Superfoods are the high achievers of the food world. They include certain fruits and vegies that you may already include in your diet like blueberries or broccoli, as well as the weird and wonderful foods straight from the Amazon, likes Acai berries. What they all have in common is that they are incredibly rich in nutritional goodness!
We’ve come up with some ideas to include superfoods in your everyday meals, that even the little ones will enjoy.
- 1. Goji berries: Dried goji berries contain over 20 vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and are perfectly matched with nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews for an interesting and nutritious mid-morning snack for kids and adults alike.
- 2. Kale: Kale is often called the "queen of greens" because it’s a little nutritional powerhouse loaded with vitamin A, C and K as well as calcium, iron, fibre and more. Steam kale for 5 minutes and add it to wholemeal pasta with feta, pinenuts and a little olive oil for a quick deliciously nutritious meal.
- 3. Acai berries: The Amazonian wonder, acai berries make a fantastic addition to a morning smoothie and will be simply irresistible to kids with their chocolatey-berry flavour. Why not blend a cup of milk (cow’s, soy, rice or almond) with 1 banana and a handful of frozen acai berries to kickstart your day. Quick and delicious!
- 4. Broccoli: Often dismissed as being a bit boring, the humble broccoli packs a real nutritional punch. Add broccoli to a simple stirfry with chicken (or tofu), cashews, mushrooms (also superfoods in their own right!), ginger, lime and soy sauce. Add brown rice or noodles and voila! An easy and nutritious, non-boring dinner is served.
- 5. Quinoa: Once only the domain of “alternative” stores, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is now found in mainstream supermarkets. It’s a great replacement for grains like rice or cous cous and best of all it can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. Quinoa is rich in protein and antioxidants and is gluten-free and low in fat. For a kid-friendly tasty lunchbox idea, add green beans, snow peas, cucumber and avocado to cooked quinoa with a yoghurt dressing (Greek yoghurt, lemon, mint and a bit of sweet chilli sauce).
- 6. Coconuts: The tropical coconut has been elevated to superfood status in recent years. Coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes (minerals that keep you hydrated) so is perfect on a hot day or after playing sport. Coconut oil is said to be one of the best oils for cooking because of its high heat tolerance and nutritional benefits so why not give it a go in your next dish.
- 7. Cacao: Cacao (raw, unprocessed chocolate) is full of antioxidants called flavonoids, as well as magnesium and is believed to make you feel happier (hence why we all often crave it!). For a healthy afternoon snack the whole family will enjoy, make cacao brownies with three simple ingredients – 1 cup walnuts, 1-1.5 cups of dates, ¼ cup of raw cacao. Mix in a food processor, press into a small spring-form pan and refrigerate until firm. We think these are just as good (or maybe even better) than traditional chocolate brownies. Warning: they are highly addictive!
- 8. Chia seeds: These cute little black seeds are jam-packed with goodness. They are a good source of protein, contain essential fats, and are super high in dietary fibre, minerals and antioxidants. We like to sprinkle them on our morning porridge and salads to keep us going all day long.
- 9. Purple carrots: You may have recently noticed these in your local supermarket, but did you know all carrots used to be purple?! The orange carrot was actually developed from the purple carrot by the Dutch in the 17th century. What makes purple carrots special is they contain all the usual nutrients of orange carrots, plus important antioxidants. But they taste just the same, so you can cook them the way you would a “typical” carrot and brighten up your dinner plate! Why not try roasted, honey glazed carrots with a mixture of orange and purple varieties for something a little different.
How do you include superfoodsin your family meals?