Many foods have been proclaimed as superfoods because they are gold mines of goodness packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and all the things that natural whole foods can offer in a concentrated form. It has been estimated that more than two-thirds of the groceries people buy in supermarkets are processed foods. Many people seldom eat whole grains or natural and fresh green vegetables.
Processed foods have been blamed for the obesity epidemic raging around the world because processed foods are too rich, containing too many calories and fat.People get fat because they passively overeat and over-consume calories and fat by simply eating three standard size meals a day, which are far too rich.
Processing of food has enriched our food to the point that it is threatening our health. It is a world-wide problem as the West exports its lifestyle, foods and diet. We simply eat too much processed food.
Although the notion of a superfood has been over-hyped, it is true that there are some foods which really pack a punch in terms of nutrients and goodness. Many of these foods are nuts, peas and pulse, green vegetables and grains, many the ancient wild grains that existed before selective breeding. Imagine eating salads made from two or more of these superfoods. You would get more punch for your munch.
This article provides some of the best ever superfood salad recipes for you to try.
Which of the major salad vegetables can be regarded as superfoods? Which foods , not normally used for making salads could be added to salads to make them super good?
► Blueberries - are one of the best natural sources of flavonoids that help support the immune system and boost memory. Blueberries have outstanding health benefits and are packed with a wonderful array of nutrients. Blueberries be added to salads to provide color and flavor, and to boost the nutrients.
► Spinach - is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamin C, Vitamin K, lutein and zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. Just one cup of fresh spinach leaves provides almost double the recommended daily requirement for vitamin K. Spinach has low calories, lots of fiber and is a good source of iron and many essential minerals.
► Pistachios, Walnuts, Almonds,Pine nuts, Macadamia Nuts - are all regarded and superfoods. Numerous research studies have shown the outstanding health benefits of nuts. Though high in calories eating nuts has been shown to help reduce cholesteraol levels in the blood. Nuts add flavor and crunch to salads and a texture contrast. Walnuts are a rich source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Pistachios are particularly rich in soluble fiber and phytosterols, that have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
► Red Bell Peppers - Red bell peppers have almost twice as much vitamin C as an apple or an orange. They are also rich in lycopene and beta-carotene and several other antioxidants. They have low calories and are rich in fiber, minerals and Vitamins.
► Beets - are renowned as a superfood for both the bulbs and tops. They are very versatile and they pair well with beef and pork dishes.
► Kale and Other Fresh Green Vegetables - are rich in nutrients, fiber and minerals. Kale, raw garlic, beet greens, red cabbage and savoy cabbage have the highest levels of antioxidants for any fresh food.
► Quinoa - is one of many ancient grains that are regarded as superfoods. Quinoa has high quantities of protein and significantly it contains good qualities of virtually all of the essential amino acids. So, it is a complete protein, something which is relatively rare in other vegetable foods. It is much priced by vegans. It is also gluten-free, high in fiber and has a low GI. It is a good source of magnesium and many other minerals.
► Amaranth - has relatively high levels of protein for a grain and a wide array of essential amino acids. It is related to quinoa and has high in protein, fiber. One cup of amaranth contains 28 g of protein, compared with 13 g in rice and 26 g in to oats, which are also regarded as a superfood.
► Buckwheat - has a unique triangular shape and despite its name, it is not related to wheat. Nutritionally similar to quinoa it contains significant amounts of all of the essential amino acids, has a low GI, high in fiber, is gluten free and is particularly high in niacin, which helps release energy from food.
► Sesame, pumpkin and other seeds - Pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds have rightly been included as superfoods because of their wonderful array of minerals and vitamins. However, they contain high fat and carbohydrate levels and relatively high levels of calories, and so they should be used sparingly.
For the Simple Dressing
Roast the cauliflower, zucchinis, sweet potatoes and red onions on a baking sheet in a moderate oven tray with dollops of butter and sprinklings of turmeric, ground cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables have just started to browning and become tender. Cook the brown rice. Whisk all the salad dressing ingredients together and add 2-3 tablespoons of water and set aside. Add all the ingredients including the cooked cooked vegetables and rice to a serving dish and pour over the dressing. Top with sesame seeds and fresh herbs.
For the citrus dressing
Boil the broccoli and soya beans, with a little salt for about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and quickly rinse with ice cold water. Add to a large serving bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a cup and pour over the salad. Top with fresh herbs and nuts.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and mix well.
Boil the quinoa, cool and set aside. Roast the beets and sweet potatoes until just tender and cool. Assemble all the ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
For the Dressing
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the salad which has been assemble and tossed in a medium size bowl. Sprinkle over the parsley, walnuts, sesame seeds and fresh herbs (optional).
For the dressing
Cook the quinoa and set aside to cool. Make the dressing by placing all ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into a small jug. Mix the cooled kale with the almonds, carrots, blueberries and tomatoes in a serving bowl. Pour over the dressing and top with sesame seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and fresh herbs.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Slice the tops off the beets and wash thoroughly. Wrap each beet tightly in foil and place, well separated on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40-50 to minutes, or until the beets are tender to the touch. Cool the beets, unwrap from the foil and push off the skins. Dice the beets. Mix the white onion, sour cream, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a medium size bowl. Add the beets and stir to combine well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve topped with coriander or basil leaves.