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Vibrant Black Bean Noodle Salad with Spicy Sprouted Almond Butter Sauce

Vibrant Black Bean Noodle Salad with Spicy Sprouted Almond Butter Sauce

Do you love noodles, but they don't exactly love you back? Well, don't fret because these days there are plenty of great grain-free alternatives made from protein-rich legumes like black beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soy, opening up a fresh new world whether you avoid gluten or grains for health reasons, or are simply an adventurous foodie who enjoys "going against the grain". 

This recipe uses black bean noodles, which have a nice earthy taste and bouncy, chewy texture despite having zero gluten. Not only are they rich in protein (a whopping 25 grams per serving!) but they are also loaded with gut-healthy fiber and have more iron than their wheat-based counterparts. They also make for quite the striking, dramatic dish when served with other colorful veggies like sweet potato, cilantro, and red bellow pepper-like in this recipe here. 

And since no noodle dish is complete without a tasty sauce to bring it to life, you'll also find here a quick and easy sprouted almond butter sauce made from Dastony Sprouted Almond Butter, toasted sesame oil, garlic, sriracha, and a touch of maple syrup. It's packed with flavor and spice and its creaminess and subtle sweetness help to perfectly flavor balance the black bean noodles, which can taste slightly bitter on their own. This recipe is customizable, so feel free to swap in/out your favorite veggies (butternut squash for sweet potato, remove the bell pepper, toss in some chopped celery or spinach, etc. Sky's the limit!)

Vibrant Black Bean Noodle with Spicy Sprouted Almond Butter Sauce

The Recipe
 
Vibrant Black Bean Noodle Salad with Spicy Sprouted Almond Butter Sauce 

Serves 2
 
Black Bean Noodle Salad
 
Ingredients
 
1/2 box of organic black bean noodles
1 small sweet potato - sliced and roasted, then cubed
1 small red bell pepper, or 1/2 large, chopped
2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
 
Spicy Sprouted Almond Butter Sauce
 
Ingredients 

1/2 cup sprouted almond butter
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs lime juice
3 tsp siracha or hot sauce  
1 tsp nama shoyu
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt, to taste
2 cloves garlic

Optional: a few pinches of chili flakes or cayenne to amp up the spice
Optional garnish: sesame seeds

Directions
 
1. Wash and slice your sweet potatoes into 1/3" rounds, and bake on an oiled baking sheet at 425 F for 40-45 mins, flipping them over about midway through. Set aside to cool once done.
2. Prep your noodles according to the directions on the package. 
3. Strain and rinse noodles, chop your remaining veggies, and mix everything together in a bowl. 
4. Blend dressing ingredients together until smooth.
5. Serve noodle salad with sauce and ENJOY!  

A Guilt-Free Cheesecake that's Good for your Gut!

Vegan Mixed Berry Probiotic Cheesecake Bars

Yes, these vegan cheesecake bars are both delicious and beautiful. They're also vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, (almost) raw, and are completely free of refined sugar. But the benefits don't end there. They also contain billions of probiotics and prebiotics to boost digestion and your immune system. Wait just a minute - a cheesecake that's guilt-free, nutrient-rich, and good for your gut!? You bet!

These bars are packed with nutrient-rich ingredients like raw walnuts and cashews, coconut butter, dates, and berries to energize your body and give you a sweet tooth fix without a blood sugar crash or sugar coma. Adding a teaspoon of Sunbiotics vanilla probiotics to the cake filling means each bar will contain billions of probiotics (1/3 a tsp has 20 billion CFU's!) without changing the flavor of your recipe at all.

Each bite is smooth, dense, and creamy - just like a cheesecake should be. The swirls of sweet mixed berry puree perfectly compliment the zestiness of the lemon and sweet vanilla in the filling. And no baking is required. If you're a raw dessert fan or love cheesecake in general, this is a must-try!

Vegan Mixed Berry Probiotic Cheesecake Bars

The Recipe

Mixed Berry Probiotic Cheesecake Bars

Makes 1, 8 x 8" square baking pan (6 cheesecake bars)

Ingredients

Cheesecake filling

1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk  
1/2 cup Dastony stone ground raw coconut butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 lemon, juiced
1 heaping tsp fresh lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 pinches Himalayan crystal salt
1 tsp Sunbiotics vanilla probiotic powder

Berry layer

1.5 cup frozen mixed berries
1 Tbs maple syrup

Crust

1.75 cups almond flour
1 cup raw coconut flakes
3/4 cup Dates
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbs Dastony stone ground raw almond butter
1 tsp melted coconut oil
2 pinch Himalayan crystal salt

Steps

Line an 8×8 inch tin with parchment paper or cling film.

1. Crust Prep the base by blending all the ingredients together in a food processor until it creates a crumbly, sticky texture. Test it by pressing it together with your fingers. It should bind but not be too wet. If it's too crumbly you can add a tiny splash of water.

2. Press the mixture into the bottom of the tin - make sure it's even.

Filling

1. Place all cheesecake filling ingredients in blender except lemon zest. Blend until smooth and creamy - this may take a full minute to fully blend. The smoother you can get it, the more authentic it will be in texture. Then add zest and blend again briefly. 

2. Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the base mixture and smooth with the back of a spoon.

3. Place frozen berries in pan and place on the stove on low heat. Add maple syrup and let it simmer for just a minute or so. You don't want it to become overcooked as it will lose too much of its water. If you're using fresh berries you can also add those to a blender with the maple syrup and simply blend until smooth.

4. Pour berry mixture over filling, and using a knife or a chopstick swirl the puree around.

5. Cover the tin with foil or cling film and leave to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or freezer for at least 2 hours before serving. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for months and thawed before serving.