Every year there are new foods that have popped up everywhere you look and are labeled as ‘Super Foods.’ In a nutshell, a super food is nutrient-rich food that’s supposed to be especially good for you, and if you eat them on a daily basis, you get a solid healthy kick for your diet.
Once something is a super food, it’s always a super food: kale, blueberries, spinach, and tomatoes should be something you add to your plate as much as possible, and you don’t have to worry about getting bored, because new super foods pop up that you can add to your daily menus to get the kick and flavour you’re looking for.
2016 is brand new, but the lists of super foods we’ll be seeing a lot of this year is already out there, and there are some interesting new contenders you’ll want to try cooking with.
Sweet potato flour
Sweet potatoes are a great substitute for white potatoes, and a lot of people like to cut them up into home fries or bake them as a side dish. But did you know this super food could also be made into flour? Sweet potato flour can be used to bake goodies like bread, cake, donuts, or pancakes, and because it’s high in fiber, iron, and calcium, you get an added boost of nutrients from whatever you’ve made.
Sweet potato flour is also gluten free and paleo friendly, so if you’re on a restricted diet, you’ll love being able to add this to your stock of kitchen items.
There are a lot of reasons to cut sugar from your diet. Even if you haven’t watched the documentaries about the dangers of too much of the sweet stuff, this is a good time to try natural sweeteners.
Have you tried Stevia yet? If not, this is the year you’ll be tempted. A few years ago you couldn’t find it anywhere, but it’s hitting the shelves of every grocery store with a vengeance. I switched to Stevia for things like coffee and tea 3 years ago, and now if I have to add sugar to my drinks or food for whatever reason, I find the taste very metallic.
This might be the year you choose less beef and more beans. Black beans are on the list of super foods for 2016 and they can be used as a meat-replacement in a plethora of recipes including baking, chili, and spicy enchiladas.
Say goodbye to that big jar of coconut oil you have in your pantry. It’s about to be replaced by a new type of oil you’ve probably never tried: avocado oil is high in heart-healthy monosaturated oleic acid, and because it’s packed with Vitamin E, it’s great for your skin and immune system. You can cook with it exactly the same way as olive oil too.
I know, this one made me pause for a minute too: I’ve read online that, as far as your health is concerned, souping is the new juicing for 2016.
A 3 day detox of home made soup can increase the fiber in your diet, remove toxins, and clean out the walls of your intestinal track. When you eat soup it feels like a meal, and it’s warm, filling, and delicious when it’s cold out.
It’s New Years Day, and because people everywhere are packing up the potato chips and looking for a healthier way to kick off 2016, here are 3 amazing soups you can detox with to kick your new year off the right way.
Cleansing Detox Soup
This soup has a bit of everything you need to cleanse your system in a seriously delicious way. Photo and recipe from theglowingfridge.com.
1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth)
1/2 of a red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
1 small head of broccoli, florets
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon turmeric (I used powdered)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
fine-grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste
6 cups water (or 4 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups water)
2 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn in pieces
1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
juice from 1/2 of a small lemon (or a whole lemon, depending how much lemon flavor you prefer)
In a large pot, add the water and turn on the heat to medium-high. After it’s hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and fresh ginger. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, adding in extra water or broth as needed (another 1/4 cup). Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper plus salt and pepper to taste.
Add in the water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add in the kale, cabbage and lemon juice near the last 2-3 minutes of simmering.
Creamy Carrot Soup with Oats
Carrot soup is creamy, delicious, and when made from this recipe, a great way to detox your body of all the holiday snacks you’ve been eating. Photo and recipe from Yogajournal.com.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Saute until onions are softened (about 5-8 minutes). Stir often to prevent browning.
Add the carrots, cover pot and cook over low heat for 5-6 minutes. Stir to prevent browning.
Add stock and oats to pot. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes, covered, until carrots are very tender.
Blend the soup until creamy. Add additional stock to desired consistency.
Add lemon and ginger juice. Readjust seasonings.
Garnish with dill and serve.
Flush away the fat vegetable soup
This soup has super foods to spare. I’ve made it before and I followed the recipe creator’s advice to remove a cup of broth to make it thicker. Photo and recipe from skinnyms.com.
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of Kosher or sea salt, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed (optional, black beans)
4 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
1 can (14.5 oz.) tomatoes (no salt added), *this is an optional ingredient
4 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, optional, for serving (1/2 teaspoon per serving)
Add all ingredients, except spinach and olive oil, to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Add spinach, stir and continue cooking just until wilted, approximately 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy
Tip: If you prefer a thicker soup, after 5 hours of cooking, simply remove 1 cup of soup, along with ingredients, mash ingredients with a fork, return to the slow cooker, stir and continue cooking 1 to 3 hours.
If you’re ready to try souping and make 2016 your fittest year ever, here are a few kitchen appliances you can bring home to help create amazing soup:
Soup is simple with a high-powered blender
Soup can simmer for hours in a stock pot
Your soup will be ready for you when you get home when you cook it in a slow cooker