Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Walnut Balls

It is no secret that turmeric is like, so hot right now. And for good reason. You've probably heard that it is wildly anti-inflammatory, but maybe that's just a buzzword to you. I know it was for me before learning about the healing power that plants can have.

In short, anti-inflammatory means that it has a soothing effect for our tissues. Inflammation can be caused by a multitude of factors including mental stress, physical stress or overworking our bodies, poor diet or exposure to toxic materials. Inflammation shows up in the body in signs including heat, pain, swelling, redness. Inflammation is actually a part of our bodies healing processes in an acute situation but longterm or chronic inflammation is at the root of conditions like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune conditions. An anti-inflammatory diet will be rich in plants including plant-based proteins such as lentils, quinoa and nuts or seeds. In contrast, the most inflammatory foods include low quality meats, sugar, processed foods and trans fats.

You don't have to become a committed vegan to adopt a more anti-inflammatory approach. I often suggest starting small by swapping a couple of your proteins each week for something plant-based. These protein balls have got allllll that anti-inflammatory plant-based protein. They are so simple to make. Throw everything into a food processor, scoop and bake. (Don't worry there are real directions below..) You can make a million different variations with the base of lentils and quinoa. Use whichever spices you like, and make an extra batch or two and freeze. These are great to have on hand - just reheat in the oven and throw onto your buddha-style bowl or salad.

Side note: This post is actually a part of something really cool! As a lover of food and community potlucks have always had a place in my heart. Amazing food, you only have to cook one thing, and you get to eat like 10 different things! Whoever created this concept way back in the day, THANK YOU. Bring it forward to 2017 and we've got some brilliant minds at Piquant Marketing hosting a Virtual Potluck! 38 different (and incredibly talented) foodies have all posted a new recipe today for your eyes (and tastebuds.) I am overjoyed to be a part of the truly inspiring community of food-lovers in Vancouver - and on this space called the internet. I hope you enjoy this recipe, but even more I hope you take the time to enjoy all of the other recipes being shared with you from minds full of love, with your nourishment at heart. Feast away friends!

See the full menu here! Or click the links at the bottom to go to the posts before and after.


Ingredients:

Makes around 30 balls

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (some stems are okay)
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Optional sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • hot sauce of choice
  • water to thin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, combine walnuts, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, turmeric, cumin and sea salt.
  3. Blend these ingredients until you have a pesto-like consistency. A little bit chunky is good.
  4. Add the lentils and quinoa to the mix and combine until a dough has formed.
  5. Either using a cookie scoop or a spoon, scoop the dough out into balls - approximately two inches in diameter. The cookie scoop will save your hands from becoming turmeric stained.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the balls onto the sheet. You do not need to leave much space between them as they do not expand at all in the oven.
  7. Cook in the oven for 30-45 minutes. They should be crispy on the outside but not hard. They continue to firm up while cooling. 
  8. If making the sauce - combine ingredients into a jar and add water. Shake until combined. Add more water until the mixture has reached the desired consistency.
  9. Feast!

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