It’s the third week of January and this is a pivotal time period for many Canadians. No, it’s not just the point where we all hit our winter-tolerance threshold; it’s when a lot of people forget about their resolutions to eat healthier and the period of time when they are most likely to forget to charge their FitBit or hide it under the pillow until they find their motivation again.
But instead of giving up your resolutions cold turkey, beating yourself up about eating fries instead of salad, and wishing you could motivate yourself to do your 10,000 steps per day, why not try something new, again? Instead of going all in on one diet or another, I think you should get on board with the Superfoods for 2017.
What are Superfoods? Every year dieticians and healthy lifestyle experts come out with a list of must-try foods to kick start your weight loss or to incorporate into your every day diet. In the past these foods have been kale, cauliflower, spinach, and even kelp. This year they’re a bit different.
If you’re struggling to maintain your diet and exercise program or you just feel like you need a bit of a boost, why not try some of these Superfoods? Even if you use one or two per week in the dishes you’re making, you’ll feel like you’re taking a step in the right direction. They are motivating too, because if you’ve just gone through the effort of making yourself a pizza with cauliflower dough, you’re a lot more likely to want to keep that momentum going and get off the couch and go for a long walk with the dog.
Here are a few Superfoods for 2017 and a recipe you can try with each of them.
Cauliflower has been at the top of a lot of grocery lists for awhile, but it’s an official Superfood for 2017 because people are lining up for bags of riced cauliflower to use in any dish where you’d use flour. Take this pizza dough as an example: it requires you to make your own dough from a head of cauliflower.
Cauliflower Pizza Dough Recipe
From the Foodnetwork, this Cauliflower pizza crust is an amazing base for whatever kind of pizza you’d like. If you want to stay away from fatty cheese you can use a topping of feta, spinach, and spices, and you could make it even more fun with a pizza maker.
1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. (I like to put it on a towel to get all the moisture out.) Let cool.
In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.
Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Superfood: Hot Sauce
Did you know that eating hot sauce can trigger your brain to release endorphins, and when your brain releases endorphins you feel great and you want to get moving? It also kicks up your metabolism, and that’s why Hot Sauce is one of the Superfoods for 2017. You can make your own hot sauce using this recipe. Sprinkle a little on your eggs (another Superfood), pasta, and anything else you’d like a little kick.
Homemade Hot Sauce Recipe
This is a great recipe, and although you can use a food processor, I’ve found that a high-powered blender like the Vitamix, Blendtek, or Kitchenaid Professional will whip that hot sauce into shape in no time. Recipe and photo from the Foodnetwork.com.
20 tabasco or serrano chiles, stemmed and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices, or 12 very ripe red jalapenos (about 10 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup thinly sliced onions
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
Combine the peppers, garlic, onions, salt and oil in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat. Saute for 3 minutes. Add the water and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until peppers are very soft and almost all of the liquid has evaporated. (Note: this should be done in a very well-ventilated area!) Remove from the heat and allow to steep until mixture comes to room temperature. In a food processor, puree the mixture for 15 seconds, or until smooth. With the food processor running, add the vinegar through the feed tube in a steady stream.
Taste and season with more salt, if necessary. (This will depend on the heat level of the peppers you use as well as the brand of vinegar used.) Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and then transfer to a sterilized pint jar or bottle and secure with an airtight lid. Refrigerate. Let age at least 2 weeks before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Superfood: Edamame Noodles
I’ve loved Edamame from the moment I ordered it as an appy at my favourite sushi spot, but I didn’t realize you could make pasta out of them until I saw them on the Superfood list for 2017. Edamame noodles are healthy, have a ton of protein per serving, and are low in carbs. You can drizzle them in your favourite marinara or sprinkle them with Parmesan cheese.
Edamame Spaghetti with Lemon-garlic sauce
This recipe is from epicurevegan.com and it’s a delicious way to try Edamame noodles.
8-oz edamame spaghetti
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
zest and juice from one lemon
2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 C blanched almonds
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1-2 tsp light or yellow miso
1/4 tsp salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and simmer the noodles for 4-5 minutes.
In a medium skillet, melt the margarine and add the mushrooms. Saute for about 3 minutes.
Before draining the noodles, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the edamame noodles and rinse with cold water. In the same cooking pot, heat the olive oil and add the garlic; cook for 30 seconds.
Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt to taste, and then the noodles. Use a fork or tongs to incorporate the sauce. Add some water if it seems a little dry.
Serve with some mushrooms and tomatoes, then top with Parmesan.
These are three Superfoods you need to try in 2017, and I hope making and eating them helps you get back your resolve to be healthy this year.