5 brilliant recipes to use up your superfoods
Confused by what superfood goes with what? It’s an all too easy habit to fall into – buying a new healthy product for a specific recipe, then wondering how to use up the rest of it.
In our latest March/April issue of healthy, we explore the superfood trend, asking: are they worth all the hype, and which ones should you invest in? Meanwhile, we’ve had a look through the healthy recipe archives to find a delicious recipe for some of our favourite superfoods: cacao powder, coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseed, kefir. Plus, we’ve broken down their impressive health benefits.
Which one will you be making? Read on to help you decide.
Got cacao powder? Make cacao and avocado pots
2 large ripe avocados
1 ripe banana
4 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
Halve and stone the avocados, then scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Divide the mixture between 4 small pots, then chill for at least 30 mins. Decorate with fresh raspberries or chopped pistachio nuts.
Healthy benefits Cacao beans contain phytochemicals called flavanols, which are believed to help keep the brain healthy and may even reverse age related memory decline in older people. In a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience a group of volunteers were given a diet either high or low in flavanols for the months. Brain scans and memory tests revealed that the diet high in flavonols improved flow of blood to the brain and memory.
Got coconut oil? Make Cajun coconut broccoli
1 head of broccoli
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Cut the broccoli into florets, boil for 4 mins; drain. Heat both oils in a wok; add garlic, a shake of Cajun seasoning, and stir-fry for one minute. Stir broccoli into the oil until coated. Serve.
Healthy benefits: Broccoli is high in fibre, while a US study found the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) fats in coconut oil have appetite-curbing qualities.
Got chia seeds? Make oat and chia seed chicken goujons
Makes 16 goujons
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp spelt or oat flour
1 large egg, beaten
350g boneless chicken fillets, cut into 16 strips
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Place the oatcakes in a food processor and blend until crushed, add the chilli powder and chia seeds and blend again, then place in a shallow bowl. Next, put the flour on a plate and the egg into a shallow bowl. First, roll the chicken strips in the flour, then dip into the egg (allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl). Finally, roll the chicken in the crushed oatcake and chia seed mix until coated. Place the chicken strips on a non-stick baking tray and drizzle with oil before baking for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked and the coating is crisp and golden. Serve with salad and sweet potato wedges.
Healthy benefits: This dish is packed with protein thanks to the chicken as well as the chia seeds, which are 14 per cent protein. Exercise causes tiny muscle tears, which protein helps to repair. The oatcake coating is also perfect for post-workout, as the low-GI means they’re digested slowly, in turn keeping your energy levels even.
Got ground flaxseed? Make flaxseed apple parfait
1 small cooking apple
A little water
1 tbsp honey, plus extra to taste
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp jumbo oats
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
300ml fat-free Greek yoghurt
Cook apple in the water until soft, and mash to a chunky purée. Sweeten to taste with honey (or other sweetener of your choice). Add cinnamon and leave to cool. Combine the oats, almonds, and 1 tbsp honey; spread out on an oiled, lined baking tray and bake at 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2 for 15 mins, stirring and watching it doesn’t burn, until golden and toasted. Mix in the flaxseeds and leave to cool. Layer the apple, yoghurt and crunchy mix in two sundae glasses.
Healthy benefits: Flaxseeds contain the essential fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), lignans and soluble fibre. These can all help reduce cholesterol levels, including ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, which clogs up arteries. In a Canadian trial, those taking 30g of flaxseed daily had lower levels of LDL.
Got kefir? Make garlic dressing
175ml milk kefir
11⁄2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch of low-sodium salt, and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together the kefir, lemon juice, parmesan, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days; it will thicken on standing.
Healthy benefits: Research suggests kefir may lower blood cholesterol. When beneficial bacteria reach our bowels, they make short-chain fatty acids, which may reduce the cholesterol the liver produces.