Discover more from Broccoli Rising, the Newsletter from Ellen Kanner
Little Sprouts, Big Support
The connections between sprouts and a sunny state of being.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so take a moment:
be kind to others
be kind to yourself
eat more sprouts
What’s the connection between sprouts and a sunny state of being? Your gut. Also known as your microbiome. By any name, it’s host to a colony of bacteria. Don’t worry, you’re not being invaded. Think of your microbiome as your own internal ecosystem. That bacteria is natural and friendly, helping to boost your body’s immunity and manage your mood and behavior. If you feed it well. It’s going to like (This is How) Miami summer rolls. A lot.
Healthy microbiomes thrive on prebiotics, a fancy term for fiber. Your belly wants fiber. Your mouth wants fun and flavor. Sprouts do it all, and they star in this summer roll recipe.
A rainbow of sprouts —alfalfa, broccoli, clover, and that’s just the ABCs — romp with local Miami summer favorites:
jicama (aka Mexican turnip)
Put ‘em all together in a wrap and you’ve got a pretty package with:
juicy sweetness from mango
creaminess and healthy fats from avocado
the crispiness and snap of jicama
protein from tempeh or tofu
sprouts for the fun and frill of it
It’s as easy, bright and tropical as Miami summer. But one Miami summer roll isn’t a cure-all, especially for anxiety, depression, substance abuse or other symptoms all is not well in your world. These are seriously tough times. The daily drumbeat of atrocities is such that getting out of bed alone should earn you a medal.
Mental Health Awareness Month serves as a gentle reminder no one has to struggle alone. Turn to resources:
NAMI and similar nonprofits
Practice self-care with:
shinrin-yoku, aka forest bathing. You don’t even need a forest. Just spending a few minutes with a little natural greenery can lower your blood pressure and anxiety and boost your mood.
be good to your gut by feeding it nourishing foods that make you smile — like (This is How) Miami Summer Rolls
(This is How) Miami Summer Rolls
1 ripe avocado
fresh lemon or lime juice
2 wraps, preferably whole grain
1/2 cup sprouts — broccoli, bean, alfalfa, clover, radish, or any combination
1/2 cup jicama, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup mango, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup tempeh or extra-firm tofu, sliced into thin strips
handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
In a bowl, bash avocado until creamy. Add lemon or lime juice (which adds zip and keeps the avocado bright) and sea salt to taste.
Spread wraps with avocado from the center out, avoiding the edges.
Sprinkle with magic dust, about 1/2 teaspoon per wrap.
Spread with sprout mix.
Top with jicama, mango and tempeh and finish with chopped mint and cilantro.
Roll wraps tightly. Secure with toothpicks, if desired. Slice in 2-inch lengths to enjoy as bites, or slice in half, presenting both halves as a starter.
This can also be served in margarita glasses or plated as a salad. Finish with extra sprouts for goodness and garnish.
Looking for a printable version of this recipe? Grab it here.
More foods to boost your mood
Sprouts spin tropical again in this salad with a chorus of beets, fennel and citrus drizzled with a luscious tahini dressing.
Lentils the tiniest of the pulses, pack the most folate. Also known as vitamin B-9 (like benign), folate increases serotonin production, which releases happy-making neurotransmitters in the brain. And the bold pomegranate molasses in this quick, easy recipe makes your mouth happy, too.
Greens are also goldmines for folate as well as magnesium, a mineral that dusts away depression, so you get a double dose of well-being with no struggle. Load up with recipes at soulfulvegan.com and enjoy these tips from By Any Greens Necessary vegan superstar Tracy McQuirter.
I’m a fool for fungi. I love mushrooms’ meaty but meatless chew and umami flavor and funk. They’re also high in vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin. So cheer up with my recipe for mushroom étouffée. Sounds fancy, but it’s quick and easy (and awesome, if I do say so).
Dark chocolate (doh). It’s high in theobromine, literally the food of the gods, and is hedonic — that means pleasure-giving — to eat, the way it melts in the mouth. I’ve got great recipes at www.soulfulvegan.com, but when it comes to vegan chocolate, my friend and vegan pastry queen Fran Costigan rules. Vegan double chocolate chunk cookies forever.
In Case You Missed It
If you missed the big announcement last week, I’ll be bringing you my monthly newsletter, as well as my weekly posts, right here on Substack. Thanks for subscribing to Broccoli Rising. You can also visit SoulfulVegan.com to find more recipes and connect with me online at YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Substack Notes.