef bones from a friend who sells grass-fed beef, pork bones from a half pig we bought, and bones from a bucket I keep in the freezer. I simmered it for four days. The bones were so soft, I could have mashed them with a little effort, but I gave them to the chickens. Did I cook it too long? I don’t like the flavor and neither does my husband. Maybe I didn’t do it right. I put the bones in the pot, covered them with water, added 1/4 cup vinegar and boiled. I didn’t mean to do it for four days, but I kept running out of time to deal with it. LOL! Do you have any critique? πŸ™‚

    • KimiHarris says

      Ginny,

      The length of time could have definitely effected the flavor. I do know that some people really do their broth for a long time, but I truthfully don’t like the taste. I do my chicken broth for 24 hours, and my beef for 48 hours. I have found that my beef broth is a little more tricky to get consistent results. I need to stop being lazy and really come up with a more consistent recipe, but some people really like to brown their beef bones first for better flavor. Adding onions, celery and carrots will also help flavor wise. Hope that helps!

      Thanks for the quote on the chocolate making process! πŸ™‚

  9. says

    I had a question regarding sprouted wheat flour. It seems to have a higher moisture content then regular ground wheat and I am worried that it is going to gum up my grinder. I have a Nutri Mill, should I be using it to grind dried wheat sprouts? Or do I just need to dry my sprouts longer?

    I would like to try pork broth too some time, my friend once told me that she asked a Chinese restaurant chef what his secret was to making wonderful dishes and he told her that he always kept a pot of pork stock going to use as a base to all his sauces. I had forgotten that until Kimber mentioned it in her comment. I suppose you would make it much the same way as beef broth.

  10. Michelle says

    First off, I’m really enjoying your site.
    I’ve got pinto beans and lentils sprouting on the counter as I type. First time ever. My plan for the lentils is to cook as serve with brown rice. One of my son’s favorite dishes. The pinto beans are destined for a big pot of barbeque baked beans. I was planning on just soaking and rinsing as usual. But I decided to try sprouting them just a little before I pre-cook in water, then mix with all the yumminess that goes into baked beans, and finally finish them off in the oven. Any thoughts? Good idea or is this a crazy, half-baked idea?

  11. says

    When I make pork ribs, I first cook them in a pressure cooker with some water then bake them in the oven with some BBQ sauce. The water and fat from the pressure cooker I save in a jar in the fridge. The fat is amazing to cook tortillas and rice in and the broth is good with beans.

  12. Natalie says

    I think this question may have been addressed, but . . .

    my normal procedure with beans is to soak them first.

    Now that I have some sprouted lentils, I can’t shake the feeling that I still need to open my jar of whey & soak those puppies πŸ™‚

    What do you think?

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