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FOOD

Simple is Super

By September 4, 2013 January 6th, 2015 No Comments

freshfood

When it comes to food and our diet, we are constantly receiving mixed messages about the most healthy foods to eat. Wherever we turn, we are confronted by an array of products all with a variety of health claims.

The food industry is fully aware that we all want to be healthy and raise healthy children, so health claims usually attract consumer support, however, it is often the very products that make these health claims that are THE MOST processed and in fact contribute very little, if anything, to good health and wellbeing.

Now we have a new wave of health claims in the form of ‘super foods’ that have inundated the health food industry (and I’m sure the processed food industry isn’t too far behind)! So are ‘super foods’ indeed super?

I believe that the simple things in life are important. Every whole, real food provided by nature really is super! The more whole the food and the less human intervention that has taken place before it reaches your plate, the better it is going to be for you. It doesn’t necessarily have to hail from some deep dark corner of the Amazon to possess super health benefits. In fact, a humble fruit or vegetable grown organically from a nearby farm may just yield as much goodness and have more of its life force intact than a super food that has been processed into a powder and travelled some distance before being packaged and sold for top dollar.

That said, many of the foods hailed as ‘super’ do indeed have impressive nutrient profiles; chia seeds, quinoa, cacao and coconut oil are personal favourites, however some other ‘super foods’, especially the berries and roots, must be processed in order to be preserved and this is often at a significant cost to their health giving nutrients.

‘Super foods’ form a very small part of a much bigger picture. That is, you can’t eat a largely processed diet and supplement with an Amazonian fruit powder and expect long lasting health and vitality. There are no short cuts and no fast fixes when it comes to maintaining good health. Also bear in mind that what may help to make one person feel fabulous, may not suit another.

This is the case especially with those products touting a variety of medical claims. Please also be very cautious of super foods that are mixed into very sweet, smoothies or ice cream bowls. These are treat foods, not health foods and the energy boost you experience from these concoctions is most likely due to the sugar content!

So before you spend your hard earned dollars on any food, even super foods, please consider the processing. At the end of the day, simply sharing a variety of seasonal, local, whole foods with friends and family and creating delicious food memories are all you really need to live a healthy, happy life.

Chia Berry Ripe

This little concoction is medley of several very super whole foods. It’s deliciously sweet enough for a dessert (my husband thinks it tastes like a cherry ripe) and healthy enough for breakfast! I make a jar of it and help myself when the desire arises.

So what’s so good about it? Chia seeds have a very impressive nutrient profile and are a great gluten free source of fibre, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. These small, tasteless seeds swell up and absorb liquid and the flavours they are soaked in, which makes them incredibly versatile.

The berries and cacao powder are rich in antioxidants and the lemon zest and coconut milk are wonderful immune boosters. How super is that?

 

Food-Sept-Chia-Berry-RipeIngredients

½ cup of berries (I use raspberries and blueberries but any will do)

¼ cup of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

1-2 tablespoons of real maple syrup or rice syrup

2 teaspoons of vanilla paste or powder

Zest of one lemon

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

1½ cups of coconut milk (can exchange any other type of milk)

 

In a large jar place all of the ingredients and stir or shake to combine well. Place it in the fridge for at least a few hours (I leave it overnight). You can shake or stir it after an hour or so, just to make sure the flavours are well distributed. Enjoy as it is or topped with more berries. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.

 

Well Nourished

Well Nourished  

Founded by Georgia, a mum, cookbook author, naturopath with 19 years experience and the creator of The Well Nourished Lunch Box Challenge, Well Nourished delivers wholesome, easy-to-follow recipes targeted to busy families. Readers flock to Well Nourished for inspiring health advice and free, nourishing, family friendly recipes. // www.wellnourished.com.au