Seeds + Grains + Legumes = Proteins !

Beans & Other Legumes

20131111-150957.jpgBlack-eyed peas, as well as other beans and legumes, are rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Your body breaks carbohydrates down into sugars before absorbing them. These sugars, mainly glucose, are the primary source of quick energy for your body. Fiber is indigestible material that passes through your gastrointestinal tract intact and helps carry waste and excess cholesterol and blood sugar out of your body. Beans, peas, and other legumes can fit into your diet as a healthy side dish with lunch or dinner.

Seeds

20131111-151217.jpgSeeds are not just for the birds. They are tiny packages of antioxidants, vitamins and plant compounds that can help lower cholesterol and offer other health benefits to humans. But use them sparingly. Seeds, raw or roasted contain many nutrients. They also have a high amount of fat, which often leads people to veer away from them when they are trying to lose weight. This seems like a logical idea, but in truth, they are not fattening. What matters most is how you use them in your diet. Seeds by themselves do not cause fat gain, provided you stay within your caloric means. This goes for all the foods you choose to eat. Seeds have a high amount of protein and moderate amount of fiber. Each of these nutrients creates a full feeling in the stomach when consumed. This means you can satisfy your appetite on a small portion of seeds and not get fat. Fiber has additional benefits. The type in sunflower seeds is called insoluble. Insoluble fiber prevents constipation and reduces the chances of colon cancer.
What Makes Almonds so Healthy? Although almonds are referred to as nuts, they are technically the seed (or pit) of the almond fruit. And, like most whole foods, they are naturally rich in a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that help your body thrive. One of the healthiest aspects of almonds appears to be their skins, as they are rich in antioxidants. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented a mandatory pasteurization program for almonds in 2007, a measure they claimed would improve food safety. But what this really means is that you can no longer get truly raw almonds in North America. Almonds remain a wholesome food that may offer you benefits for weight loss, heart health and more, but to get the whole range of benefits, seek truly raw almonds that have not been pasteurized — which, fortunately for those in North America, can still be found from high-quality sources online.

Grains

20131111-151631.jpgQuinoa does have some powerful health benefits. It tastes great, it is high protein, and it is part of another major food trend of today – gluten free eating. It is also high in protein, A good source of riboflavin, and it is a complex carbohydrate. This is again good for weight management. The healthiest kinds of grains are whole grains. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. Chances are you eat lots of grains already. But are they whole grains? If you’re like most, you’re not getting enough whole grains in your diet.
Is Cracked Wheat All It’s Cracked Up To be? Cracked wheat is just what it sounds like: the cracked berries of whole wheat. The distinctively nutty food is versatile, low in calories and loaded with nutrients. You can find cracked wheat in the bulk foods section of most grocery stores. If you do not have a bulk foods department, look for it near the other grains and rice. New research confirms that refined grains, like white rice, pasta or breads, are linked to increased rates of metabolic syndrome, a predictor of both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Eating at least one serving of whole grains such as cracked wheat every day lowers the risk of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure by as much as 21 percent. Try this alternative to a meat burger and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. With a little bit of thinking outside of the proverbial box you can even come up with other ways to serve this Plethora of Protein.

Black Eyed Pea Vegetable Burgers With Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas

What You Need:
2 – 15 ½ oz. Cans Black Eyed Peas, Rinsed and Drained (reserve the liquid for later use)
1 ½ Cups Red Quinoa, Cooked
½ Cup Green Onions, Diced
1 Cup Cilantro Leaves, Chopped
½ Cup Sunflower Seeds, Roasted & Salted
½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas), Toasted
¼ cup Reserved liquid From BEP’s
2 Teaspoons Granulated Garlic
1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
Kosher Salt to Taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil for Sautéing

What You Need To Do:
Mash BEP’s in mixer with paddle or with hand masher until smashed.

20131111-152441.jpgCombine BEP’s, Quinoa, Green Onions, Cilantro, Sunflower Seeds, and Pumpkin Seeds.

20131111-152632.jpgMix Thoroughly.

20131111-152758.jpgThe mixture will be loose. Add in the reserved liquid from the canned BEP’s. Add the Granulated Garlic, Black Pepper, and Salt to taste. Mix thoroughly to combine. Mold BEP mixture into patties or desired shape and allow to rest in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

20131111-152924.jpgHeat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When the oil and pan are hot, gently slip the patties into the pan. Allow patties to cook for 3-4 minutes per side until nicely browned on each side. Serve on your favorite roll or bun, or alone, with your favorite condiments.

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