02 November 2015

Superfoods: A Crash Course and Recipe

I'm sure if you were to ask any kid what a "superfood" was, they'd automatically picture their favourite food adorned with a cape. And maybe I like to think of it that way too, except my favourite food isn't a hot dog. Superfoods are nutrient dense, vitamin packed, super delicious and easy to add to your diet. Here are some of my favourite superfoods, along with a few easy ways to add them to your diet. I even have a recipe where you can get all four of my favourite super foods in one delicious meal. If you're impatient, the recipe is at the end of this post.

Acai Acai berries are harvested from acai palm trees. These berries are rich in antioxidants and can help with stimulating immunity and giving you an energy boost as well. They are full of fiber and contain heart-healthy fats as well. They contain vitamins B and K - which help the body efficiently metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fat. Another bonus is that it's flavour is reminiscent of chocolate, but not overly sweet. I add frozen acai berries to my smoothie bowls.

Raw Cocoa Did you know that raw cocoa is different from cocoa powder? Raw cocoa comes from unroasted cocoa beans that are cold-pressed (which removes the fat) whereas cocoa powder is roasted at high temperatures. Raw cocoa is another great antioxidant that lowers insulin resistance and blood pressure. On the vitamin front, it contains magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese. Raw cocoa has somewhat of a bitter taste, so I wouldn't ask you to try it by itself - even though that's how I eat it most of the time.

Chia Chia seeds are actually the seeds that are used in those silly chia pet plants, but their benefits far outweigh their ability to grow "fur" for a Garfield shaped pot. Chia seeds offer an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as calcium, manganese and magnesium. The Omega-3 fatty acids raise your good cholesterol levels (HDL). For 2 tablespoons of chia seeds you'll get 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein! I put chia seeds in salads, overnight oats and smoothies - sometimes I'll eat them by the spoonful.

Coconut Oil Coconut oil is another fantastic healthy fat that is made up of the long chain fatty acids that promote good HDL levels. It also contains vit amin E, K, iron and lauric acid. Our body converts the lauric acid into monolaurin, which prevent a variety of diseases. I tend to buy organic, unrefined coconut oil - as it tastes a lot better in it's natural state than the refined kind. Coconut oil can be used in place of other oils, so feel free to experiment with different recipes. I like using it to cook chicken tenderloins in.

My favourite way to consume all of these superfoods in one fell swoop is in a smoothie bowl.

Here's what you'll need:
Superfood Smoothie Bowl
1 frozen packet of unsweetened acai
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 avocado
2 tbs chia seeds
1 tsp coconut oil
1 medjool date (if extra sweetness is desired)
1/2 cup milk (or milk alternative)

Toppings: unsweetened coconut, raspberries, raw cocoa nibs.

Place the acai pack under running water and break it into smaller pieces, it will be to blend. In a blender mix main ingredients (except toppings) - blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and add the toppings. Or add whatever healthy and yummy ingredient that you have on hand, like granola, sliced banana, raw cashews, etc... Grab a spoon, dig in and enjoy!


Have you tried any of these superfoods? Which ones are your favourite?

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