Hello, rockstar. You’re acing Dry January. You’re sticking to your workout routine (hey, even those household sweat sessions count!). And you’re nailing your resolution to make your accessorizing worthy of L. Conrad’s insta. That whole healthy eating thing though? Well, let’s just say it’s been a bit more of a struggle than your other new year’s goals. But taco cleanse, no more! Author and (vegan!) blogger Jessica Nadel’s new book, Superfoods 24/7: More Than 100 Easy and Inspired Recipes to Enjoy the World’s Most Nutritious Foods at Every Meal, Every Day has got you covered like UberPool has you for that penny-pinching friend of yours.
Indeed, superfoods make big splashes everywhere you look these days. Sometimes a simple walk to the health food store can feel like a fighting match of chia seeds, spirulina and açaí screaming for your attention. Much ado about maca, if you ask us. Between everyday heroes (almonds, we’re looking at you) and intergalactic-sounding finds like camu camu, there’s good reason to spend the extra time doing your due diligence on so-called superfoods (or, you know, whipping out your sleek iPhone and googling): They’re all exploding with antioxidants and vitamins that nourish our cells and flood our bodies with nutrients.
Nadel explains why she’s a superfoods obsessivore: “Not only do I love packing lots of delicious flavors into my meals, but it’s also kind of awesome to get as much nutrition into them as I can, so I love cooking with healthy, nutrient-dense ‘superfoods.’ And although I do really enjoy some of the more exotic superfood powders like maca and matcha, it’s those vibrant, accessible fruits, veggies, seeds and pulses that are really where it’s at.” Scroll on for Nadel’s top picks to always make sure you stock up on for your kitchen.
1. Sweet Potatoes: “Sweet potatoes are my one of my favorite go-to superfoods. They’re readily available, totally affordable and brimming with nutrition, full of vitamins A, C, potassium and iron,” Nadel comments. “They’re incredibly versatile too! Steamed sweet potato cubes can be transformed into the most amazing mac ‘n’ cheese sauce, added to a morning smoothie or whipped up into a fluffy orange-hued garlic mash. Even just baking them whole and then loading them up with your favourite toppings makes for an easy and super yummy dinner.” We’re thinking we might want to add those sweet potato casserole recipes from Thanksgiving to our regular rotation all year long.
2. Shelled Hemp Seeds (aka Hemp Hearts): “[They’re] everywhere these days, but you still may not have tried them. These small unsuspecting seeds are so wonderful, I literally put them on everything! I like to sprinkle them on smoothie bowls, oatmeal, soups, salads, pizza… seriously, you name it and I’ve put hemp on it! As a seed, they’re also a great nut-free alternative to use in place of cashews in creamy raw sauces and dressings,” offers Nadel.
3. Brussels Sprouts: “Don’t judge me here, but I love Brussels sprouts. Containing cancer-protecting glucosinolate compounds, folate and vitamins K and C, these tiny little green balls are worth their weight in gold,” quips Nadel. “Gone are the days of choking down mushy boiled sprouts — up your game by roasting them at 375 degrees with a bit of coconut oil and sea salt and prepare to be wowed. My other favorite way to eat them up is raw, shredded in a salad. The Vietnamese Brussels sprout and noodle salad from Superfoods 24/7 is my current obsession.”
4. Turmeric. All hail the knobby root! “Turmeric has been used and loved in parts of the world for thousands of years, and now it’s starting to really catch on in the western world,” offers Nadel. “You can find it in its dried, powdered form in any grocery store, but if you’re lucky you can also find it in its whole, root form. Look for it near the fresh ginger root. It’s renowned for its anti-inflammatory and heart-health promoting properties. It’s another ‘sprinkle in everything’ superfood, but I especially love curling up with a warm mug of [my] spiced golden turmeric (almond) milk.” Need more convincing? Here are more reasons you should add turmeric to your daily routine, along with creative ideas for the potent spice.
5. Lentils: We’re going mental for lentils too. “Lentils are readily available, come in several varieties and are quick to prepare. Best of all, they’re legumes that require no pre-soaking prior to cooking,” Nadel shares. “They’re a wonderful plant-based protein and an easy way to bulk up salads, soups, pastas and stews. I’ve even been known to pack them into cookies!” Ah, lentil cookies. Maybe that’s how we’ll finally slip some nutrition into our junk food lovin’ boo.
6. Avocados. “[These fruits] round out my favorite supermarket staples. Their creamy, green flesh is full of heart-healthy fats and dietary fiber,” comments Nadel. “From simple guacamole to just spreading it on toast, I could (and often do) literally eat an avocado every day.” And we don’t know about you, but we’re excited to try these 13 ways you never thought to eat an avocado.
So what superfood can’t you live without? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)