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How to Build a Sprouted Grain Bowl using Pantry and Fridge Staples

This is a bit different than our usual recipes, but in extraordinary times it becomes even more important to get as much joy and nourishment as we can from our food in order to stay healthy. Getting to the grocery store and having fresh produce on hand can be challenging, so we want to set you up for success with whatever resources you have.

A grain bowl is a great way to use up any vegetable in the fridge, freezer or pantry. They’re simple, balanced, packed with nutrition, and you can get creative so your meals are never boring. You can even cook everything ahead of time for quick lunches and dinners. So let’s get right into it, and if you have any tips of your own to share please comment below!

The Base of YOUR bowl

The only way to start a sprouted grain bowl is with a serving of sprouted whole grains to add protein, fibre, and heartiness. Any of our sprouted grains will work well, and their shelf life in your pantry is two years. Let’s break them down a little bit so you can get the flavour, texture and cook time you’re going for (you can click each one for further information, cooking instructions and nutrition facts):

Sprouted Brown Rice – Soft and subtly sweet. Long grain is more delicate (still holds up well in grain bowls) and cooks faster, short grain is stickier.

Sprouted Quinoa – A very common choice for grain bowls, quinoa is soft and earthy. It also cooks in just 10-15 minutes!

Sprouted Hulless Oats – Subtle sweet flavour and satisfying chewy texture. Cooks in 20-25 minutes.

Sprouted Buckwheat – Soft and creamy, and has a distinct earthy taste. It’s a complete protein and cooks in just 10 minutes!

Sprouted Millet – Wonderfully sweet taste similar to corn, and a light, fluffy texture. Cooks in just 10 minutes.

Sprouted Amaranth – Has a texture similar to quinoa but the grains are smaller, and an earthy taste similar to beets. Cooks in 20 minutes.

Sprouted Wheat Berries – Subtle, nutty taste and a hearty, staitisfying chew. Cooks in 25-35 minutes. Does contain gluten.

Sprouted Farro – Has a nutty taste and soft, chewy texture. Cooks in 30-40 minutes. Does contain gluten.

Protein

There are lots of great sources of protein that you can keep in your pantry or freezer! Sprouted chickpeas, lentils and beans are perfect plant-based protein options that keep in your pantry for two years. Plus, the sprouting process means no pre-soaking is required, quicker cook times and they’re easier on your digestion. Sprouted chickpeas are great plain, or you can also roast them for a crispy addition. We highly recommend sprouted black beans if you’re going for a taco or burrito style grain bowl. Sprouted mung beans and lentils are very versatile and cook in 10-15 minutes, so they’re a great quick option. 

Meats like chicken, beef and salmon keep well in the freezer and are a great in a grain bowl when grilled or roasted. You can also keep tofu in the freezer for an additional vegetarian/vegan option (try pan frying or roasting until crispy!). Want to build a grain bowl for breakfast? Why not top it with an egg cooked in your favourite way.

veggies galore

Play with colour, texture and flavours — the possibilities are endless. Mix and match, use what you enjoy and what you have available. You can add as many as you like or keep it really simple, but we recommend choosing at least 3 to make it interesting and balanced. This list is not comprehensive, it’s meant to get those creative juices flowing!

A stir fry with vegetables and sprouted brown rice

roast

Sweet potatoes
Potatoes
Onions
Beets
Brussel sprouts
Peppers
Carrots
Zucchini
Eggplant
Broccoli
Cauliflower

saute

Onions
Mushrooms
Peppers
Carrots
Zucchini
Broccoli
Kale
Spinach

Fresh

Kale
Spinach
Lettuce
Arugula
Peppers
Cucumber
Tomato
Red onion
Green Onion
Avocado
Cabbage
Microgreens

frozen

Brussel sprouts
Carrots
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Bell Pepper
Butternut Squash
Corn
Peas
Edamame

*See cooking tip below!

canned/Jar

Fermented veggies like sauerkraut and kimchi (highly recommend – great for your gut!)
Olives
Canned corn
Pickled Veggies (onion, pepper, cucumber,
jalapeno, beets etc.)

To roast, toss veggies in a little oil and spices of your choice (salt, pepper and garlic powder is a great simple option) and lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake at 400°F until tender and browned, about 25-45 minutes, depending on the veggie. *Roasting is also a really great option for frozen veggies! You can roast them straight from frozen with the same method as above,  you just may need to roast them a little longer to brown them to your liking (not recommended for frozen peas or edamame).

Extra oomf

Simple pantry staples like pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and sesame seeds as well as peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries or even tortilla chips can add wonderful texture to your bowl. 

Take your grain bowl to the next level with some feta cheese or shaved parmesan! If you have them, chopped fresh herbs also add a lot of flavour (plus they give that put together, Instagrammable look!). 

top with Sauce

Sauce brings all the elements together. Do you want an Asian, Mexican or Mediterranean flair? Would you like it spicy, tangy, savoury or sweet? It’s time to search the back of the fridge, pantry and spice drawer. 

Start with an oil base for vinaigrette, or ingredients like tahini, peanut butter, hummus or yogurt for creamier dressing. Add an acid such as lemon/lime or balsamic, apple cider or red wine vinegar. Balance it with honey or maple syrup, then add extra flavour with things like mustard, sriracha or spices. Use a little of each ingredient at a time and taste as you go. Some popular combinations are: lemon tahini, yogurt dill, peanut ginger, sriracha lime and maple balsamic.

Consider a light vinaigrette for a cold grain bowl. It gives a fresh bright taste, like the dressing in this recipe. If your grain bowl is warm, it can handle a sturdy, creamier dressing. Don’t want to make sauce from scratch? Store-bought pesto, salad dressings, hummus and even salsa make great sauces for grain bowls.

time to put it all together

This may seem like an intimidating number of choices, but remember to just have fun, you really can’t go wrong! It’s all about combining what you have to make something nourishing, delicious and vibrant. First, choose your grain, protein and any vegetables you’re cooking. While those are simmering and sizzling away, whisk together your sauce, chop any fresh veggies and decide on some extras to finish it off. Throw it all in a bowl and viola! 

The total time to make a grain bowl can be as little as 20 minutes and up to about an hour. Remember you can also bulk cook the components ahead of time to make several quick meals. Changing up just one or two ingredients or trying a different sauce means you can have a completely new meal. If you’re in a group (particularly with kids or dietary restrictions) and want to have some fun, leave all the ingredients in separate bowls so each person can design their own masterpiece. Bon Appetit! 

Some inspiration to get you started:

Savoury Sprouted Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

With sauteed onion, mushrooms and spinach, and topped with egg.
Total time: 20 minutes

Sprouted Black Bean & Quinoa Salad

With red onion, pepper, tomato & corn.
Total time: 1 hour

From: simplynicnutrition

sprouted hulless oat salad

Mediterranean Sprouted Oat Bowl

With fresh cucumber, tomato, red onion, red pepper & feta. Topped with lemon vinaigrette. Total time: 30 minutes

Moroccan Sprouted Rice and Chickpeas

With sauteed onion, carrot & zucchini.
Total time: 1hr 15 minutes

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