Are you eating enough superfoods in your diet? These foods are all essential in everyone’s diet as they come with multiple health benefits. For instance, the majority of superfoods are very high in antioxidants, which studies who are important for the body to help it fight off infections and diseases, including heart disease and cancers.
However, it’s recently been thought that not many people are eating as many superfoods as they should because they aren’t really sure how to cook with them. That’s probably because the majority of these super-healthy foods are still seen as quite exotic, and they aren’t readily available in most supermarkets and grocery stores. As a result, not many people are learning how to cook with them.
Don’t worry, though; if you aren’t too clued up on how you can cook with superfoods, I’ve got you covered. Here are some great ideas of how to cook with some of the healthiest ingredients out there!
Ever so slowly, goji berries are becoming more and more popular so you should be able to source these in most large supermarkets. These tiny berries are super sources of vitamin C, so can help you keep those colds at bay during the winter months. You can buy these berries fresh and can eat them as they are. Alternatively, they also come dried and in powdered form. Here are some really tasty ways to cook with them.
- Summer puddings – if you buy some fresh goji berries in the middle of the summer, you can team them up with other fresh berries and bake them in a fruity summer pudding.
- Smoothies – Gojis are perfect in a smoothie. You can add them fresh or sprinkle some goji powder in with other fruits and veggies.
- Homemade breakfast bars – the next time you pick up some dried goji berries, you should try adding them to your favorite homemade breakfast bar recipe. They taste amazing when mixed with notes and a sprinkling of cinnamon!
Don’t panic – you don’t need to book a holiday to the beach just so you can collect some seaweed. You can now find different varieties of dried seaweed in most Asian supermarkets. One of the main advantages of sea vegetables compared to their cousins that grow on the land is that they have very high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. These acids are really important to the body as they help the brain develop and continue to work normally. Seaweeds are also excellent sources of various minerals, including zinc, potassium, and iron. Not sure how to cook your seaweed? Here are some brill ideas.
- Sushi – the Japanese love cooking with seaweed, and they also use Nori Seaweed in their sushi. Nori comes in very thin sheets that you can use to roll your fish or vegetables in before encasing them in sushi rice.
- Ravioli – this Italian favorite consists of little pasta parcels that you can stuff with pretty much anything you like. Next time you make your own ravioli, you might want to try adding some seaweed to the filling. The laverbread variety of seaweed is particularly good for this dish.
- Serve it with squid – of course, you can simply cook your seaweed on its own and serve it as a side dish. It will taste great with fish and seafood, but pairs particularly well with squid.
Moringa Leaf Powder
The moringa tree is a very hardy tree that grows well in bad conditions. So, this makes it a great eco-friendly ingredient as it is very easy to replace any trees that are cut down for food. The leaves are regularly dried and crushed to make moringa powder which is known for its awesome health benefits. It is extremely rich in nutrients and has also been linked to helping improve diabetes control. Not only that, though, but it has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and can also help the body fight off a number of health conditions. The following ideas can help you incorporate this useful powder into your cooking.
- Smoothies – If you like your smoothies, you should try adding a spoonful of moringa leaf powder to your next one. It will give the drink a smooth, leafy taste, just like adding spinach.
- Tea – you can also make a tea out of moringa leaf powder. Simply brew the powder in hot water for a few minutes before drinking the beverage.
- Add to pasta sauce – next time you are cooking your favorite pasta dish, add a spoonful of the powder to the tomato sauce. The powder is very fine so will easily blend in – you won’t even notice that there is anything extra in the sauce!
Coming straight out of Mexico, chia seeds became all the rage just a couple of years ago. Right now, people are sprinkling them in their salads and on other dishes so that they can get the most of these amazing superfoods. They are great sources of calcium, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids. If you don’t like fish, then these little seeds can help you get all of the nutrients that you are missing from the lack of seafood in your diet. Just remember to keep them in the refrigerator so that they stay fresh and retain their crunch and flavor.
- Oatmeal – Next time you are preparing your oatmeal in the morning, you can simply sprinkle in a spoonful of these little seeds. They add a different texture to your breakfast, which can help your oatmeal stay interesting.
- Stir-fries – You can also add chia seeds to your stir-fries. Once you have cooked your meat or fish, add the seeds along with the veggies. They don’t need to be cooked through, but it’s nice to toast them in the pan so that they release all of their flavors into the dish.
Here in western countries, we are very familiar with white garlic and use it in a wide range of our dishes. However, in many eastern countries, black garlic is far more prized as it comes with a lot more health benefits and healing properties. This black version of garlic isn’t a completely different variety, though; it’s just a fresh white garlic that has been left to ferment for a while. Over time, once the fermentation process takes hold, the garlic bulbs turn black. As this is a fermented food, it can help to stabilize the intestinal tract and digestive system. Some studies have also shown that regularly eating black garlic can help to strengthen the immune system.
- Make a dip – You can puree the bulbs as you would with normal garlic. This makes a dip that you can eat with flat breads or crackers.
- Rub your steaks – if you love your steak dinners, then you might want to rub your meat with a bulb before you cook it. This will pass on a lot of the garlicky flavor to the meat.
There are lots of reports in the media that chocolate is good for our health. However, that’s not really the case. Chocolate isn’t actually good for us, as a lot of sugar and salt is added during the production process, and all of these cancel out the good properties of cacao powder. However, if you eat the cacao powder on its own in its natural form, then you will be able to get all of the health benefits and without any of the sugar, salt, and calories that come with chocolate!
- Smoothies – If you enjoy tofu-based smoothies, you should start adding cacao powder to them for a sweeter taste. This is also a great way to add some extra protein to your smoothies and shakes as well!
- Chocolate overnight oats – some people like to add milk and fresh fruit to their oatmeal and then leave them overnight. By the next morning, the oats are very soft and creamy! Why not add some cacao powder to your next batch of overnight oats? It will add a rich chocolatey flavor, but won’t add too many extra calories.
Acai berries are known for having incredibly high levels of antioxidants. They are also one of the few fruits that contain good levels of oleic acid, which has similar health benefits as olive oil. Try and stay away from acai juice as it tends to be high in added sugar. Instead, but your berries in dry or powdered form.
- Smoothies – as with any superfood powder, acai powder is a great addition to smoothies and shakes.
- Cereals and oatmeals – you can sprinkle the dried berries onto all types of breakfast dishes, especially the likes of cereals and oatmeal.
As you can see, cooking with superfoods doesn’t have to be like michelin-star cooking, and you can do so without going to chef school. It could be worth checking online magazines and newspapers for their recipes. As these super ingredients become more and more sought after, they will start to be used in mainstream media’s recipes. So, it’s a good idea to always keep an eye out for healthy ingredients!