My favorite superfoods + warm drink
Cacao… aka chocolate, the thing we all know and love. However, many people avoid chocolate like the plague and you know I say, “you do you because more for me, right?” What I find to be so funny is that people think “ real chocolate” is that bullshit cheap af milky chocolate, which is far from the truth. Essentially, hershey's, snickers and all that bs chocolate is sugar and milk with just a bit of cacao. That is 100% not real chocolate. Real chocolate should have more cacao than any other ingredient. You really have to love chocolate to eat healthy antioxidant rich chocolate, kinda like coffee; you have to love the flavor to drink it black. Anyways, let us get into why cacao is so great for you.
Cacao is the seed or nut of a fruit from an amazonian tree, which is actually one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet. Cocoa is not cacao at all because unlike cocoa, cacao is a raw food and retains its enzymatic as well as vitamin content. Cacao is full of antioxidants( flavonoids) along with iron, magnesium, manganese, and even fiber.
Consuming raw chocolate will help improve cardiovascular health, increase longevity, support strong bones, elevate your mood, as well as give you a fabulous source of antioxidants. I would love to live as long as possible so if you still want to avoid healthy chocolate, go right ahead because like i said, more for me.
Raw cacao is a powder I will throw into my smoothies, pancakes, or oatmeal when I crave a little chocolate hit. Also I will sometimes throw the cacao nibs on top of smoothie bowls. However, my latest and greatest obsession this past year has been making a healthy hot chocolate or cacao latte for warmth, comfort and an overall chocolate hit!
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup plant milk
½ cup hot water
Optional: dash of cinnamon and/or vanilla.
Put cacao and maple syrup into a cup and mix until fully incorporated. The consistency should be wet and shiny, add more maple syrup if need. Next add in hot water and plant milk, mix and microwave until hot. This can also be done on a stove top. I
If you are looking for a more frothy drink, blend the in the blender!
2. GOJI BERRIES
Goji berries will always have a place in my heart because they are the first superfood I ever tried and bought on my own free will. Not only are they delicious, but they are full of many vitamins and are very recipe versatile in my opinion. These particular berries have been used in traditional chinese medicine for over 5,000 years and are highly regarded for their anti anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits. They are also known to be beneficial for supporting in both reproductive and neurological health. The great thing about goji berries is you don’t need a lot to achieve the health benefits because just one ounce has three grams of protein and is high in selenium, riboflavin, iron, and vitamin C. My favorite way to consume goji berries is as a snack, on top or in smoothie bowls and oatmeal, or in a homemade goji berry chia jam.
Maca is known as a root that is great for healing hormonal imbalance in both men and women. Maca is an adaptogenic super food that comes from the Peruvian Andes and has been a staple in their diet for thousands of years. If case you have no clue, and adaptogen is a non-toxic substance that increases the body’s ability to withstand the damaging effects of certain stresses. Adaptogens also help to promote or restore normal physiological functioning in the body. Maca in particular increases energy, endurance, fertility, and libido. Moreover, dried maca powder may support cognitive function, provide protection from osteoporosis, and help reduce blood pressure. Maca also has a great amount of fiber and contains 5x more protein than a potato. My favorite way to use maca is in chocolate smoothies, oats, cacao lattes, and baked goods. In my opinion maca has a malty caramel taste that goes great in combination with cacao.
4. HEMP PRODUCTS
Hemp seeds are an omega 3 and protein power house and can be added to pretty much everything. Hemp seeds have each and every amino acid present and are also rich in iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium. Hemp is so versatile and a great way to increase your protein and omega 3 intake. I use hemp so many ways: on top of savory foods, sweet foods ( smoothie bowls, oatmeal), in smoothies, in sauces (salad dressings; pasta sauce; or just sauce),and you can even make hemp milk. I highly suggest incorporating hemp into your daily diet.
5. SPIRULINA AND AFA BLUE ALGAE
In case you are not privy, spirulina is the world’s highest vegetarian source of complete protein. Spirulina contains a vast array of trace elements, minerals, and phytonutrients that provide so many wonderful healing benefits to your body. Spirulina can help to improve blood sugar control, support a healthy cholesterol profile as well as reduce blood pressure. AFA blue-green algae is a wild grown superfood that has a blue pigmented phycocyanin which is a very powerful antioxidant. This algae may aid in the improvement of your mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Further, AFA blue-green algae may also be cardio-protective and help reduce the cholesterol in your body. My favorite way to utilize these plant algaes is in smoothies or homemade bars.
6. SEA VEGETABLES (KELP, DULSE, NORI)
Sea veggies are rich in nutrients drawn from the ocean and sun. They offer iodine, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and are a great source of fiber which obviously promotes digestive health. Sea veggies may also support immunity, reduce cholesterol and diminish the risk of cancer.
Sea veggies are especially beneficial for thyroid and hormone function.
My favorite way to incorporate kelp noodles are with a creamy plant based sauce and veggies, like; asian almond butter or peanut butter sauce, creamy cashew sauce, or creamy pesto sauce. I love using nori with sushi and sushi bowls and then dulse with salads or sushi bowls.
7. MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS (CHAGA, REISHI ETC.)
Medicinal mushrooms are high in polysaccharides and immune-enhancing components, plus they are a highly adaptogenic superfood. They may also help to halt the formation of cancer cells and reduce symptoms of inflammatory diseases. Consider Chaga to be the King and Reishi to be the Queen of all mushrooms. I have yet to incorporate these mushrooms into my diet, but when i do I will most likely buy them in powder or tea form.