Superfoods have been widely discussed and are typically brought up around New Year’s Eve due to many people making resolutions to eat healthier and live better. However, I feel that there is more to superfoods than using them for a resolution, though it is a good one!
What makes a food a “superfood”?
These foods have elevated nutritional values without being high in calories. Most of them are great sources of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Berries are super high in antioxidants which control free radicals. They boost blood sugar, insulin, fiber intake, and lowers cholesterol. Berries are also incredible for skin health and may help fight cancer.
Avocado is full of fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and folate. It is one of the most highly regarded superfoods!
Coconut is an odd, hairy, tropical fruit that is described as a superfood due to its ability to assist in fat loss and improving brain function. Coconut comes in a variety of forms including raw, shaved, as coconut milk, and even coconut oil. Each type is nutritionally dense and can be added to a variety of cuisines.
5 ingredient No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars (thanks to www.beamingbaker.com)
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes, shredded, or raw chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid or melted
- ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Chocolate top layer
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips or chopped paleo chocolate (use dark chocolate to double the superfood!)
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- Line baking pan with wax paper
- Add first four ingredients to a food processor, blend until wet and sticky
- Pour coconut mixture into pan
- Press down and smooth
- Use double boiler method to heat ingredients for chocolate layer until soft and melted
- Smooth chocolate over coconut layer in pan
- Freeze for 40-70 minutes
- Slice and enjoy
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that provides vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants to the human body. These nutritious, green vegetables are great for burning belly fat and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable, it is usually white. This vegetable is also high in vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B, and antioxidants. It is said that cauliflower can help protect human cells.
Zucchini is a great and versatile vegetable. It is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A as well as fiber, donate, and potassium. Zucchini and other squash can be fried baked, stuffed or made into a casserole. The flower blossoms of the zucchini plant are also edible and contain their own nutritional benefits such as only having 5 calories.
Sweet potatoes are sources of beta carotene and vitamin A. They also contain fiber, calcium, iron, selenium, and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are often eaten around the holidays and may be referred to as yams which would be false, they are two different vegetables. More recently, sweet potatoes have been seen in the form of sweet potato fries that are often paired with honey for dipping.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries (thanks to www.foodnetwork.com)
- Olive oil, for tossing
- 5 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch long then ¼ inch wide strips, using a crinkle cut knife
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon if seasoning mixture as follows:
- 1 cup salt
- ¼ cup black pepper
- ¼ cup garlic powder
- Preheat given to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line a sheet with parchment paper
- Toss fries in oil to coat
- Sprinkle with seasoning mixture and paprika
- Spread fries on baking sheet, don’t overcrowd
- Bake until tender and golden brown, turning occasionally
- Cook 20 minutes, let cool and serve
Other super, superfoods!
- Leafy greens
- Chia seeds
- Dark chocolate