SUPER POWER FOODS


Chia seeds, goji berries, quinoa, kale... the list goes on and on. It’s no secret that I love my superfoods (I've posted about them here  here, here, here, here and here. See, I wasn't joking, I really love them!) so naturally I am super excited to have discovered some new ones that I just can't help but share.

But if you just don’t know where to start or why everyone is raving about these new superfoods then don’t worry. Below I explain the benefits of each superfood short and simple and have picked out my favourite recipes that will help you get started.

Beluga Lentils

Beluga lentils are a dark, deep almost black colour. Basically, the richer the colour the greater the health benefit. So what is so great about beluga lentils? Pretty much everything... The dark rich colouring of beluga lentils contains a powerful antioxidant called ‘anthocyanins’. Although they may be small, this superfood has been found to potentially help fight inflammation, cancer and heart disease. And just when you thought this little bean couldn’t get any better, these lentils have twice as much iron as other legumes and contain a protein and a cholesterol-lowering fibre. Talk about packing a nutrtiontal punch!

Salsify

Salsify is a vegan's best friend because it is jam packed nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. In fact, black salsify has just as much potassium as bananas. The low-calorie and high-fibre benefits of the root vegetable helps with weight loss and assists in promoting good bacteria in the gut. Plus black salsify is super high in iron which assists hair growth... bring on those luscious locks!

Tempeh

Tempeh is a fermented soybean that is formed into a solid bean cake and can be sliced, fried or steamed as an alternative to meat, which makes it a great option for vegans or for those wanting to cut back from meat.
Tempeh looks quite similar to tofu, however their health benefits and nutritional values are very different. Tempeh is easily digestible, high in fibre, high in enzymes, packed with protein and contains no cholesterol plus tastes sooo delicious!

Kefir

Kefir, put simply is fermented milk made from kefir grains, and basically just tastes like liquified yoghurt. Don’t be fooled by the term kefir grains, this superfood actually does not contain any grains at all but has the perfect balance of both yeast and bacteria. Although it tastes like yoghurt, kefir has 3 times more probiotic nutrients than what you would get from yoghurt.
As well as containing high levels of calcium, magnesium, biotin, folate, enzymes, probiotics and vitamin B12 and vitamin K2, this superfood promises to to show benefits in seven ways by supporting detoxification, building bone density, fighting allergies, boosting immunity, healing inflammatory bowel disease, improving lactose digestion and it kills candida.
What I love most about kefir is that you don’t even need to mix it with anything, it tastes good enough to drink alone. But if you're a little skeptical, feel free to add it to smoothies, stir it into your morning oats or add it with your berries for dessert.

Jicama

Jicama is a sweet and crunchy root vegetable packed with lots of health benefits! You can eat Jicama raw, or It can be cooked, mashed or baked.
Jicama root contains a prebiotic called inulin which has a number of benefits that improve the bacteria in the gut. A real beauty boosting food, Jicama can improve the appearance of the skin due to the high value of vitamin C it contains, improving skin texture, speeding up the healing of any wounds and giving you an overall healthy glow.
A warning before trying out this superfood, the root is packed with nutritional value however be sure not to eat the seeds, leaves or pods as the rest of the plant can be toxic!

Black Garlic

Black garlic is found to decrease the risk of cancer and help balance cholesterol. Black garlic reportedly has twice the antioxidant levels of normal garlic and these antioxidants are said to protect the cells from many diseases (heart disease, Alzheimer's, circulatory problems, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, autoimmune and other chronic diseases) plus slowing down the ageing process!
Eating black garlic as a part of your regular diet has been proven to have significant changes in blood circulation, improvement in lower high blood pressure and helps headaches.
And if you're still not convinced, black garlic tastes a bit like dried fruit. Yum!

Kelp

Kelp is a brown seaweed and its most prominent health benefit is its high quantity of a nutrient called iodine. Iodine is an important nutrient to maintain a healthy thyroid. Issues with your thyroid gland may create symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue and high cholesterol.

Want to try out some of these superfoods for yourself? Why not make one of the delicious recipes below!

Beetroot Braised Beluga Lentils

Ingredients What to do
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ red onion (diced)
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 cup peeled and diced beet ( one large beet, plus 2 more for juicing)
  • 4 cloves garlic-roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1.5 cups beluga (soaked overnight if possible)
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh beet juice (either purchase from a juice bar, or juice 2 extra large beets)
  • 2- 3 tbsp browned butter (optional but delicious)
  • Crumbled goats cheese (optional)
  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, beets and celery, and sautee for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Turn heat to medium, add garlic, lentils and herbs and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  2. 
Add stock & salt then bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover with lid and turn heat to low, maintaining a gentle simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes add the beet juice, taste for salt, add more if necessary, and continue simmering on low for 10-15 more minutes or until tender. If you feel there is too much liquid for your liking, keep the lid off, and increase the heat, letting it reduce.
  4. 
Stir in a generous splash of balsamic vinegar and browned butter (optional) but the brown butter is divine.

  5. Serve in a bowl with crumbled goat cheese, or as a base for fish or chicken.
    


*Recipe courtesy of Feasting At Home

Mango and Jicama Salad

Ingredients What to do
  • 2 large unripe mangoes, peeled & sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 jicama, peeled & sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground chilli pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts

 

  1. In a large bowl, combine the mangoes, jicama, and carrots
  2. Add the juice of 1 lime, honey, ginger, ground chile pepper, and salt; stir well to combine.
  3. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime or salt if necessary
  4. Add the coriander and peanuts, stir, serve & enjoy!



*Recipe courtesy of The Kitchenette

Kelp Salad

Ingredients What to do
  • 1 cup kelp (both dried or fresh kelp are ok)
  • 1 tbsp spring onions chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander chopped
  • 1 small chilli pepper chopped

Sauce

  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan chilli oil
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped




  1. Soak the dried kelp or just wash the fresh kelp in running water
  2. Cut the kelp into shreds - depending on how you want to eat it
  3. Heat up some water in wok and then cook the shredded kelp for roughly 5 minutes
  4. Remove from heat, drain and let cool
  5. Add all the ingredients of the sauce in a small bowl and mix with the kelp
  6. Pour the chilli sauce onto the salad and garnish with chopped spring onion, coriander and chilli peppers.

*Recipe courtesy of China Sichuan Food

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