Seems like there’s always a new “it” superfood popping up in the news, from bee pollen to spirulina to chia seeds. But what’s the element that makes a so-called superfood… truly super? Since there’s truth to the saying that “you are what you eat,” my definition is a fresh, whole food that’s naturally bursting with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals, or fiber… and bonus points if they boast several of these. I’ve developed a habit of stocking up on several of these SF’s that keep me feeling my very best, inside and out, and they’ve become such a routine part of our family’s weekly diet that our refrigerator is rarely without them. Click through for the 10 superfoods I always keep on hand (and my favorite healthy recipes to make with each of them!)
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Avocado, how do I love thee? In the mornings, I top toasted bread with a smear of avocado and squeeze of lemon juice, for lunch I add a healthy dose of protein to all-veggie salads with a few big chunks, and at dinnertime, sliced avocados top soups, fill tacos and become a rich sandwich condiment. Avocados have recently been touted as one of the “world’s healthiest foods” thanks to the 20 vitamins and minerals they offer up in each serving, including potassium, lutein, vitamin B, C, & E, and plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer.
Try one of these 10 avocado recipes that we love!
Packed full of antioxidants and low in calories and sugar, blueberries are my go-to fruit to toss into oatmeal, yogurt, and baked goods. Even ice cream feels a little healthier when scattered with a handful of these sweet juicy guys.
Click through 10 delicious blueberry recipes here.
My mom always taught me to keep walnuts (as well as other nuts) in the freezer, which prevents them from spoiling so they’re always at the ready for an impromptu batch of cookies or a satisfying snack. Walnuts are a really special nut because they’re comprised of omega-3 fatty acids, which boast numerous health effects including anti-inflammatory components, the ability to decrease blood clotting, reduce blood triglycerides, promote glowing skin, and the list goes on…
Try them in Coconut Walnut Oat Bars.
Dark Leafy Greens.
I think of these guys as the king of superfoods — they’re incredibly low in calories and pack a major punch with vitamins A, C, E, and K, an array of minerals and an abundance of phytochemicals. Kale, bok choy, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, and arugula are actually an amazing plant source of calcium — I always have a couple of varieties in the fridge and they form the basis of most of my smoothies and salads.
Make this Raw Kale Caesar with Beet Microgreens & Poached Egg.
Salmon is my fave, mainly because it’s sooo delicious. We eat it at least once a week at our house, and usually I just season and then pop it under the broiler for 5 minutes. It’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which protect heart health and encourage glowing skin and thick hair. Need we say more?
Try my favorite Broiled Teriyaki Salmon recipe.
There are eggs… and there are organic, farm-fresh eggs that have deep yellow yolks and a certain richness you just don’t get from the supermarket variety. I pickup a dozen every weekend at the farmers market, and on those nights when I can’t think of what to make for dinner, a fluffy omelette with a sprinkling of cheddar and a few sautéed veggies always does the trick. Not only are they incredibly versatile — eggs also contain 12 vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is crucial for brain development and memory.
Try one of these 10 amazing egg recipes.
Broccoli (& other cruciferous veggies.)
Thank goodness that Phoebe loves broccoli — it’s chock-full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, and is so versatile to use in all kinds of recipes. I steam and serve in pastas or omelettes, and roast until nutty and top with lemon juice and parmesan as the most delicious side. Lately I’ve even been chopping up into tiny pieces and using it raw, tossed right into grain salads.
I’ve been loving Chanel’s Raw Broccoli Chopped Salad!
Farro, quinoa (or your ancient grain of choice.)
I try to cook at least one of these grains on Sunday night and keep it in the fridge to throw into salads and stir-fry for healthy lunches all week long. Farro is my personal fave because of its nutty flavor and chewiness, but it’s fun to mix it up, and almost all ancient grains are great sources of plant protein, fiber and iron.
Try this Farro Salad with Kale Pesto.
It is almost ridiculous how many sweet potatoes I might eat during a given week. I mainly love the way they taste, but they score major bonus points for being packed full of vitamin A and potassium. I wrap mine in foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for a long time — an hour and a half or so — and when they come out they’re so juicy and sweet that all they need is a sprinkle of sea salt.
I think that high-quality canned beans that have been rinsed well are usually as good as their dried counterparts, especially when used in recipes like soups or pastas. Chickpeas are essential for making hummus, and I always have white beans on hand for adding to soups, salads, and chili. They’re full of both soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, magnesium, and potassium and are a great substitute for meat in a hearty meal.
Try this Kale & White Bean Crostini.