Dozens of "superfoods," including spinach, blueberries and salmon, have gotten a great amount of press for their health benefits. Recently, a few more have been brought into the mainstream that you may not be aware of. True Food Kitchen's Executive Chef, Michael Stebner, introduces us to what they are and stresses why we should be eating them.
Purslane ("the new kale")
Purslane is an ancient wild green, meaning that it has not been highly cultivated over the last 10,000 years to taste better and sweeter. Most of its original wild phytonutrients are still in tact. It has 14 times more Omega 3s than spinach.
These noodles are rich in Iodine and Omega 3s, but most importantly they have almost no calories, very little carbs and are gluten free.
Freekeh is another old grain traced back to biblical times. It is wheat that is picked while it is still green and soft, then it is roasted slowly. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and low glycemic load, with a very high amount of fiber.
Sometimes called Chinese Broccoli it has dark leafy greens and sweet tender stalks that are about the size of asparagus stalks. Incredible nutritional density with cancer fighting properties, high fiber and calcium.
A superfood that used to be only used on Chia Pets. These tiny seeds have the ability to absorb an enormous amount of liquid, so they lend themselves to thickening puddings and cereal type dishes. They are high in fiber, protein and help with hydration.
Turmeric has incredible anti-inflammatory properties, societies in the far east that consume large quantities of turmeric every day have some of the lowest rates of Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes & Arthritis in the world. Turmeric turns whatever you put it in yellow, so you often find it in curry. We use it in a number of dishes as well as fresh turmeric root in our juice bar. Flavor-wise it is pretty strong, so a little goes a long way.
Why is it important that it’s organic? Even though it is not on the Dirty Dozen List, corn is one of the most Genetically modified foods, along with soy, canola and wheat. USDA Organic is currently the only guarantee that something has not been genetically modified.
Chef Stebner, along with Dr. Andrew Weil, has managed to incorporate a number of these new "superfoods" into his menu this summer (July 3rd in SoCal) including:
Summer Market Salad - purslane, organic corn, cucumbers, avocado, goat cheese, blueberries, tomatoes, herb vinaigrette
Asian Noodles - kelp noodles, gai lan, mushroom, ginger vinaigrette
Summer Seafood Stew - shrimp, sea bass, zucchini, tomato, fennel, garbanzo beans, turmeric
Grilled Steelhead Salmon - arugula, watercress, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, freekeh, lemon vinaigrette
Pomegranate Limaide - fresh squeezed lime juice, cane sugar, pomegranate juice, chia seeds
You'll find a number of juice bars have been adding tumeric into their creations these days. To get you started, here are a few recipes to get these foods into your diet while keeping them kid friendly.
Banana Bread Chia Seed Mini Loafs
The addition of banana to these mini loafs makes them both moist and flavorful. Bake two mini loafs and freeze one for later, or give one to a friend or coworker to share the love!
Makes 2 full mini loafs or 3 smaller loaves
¼ c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 ½ ripe bananas, smashed
¼ c. canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray two mini loaf pans with cooking spray. Beat sugars, egg, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Once sugar mixture is combined, beat in bananas. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly beat flour mixture into sugar mixture. Beat in chia seeds. Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the tops of the loaves are light brown.
Turmeric Popcorn - The Kid Friendly Healthy Snack
1 teaspoon curry powder
(use mild curry if serving to children)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 pinches sea salt
3 cups freshly popped corn
Pop the popcorn.
Make the curry infused butter.
Melt the butter of a slow to medium heat taking care not to let the butter burn. Add the curry powder, Turmeric, and pinches of sea salt. Stir for no more than 3 minutes then remove from burner.
Add curry turmeric mixture to popcorn.
There are two ways to add the curry to the popcorn. One way is to drizzle the mixture over the popcorn and stir at the same time to get an even coating. The second way is to add the mixture a spray bottle, lay out the popcorn onto baking trays and spritz the mixture over the popcorn, tip it then into a bowl and mix again. Although this has an extra step, I find it works best with ensuring even coating of the mixture.