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Posts Tagged ‘Superfoods’

Winter Greens Power Pesto

 

Well, the dark green leafy veggies are in full swing, able to endure the onset of winter weather! Kales, Collards, and Chards galore are piled up in the produce isle all over the northeast and elsewhere for many more months to come. 

Stir-fries, salads, soups, smoothies…. There’s really nowhere you can’t use this green goodness. Our new favorite… sauces!

Did you know you can make a pesto with garden greens using the usual recipe?

Adding heartier greens such as kale, collards and/or spinach boosts the benefit exponentially. Dark leafy greens have more vitamins and minerals per calorie than any other food, they’re incredibly iron rich (addressing fatigue), Vitamin K rich (needed for bone health) and surprisingly chock full of Vitamin C.

 

Now here’s the best part – chopping dark greens for pesto triggers a chemical reaction, activating certain antioxidants and phytominerals that stimulate the body’s own antioxidant response, making this pesto a powerful cancer fighter in particular!

 

So it’s not just what you eat, but also how you prepare it. Coarse chopping breaks down the cell walls and releases the cancer fighting benefit.

Mix that with the anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties of parsley or the blood-cleansing action of cilantro you’ve got a full-spectrum superfood!

EASY POWER PESTO RECIPE:

* Two cups of green leaves (mix dark greens and Herbs for maximum health benefit remove the stems)

* 1-2 cloves of garlic

* ⅔ cup of extra-virgin olive oil (you can add more or less to reach preferred consistency)

* The juice of ½ lemon

* ¼ cup of any type of nut or sunflower seeds (a new favorite is pecans)

* A pinch of salt

* ¼-½ cup Parmesan cheese (optional – leave the parm out and the recipe is vegan)

Place the nuts, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and cheese together in the food processor and pulse until the ingredients are chopped but not blended. Add the greens at the end and be sure not to overwork them to maintain maximum nutrition, incredible flavor, and create a gourmet appearance.

Don’t have a food processor? No problem. Simply chop the greens and nuts, mince the garlic, add the other ingredients and mash with an old fashioned mortar & pestle or simply mix everything together in a bowl for a rougher consistency.

Leave to sit for 20+ minutes to allow the flavors to mingle, and the dark greens to fully activate.

 

Enjoy as a veggie dip, a sauce for pasta or as a marinade for veggies, fish, tofu and more.

 

Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

Beet Pesto

Summer produce brings to mind juicy heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet fruits & an over supply of summer squash (aka zucchini). It’s easy to forget that early summer in the North East (and everywhere else with 4 seasons) offers an abundance of roots and greens rather than quintessential summer crops. Roots and greens are ideal foods for detoxing from the sluggishness and stagnation that can build up during winter and spring.

While roasted veggies may feel like a dish designed for the colder months, this roasted beet pesto is the perfect summer delicacy — it is both light and soothing on a hot summer day. Plus it aids digestion and adds a beautiful color to any party spread.


What makes beet pesto a superfood?


Quartered Chioggia Beets

Lowers your blood pressure

Prevents cancer & fights inflammation

Chalk full of fiber aiding digestive health

Boosts immune system with natural antibiotic properties

Essential fats for brain power

A naturally sweet and delicious seasonal delicacy


Ready to get started?


Ingredients:

  • – 2 cups roasted beets or approximately 3-4 medium-sized raw beets for roasting
  • – 1 tbs. walnut oil for roasting the beets (or any other high heat oil)
  • – 1/4 cup olive oil
  • – 1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts
  • – 1 tsp. salt
  • – 3/4 cup parmasan
  • – 2-4 cloves garlic (for your taste preference)
  • – 1 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • – 2 tbs. lemon juice or 1 tbs. apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Option 1: Wash and peel the beets; cube them; & lightly coat them in walnut oil. Roast the beets at 375° for 40-50 minutes on a baking sheet uncovered. Allow beets to cool.
  • Option 2: Scrub the beets and roast them whole in a pyrex glass pan covered in aluminum foil at 375° for 60-80 minutes. Allow beets to cool. Then, peel the skin away from the beet meat.
  • Add roasted beets, roasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, olive oil, nutritional yeast & lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until you reach your desired texture (feel free to keep the pesto a little bit coarse or mix thoroughly for a smooth texture).
  • Enjoy on homemade pizza, tartines, sandwiches or wraps, or use as a delicious veggie dip!

Top 5 Summer Superfoods

So what is a superfood? Superfoods are whole, unprocessed foods that contain a concentrated amount of nutrients. They are nutrition powerhouses. These incredible, natural packages have superpowers such as warding off cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and more! When you consume seasonal superfoods regularly, your skin will glow, your digestion will be incredible, and your inner superpowers will be unleashed as your mind clears and your body thanks you.



Here our our top 5 summer superfoods, plus quick tips for incorporating them into your daily diet. 


  1. Spinach (and other dark, leafy greens)



    Ahhh, the queens of alkalization! Dark leafy greens have been #1 on any reputable list of healthy foods for quite some time now and they are still at the top today. Spinach is often recommended, because it is mild in flavor and can be added to smoothies. That said, kale, arugula, beet greens, Swiss chard, lettuce, and dark green herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro) are also incredible sources of nutrition! Brimming with key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, low in calories, and full of fiber, dark leafy greens keep the whole body system in tip top shape.


    Add greens to your smoothies, make delicious salads, sauté greens with garlic and olive oil, or make trendy kale chips in your oven! For inspiration, check out our fav Green Smoothie recipe. Consider making this delicious Summer Greens Power Pesto for extra nutritious flavor!


  2. Blueberries



    These sweet blue treats contain a concentrated amount of fiber, potassium, magnese, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Blueberries contain the most antioxidants among commonly consumed fruits or vegetables! So what does this all mean? They help protect our bodies from cancer-causing free radicals and are chalk full of nutrients that support the immune system, nervous system, circulatory system, and digestive tract. They help our brains and our hearts. Need I say more?


    Add blueberries to your morning smoothies, cereals, or yoghurt. Eat blueberries as healthy snacks throughout the day. Check out this Summer Smoothie Bowls recipe and enjoy!


  3. Tomatoes



    Juicy red tomatoes are a sign of summer. Entirely different from out-of-season tomatoes harvested across the globe, in-season tomatoes are sweet, flavorful, and contain an abundance of nutrients and antioxidants that fight disease and keep us healthy. They are also a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect us against breast and prostate cancers.


    Add fresh tomatoes to salads, sauce, salsa, and soup! Enjoy fresh with a pinch of salt, or top with mozzarella and basil for a delectable treat!


  4. Watermelon



    Sweet and juicy watermelon is a blissful delicacy on a hot summer’s day. Watermelon’s superpowers include nutrients and antioxidants that promote heart health and bone health, and aid in the prevention of prostate cancer. Watermelon has an alkalizing effect on the body and can act as an aphrodisiac! Each bite provides incredible hydration. True to its name watermelon is 92% water. Providing vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium, watermelon is a fun and delicious guilt-free summer treat. Feel free to enjoy watermelon all summer long!


    Check out this Watermelon Smoothie recipe for inspiration or try watermelon salad with our fav Sexy Summer Watermelon Salad recipe.


  5. Avocados



    Hass and Anaheim avocados are the commercially grown varieties that are in season during the summer months. Not only delicious, they contain one of the healthiest fats there is: monounsaturated fatty acids.  Plus avos are chalk full of vitamin K, C, E, B5, and B6. They also provide a significant amount of folate and more potassium than a banana. Since our brains are made of fat and we need healthy fats to protect our heart, a daily avocado may be the easiest and most delicious choice we could make for our health. And don’t be fooled by the word “fat.” Avocados can help with weight loss!


    Add avocados to smoothies, salads, guacamole, salsas, and more! Check out this Simple Summer Salad recipe for inspiration.


 

*Photos from Dr. Axe, California Avocados, and Authority Nutrition

 

Our Favorite Plant-Based Food Blogs

Are you inspired to eat more plant-based meals?


These three plant-based food blogs are chalk full of enchanting seasonal recipes that make ditching animal flesh tasteful and easy. Each author embraces her own creative spin, drawing from international cuisine and local flavors.


Two common fears people have when they are including more plant-based cuisine are:

1) going hungry
2) missing out on essential nutrients such as protein


For years, I thought eating healthy meant going hungry. Discovering how to seriously enjoy plant-based meals with these mind-blowing food blogs helped me to overcome my fears and live nourished.


Prepare yourself for a perspective shift as you come across recipes ranging from Coconut Bacon BLT to In the Buff Smoothie Bowl to Roasted Red Pepper Mac & Cheese. These inspired chefs have taken your favorite meals and turned them into delectable, healthy plant-based treats full of protein and superfoods.


Ready to dish up some inspiration? Check out our three favorite plant-based food blogs.

 

1. 101 Cookbooks by Heidi Swanson

 

Heidi Swanson offers beautiful inspiration for cooking with whole, natural foods. Her blog shares recipes by season, ingredients and mealtime categories. So if you find yourself leaving the farmers’ market or grocery store with three bundles of kale or a bagful of shelling peas and feel joyfully overwhelmed by all of your fresh produce, you will find an array of recipes to help you create a delicious feast that everybody will love. Her recipes are meatless and plant-based, though you will find recipes with and without dairy products. We love her artful pictures and lengthy archive of innovative recipes that will leave you feeling full and energized. She makes wellness seem easy and fun!

 

2. Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon

Angela Liddon’s award-winning blog is designed help you find your inner and outer glow by indulging in mouth-watering, awe-inspiring plant-based recipes. Featuring over 500 recipes, Angela’s goal is equal parts pleasure and health. She says, “I thrive on a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods that are minimally processed and organically grown whenever possible. I make room for dessert, believing a balanced diet can still include indulgences like chocolate or sweet treats (in moderation—usually!).” So if you are ready to discover meat-free, dairy-free and even gluten-free meals, snacks and desserts, look no further. Your journey will quickly become about all of the incredible food you can happily enjoy rather than the foods you are trying to avoid. Check out her Summer Glow Buddha Bowl and Chocolate Raspberry Dreams Breakfast Parfait to get started!

 

3. Post Punk Kitchen by Isa Chandra Moscowitz

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Isa Chandra is the bestselling author of Isa Does It, Veganomicon & Vegan with a Vengeance. Plus she has a restaurant you should go check out called Modern Love based in Brooklyn and Omaha. She makes cooking and eating vegan food fun and delicious. Whether your looking for comfort foods, dessert, or you are seeking so fresh goodies to feel your best, Isa Chandra offers it all.

Craving something sweet? Check out her Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies and savor.

Desire a wholesome meal with some delectable flavors? Check out her Nirvana Enchilada Casserole.



 

 

 

*Featured image & article images taken from 101cookbooks.com, ohsheglows.com & IsaChandra.com.