These tryptophan balls were inspired by my friend's pregnancy book. We've been reading it every morning, and last week it was talking about getting more sleep.
The book said it can be helpful to have a bedtime snack of some food with tryptophan to help get to sleep, and the suggestion of turkey made us laugh.
I decided it would be fun to try to make a treat using plant foods that have tryptophan, and came up with these little balls that I started calling Tryptophan Balls, and the name kind of stuck.
Tryptophan rich foods can be helpful as a bedtime snack if you're having trouble getting to sleep because it triggers the neurotransmitters that help your brain's sleep cycle.
Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which in turn is a precursor to melatonin.
Serotonin helps regulate mood and sleep.
It seems to be helpful for people who have mild trouble sleeping (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6764927), although not for people with no trouble sleeping or more severe insomnia.
These breakfast sausage patties are a recipe from the lovely and talented Ricki Heller (click for her original recipe plus almond gravy).
Although they're called 'breakfast' patties, I had them for lunch topped with avocado and a homemade tomato chutney mixed with tahini, along with a fresh salad.
They're incredibly delicious and really easy to make. The texture of the rice with the toasted walnuts is amazing, and the flavors of sage and smoked paprika go so nicely together.