Whether you follow Ayurveda, Macrobiotics, or even Instagram, you probably know how beautiful a grain bowl can be. The grain bowl idea is the personal art of building a meal out of simple, humble ingredients in order to create a delicious masterpiece. To me, grain bowls are opportunities to incorporate especially nourishing ingredients, like ‘superfoods’, into my diet. Grain Bowls are a great canvas for keeping your diet on track and for keeping your culinary creativity alive and well. At Green Heart Foods, one of our most well known dishes is ‘The Vibrant Bowl’, which is my version of an optimally balanced bowl.
5 tips for how you can create your signature grain bowl:
1. COOKED GRAINS
Grains have been getting a bad rap lately, but in my studies of diets and ancient food philosophies, I’ve consistently discovered that carbohydrates are the bases of most diets, if not all. I particularly like various forms of rice because it’s easy to digest and is so satisfying.
This may come from an animal source, but most often for me, a vegetarian form works great. I love mung beans, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils. When combined with a complex carbohydrate, you get a lean protein that’s easy on the environment, and that only makes my bowl taste better!
These should always be seasonal, organic and varied. I try to include some cooked vegetables, but raw vegetables work great too. We all digest food differently; cooked foods work for me, but you might digest raw foods better. Try it out and let your body tell you!
4. FAT & SWEET
Fat is brain fuel and mine needs the lubrication to do its thing! I love nuts, melted ghee, melted coconut oil, good olive oil, avocado, and goat cheese.
Also, adding sweet ingredients is very important because it helps to satisfy and ground me (which stops me from reaching for snacks I don’t actually need later in the day). My favorite sweet ingredients for a bowl are roasted sweet potatoes, roasted beets, alongside fruits like apples, mango, and anything else in season.
5. FINAL KICK
For healthy digestion, I always try to include something pungent with a kick, which can be sour with a bit of heat. For example, GHF’s signature bowl, The ‘Vibrant Bowl” includes a tart house-made kimchi—the sour—with fermented sambal—the heat; thus producing two flavors from one source.