I know, I know... you've seen this pic before because you never miss a day of my blog. Well you know what, I'm over it! Hopefully tomorrow I can share with you what's been vampiring my time, but for now, I have this super-ness for you. Given that I am as hooked as your are, I did not want to leave you blogless today, so I thought I'd share with you a little something I wrote for Metro News last week. They wanted a little something on Superfoods which makes me happy because you know I love sharing this love with the masses!
The task was to answer the questions as to whether these foods are really as jazzed up as the health mags would make us think. So I decided to put together my list of top five fave superfoods. Now if this is old hat to you, it might be a great way to introduce some superfood love to the skeptics in your life. I know we all have some!
Power Through the Day with 5 Amazing Superfoods
We’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about superfoods lately. They’re supposedly amazing for us, full of antioxidant benefit, and an endless array of nutrients but what exactly are these things? Well, a superfood can be described as a food which contains concentrated amounts of certain hard to find nutrients that boost our health in a variety of ways. These foods are a little more difficult to track down than your run-of-the-mill veggie or fruit. Look for them in your local health food store or my health food store!. Here we explore 5 powerhouses that will rev you up for whatever your day may bring.
The buzz: This superfood is also known as Peruvian ginseng and typically is found in powdered form, though it comes from a root. Its benefits are vast and it has been found to help balance hormones, enhance libido, and boost stamina. This herb is known to be an adaptogen, meaning it adapts to what is going on within your body as a system. In this way, it may be viewed as supportive of overall health. It is also rich in many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B1 and phosphorus. With its malted, almost carmel-like flavour many people enjoy it as a super-powered addition to various meals and snacks.
Tips for using: Add ½ a tsp to a smoothie, sprinkle some onto your oatmeal, add a dash to a brewed tea.
Check out more on maca here!
The buzz: With its emerald green hue and finely powdered consistency, this algae is a fabulous food to help boost energy and fuel your cells. Its health benefits are tremendous as it contains a hefty spectrum of 10 mixed carotenoids giving us maximum antioxidant protection. Spirulina is also comprised of 60% highly usable vegetable protein, and GLA, an essential fatty acid. Spirulina also promotes beneficial intestinal flora to enhance the digestive process and detoxification.
Tips for using: Starting out with ¼ tsp, add to smoothies, stir into oatmeal, yogurt. With its bright colour using spirulina is a fun way to get some superfoods into your kids’ diets.
The buzz: In appearance, these are roughly similar to sesame seeds except for some green colouring that is bursting with detoxifying chlorophyll content. They taste nutty and pair well with both sweet and savoury foods. Hemp hearts are powerhouses when it comes to essential fatty acids. They contain a perfectly balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids that is beneficial for long-term consumption. These healthy fats boost our immune systems, ward off cardiovascular disease, and give our brain function a boost. Hemp hearts are also a great source of vegetable protein as they contain all the essential amino acids and are very easily digested.
Tips for using: Sprinkle on salads, throw into trail mix, use as a topper for hot and cold cereals.
The buzz: This salty super food comes in paste form and is the result of fermenting soybeans along with a yeast. Other ingredients may be added as well such as rice, barley, and chickpeas. The bacteria used in the fermentation process synthesizes vitamin B12, and therefore, the resulting paste is a great source of this nutrient. It is also rich in protein as well as the minerals zinc, manganese, and copper. Miso holds probiotic prowess as a result of being fermented. This helps keep our good gut bacteria thriving and digestive systems happy.
Tips for using: A little bit goes a long way as miso is very salty. Stir a few teaspoons into already boiled water for a quick satisfying soup. Add 2 teaspoons to an oil and vinegar salad dressing in place of salt for a Japanese inspired flavouring.
The buzz: Possibly the most delicious superfood of all. Raw cacao comes from the bean of the cacao plant and is essentially unroasted chocolate. It is most commonly found in powdered form, although the beans can be purchased as well. It is extremely rich in antioxidants as well as many other nutrients. Raw cacao contains massive amounts of the mineral magnesium which builds strong bones and is the most deficient nutrient among people consuming a standard westernized diet. This food also contains chemicals which allow more serotonin to circulate within the brain. This helps to keep our moods elevated and lively. Raw cacao is also a good choice for children as it contains very little caffeine in comparison to typical roasted cocoa.
Tips for using: Mix with boiled water/milk and honey for a raw hot chocolate treat, blend into smoothies for a richer flavour, or try the recipe below!
Check out more on cacao here!
Super Food Chocolate Cups
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 Tbs Cacao Butter
2 tsp maca powder
2 Tbs raw honey
1/4 cup hazelnut butter or ground hazelnuts mixed with a little coconut oil to make it creamy
2 Tbs finely ground coconut
1 Tbs raw honey
pinch of sea salt
- In a small bowl, mix together the filling. If your coconut is too coarse, run it through your spice/coffee grinder. Set aside
- Over low heat, melt together the coconut oil, honey, maca and cacao powder. You need this only warm enough that the goods melt together
- Using a small silicone muffin form, or even an ice cube tray that has the pop-out bottoms, pour a small amount of chocolate into each spot. You need just enough chocolate to cover the bottom.
- Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until solid
- Remove from freezer and form small little patties of the hazelnut mixture and gently place over first layer of chocolate in the muffin/ice tray.
- At this point, you may need to reheat the chocolate mix, do so just until it is pourable again.
- Gently spoon chocolate into each compartment until hazelnut mix is covered fully.
- Return to freezer to allow chocolate to set.
Question of The Day: What five foods make your top 5 superfoods list?