Chapter 1: Introduction
It seems like you can’t sit down for a meal these days without hearing someone talk about antioxidants, artificial sweeteners and a bunch of other tidbits about their food. Inevitably, someone brings up an item like quinoa or kale and they refer to it as a “superfood.” It’s obvious what this does not mean. It doesn’t mean the food can travel faster than a speeding bullet, and it doesn’t mean that you are going to gain super powers when you eat it. What it actually means can be confusing. After all, “superfood” is not a specific dietary term. It can mean a lot of things, and the benefits of one superfood may affect one person more than it does another. That being said, if you’re hoping to add some super nutritional superfoods to your diet, consider speaking to a doctor, nutritionist, or other health professional to find out what you can incorporate into your diet to make it the best it can be.
Until then, this post will look at how superfoods can help a very specific group of people – seniors. By the time that we finish here, we hope that you will have a better understanding of what superfoods are and how they can benefit seniors in particular. Once we explain those points, this article will provide you with a number of recipes from some noteworthy chefs and blogs that work directly with superfoods. These recipes will span all parts of a meal including soups, salads, smoothies, desserts, and dinners. After reading this post, we hope that you’ll not only be able to throw the healthiest dinner party ever, but that you’ll be able to explain the health benefits that the food cook offers those who eat it.
Chapter 2: What makes a food a superfood?
First and foremost, you should know that there really isn’t anything so super about superfoods. They have not been chemically modified to alter your body in any way, and you don’t have to buy them from a pharmacy or vitamin store. No, superfoods are simply foods that can, by and large, provide extraordinary health benefits that exceed the benefits offered by other foods. Superfoods are typically fruits and vegetables, though there are some grains and other foods too, that are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy goodies. These are foods that you could easily find in a grocery aisle or that you could grow in your backyard garden. Superfoods are items like blueberries or kale. Turkey and salmon can also be seen as superfoods. Even red wine and dark chocolate count as superfoods!
The reason for the variation and wide range of products that can be considered superfoods is partially because there is not actually a real definition of what a superfood is. The National Health Services in England even points out that the European Union has largely banned companies from listing something as a superfood on the packaging because the term is scientifically meaningless and inaccurate. The NHS goes on, though, to explain that many of these foods being touted as “super” are considered as such because of properties and components that help decrease the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease or Alzheimer’s – and even cancer. It is even believed that some superfoods can increase lifespans, too.
The term superfood, then, is somewhat of a misnomer. Technically speaking, it does not really mean anything. Culturally speaking, however, it does. Superfoods offer great health benefits that go beyond the benefits of normal food, and while there is no replacement for a healthy, balanced diet, it does not hurt to throw some superfoods into your feeding routine. After all, these superfoods can often add an extra powerful punch to your nutrition or the balance of your diet. So, the answer to the question, “What makes a food super?” would be two-fold. First, the answer is us. We decide what food is super and what is not simply by determining that it is healthier than other foods. Secondly, the nutritional value gives certain foods this designation, as superfoods are overall much healthier than comparable foods in their category.
Chapter 3: How can superfoods help seniors?
So how do superfoods helps seniors? Based on the definitions given above, it would seem like superfoods would help everyone, and that is kind of true. This article, though, is focusing on seniors. The benefits of superfoods can be much more pronounced for seniors that may have a smaller appetite, difficulty absorbing certain vitamins and minerals from their foods, or simply may benefit more from having a healthier diet than others might. That being said, superfoods offer many benefits that, while other people would benefit from them too, seniors can benefit from especially.
Take, for example, how Ankota Healthcare Delivery Management’s blog describes antioxidants. They say that antioxidants are practically a way of preventing “rust” in the body. This is a bit reductive, but not wrong. When you eat or drink, a process called oxidation occurs in your body. This is normal, but too much oxidation can lead to the creation of free radicals that can break down and damage healthy cells. Antioxidants, then, step in before unhealthy and damaging cells start reproducing. This means that antioxidants can help prevent frightening illnesses like cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Colorful fruits like blueberries are especially packed with antioxidants, as are many types of beans.
Another important factor to keep in mind is keeping foods raw. Now, this does not mean you should only be eating sushi or slabs of raw meat. Instead, just avoid heavily processed or cooked down foods. Many of the important antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are broken down when foods are heavily cooked or packed with preservatives. In order to avoid this, simply consider eating them as they are. A bowl of blueberries, then, would be better for you than a blueberry sauce over a bowl of ice cream. In the same sense, a bowl of lightly seasoned kale is preferable to kale that has been fried with bacon in grease. This may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to incorporate these superfoods into your diet if you are used to eating heavily cooked or processed meals. Fortunately, most of the recipes in the next section are made to simplify this process. These recipes will make getting the most out of the superfoods you’re eating super easy. Most of the time, this means that you actually have to put in less effort for just as great of tastes and even more nutritional benefits. So, get out your quinoa and your avocados, because it’s time to break down just what you need to have a super superfood meal that’s great for making super seniors.
Chapter 4: Soups
This category is a great starter, no matter how proficient you are in a kitchen and no matter what your dietary restrictions are. There are very few people, in fact, that cannot eat soup. And, there is an even smaller amount of people that would dislike the soup recipes from all around the internet that we have shared here. Each recipe includes ingredients that are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and each one comes from a person or blog that has particular experience working with superfoods.
The first recipe, which comes from FoodMattersTV, is for a carrot, orange, and ginger soup. The soup is packed with vitamin C from the oranges and vitamin A from the carrots. Those two ingredients are added with the ginger, which helps to promote a healthy digestive system, to make a simple and yet very flavorful soup that can be eaten warm or cool. We will leave the specifics of the recipe to the site itself, but here are the basics.
You will need coconut oil, garlic, onions, sea salt, and celery which you will heat with carrots in a large soup pot until they soften and to allow for all of these flavors come together to make an aromatic and tasteful base. Once they have warmed and caramelized a bit, you can add vegetable stock and water to actually make the soup base. After cooking these down, generally until the carrots are tender and soft, you will want to pour everything into a blender and blend it until the ingredients are smooth and without lumps. At this point, you can also add fresh dates, another good fruit, which will add sweetness as well as pack a vitamin punch, as well as ginger root. Once that is blended down, you can add the oranges and more ginger. Taste your creation and keep adding orange and ginger to taste, but be careful as both of these are very flavorful. You can also add water if your soup is too thick. The recipe also mentions garnishing the soup with seeds, such as pumpkin or hemp seeds, which are superfoods within themselves, or cilantro. The best part about soups like this is that you can store anything you don’t want in the fridge and heat it up later. If you are feeling really “cool,” you can even eat the soup cold or lukewarm for a quick snack.
One great staple of winter food and soups is the broccoli or potato soup, but many of these can taste bland or boring. Although, YouBeauty’s recipe for broccoli, potato and leek soup combines both of these flavors with leeks to ensure a robust taste. It is also a great source of the nutrients you need during those cold months. Broccoli provides iron and antioxidants for staying free from chronic illness. Leeks are also great as they promote good cardiovascular health and add some great flavors to the soup.
The recipe is relatively simple. Begin by adding water and your soup base into a pot and bringing it to a simmer. After this has been simmering and warming for a few minutes, you will want to add your broccoli and allow it to cook until it is tender. Once it has reached your desired tenderness, go ahead and remove them and set them aside. In another pot, sauté some onions with olive oil until they are clear and then add some garlic. After a few minutes add the diced leeks, and after a few minutes more, add the stock you had in the other pot. Increase the heat and add the potatoes. Once the potatoes have been in the pot for a while, add the broccoli and allow them to cook a little longer. After a few more minutes, turn the heat off and blend the soup with a vertical stick blender until it is pureed.
Another notable superfood soup for seniors comes from the ever-popular talent, television’s Dr. Oz. He lists a number of different superfood soups, but the black bean soup deserves particular attention. Not only is it very easy to make, but it also has great health benefits and a spectacular taste. Black beans are noteworthy for their ability to help repair cell damage and prevent cancer, Parkinson’s, and other chronic illnesses. Those are big benefits for such a simple recipe!
For this recipe, you need to start by sautéing olive oil and onions in a pot until you can see through the onions, or until they are mostly clear. You can also add garlic a little bit into your sautéing of the onions to allow for the garlic taste to spread through the oil and the onions. After only a few minutes, you should be ready, and you can go ahead and add all the other ingredients, which include your black beans, oregano, paprika, and cumin. You should also add tomato paste and water (or vegetable stock if you prefer) to make it more of a soup. Poblano peppers can also be included, and they can help add a big pack of vitamin C which is helpful in absorbing the help nutrients in the black beans, but are not necessary if you cannot stand the taste of peppers. Much like the last soup, after you have brought everything in the pot down to a warm simmer, you should put the mixture into a blender and pulse it down until it is a nice puree. This soup is better served warm, but you can take all of your creation and put it into a storage container and refrigerate to be eaten whenever you decide.
This recipe next comes from our own Chef Michael from The Clairmont, and it is for a gazpacho with avocado cream. Avocados are a great superfood as they come packed with lots of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the other ingredients help your body better absorb these minerals. For example, the vitamin C in the peppers and jalapenos helps you to absorb other minerals in the avocados. The best part of this recipe is that this soup is super easy to make.
First, you have to make the gazpacho. This is done by blending together tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, cilantro, jalapenos, and garlic and spices. You can do this in a food processor, or you can use a blender. Once this is smooth, put it in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the avocado cream. For this, wash out your blender or food processor, and then put in avocados, cilantro, coconut milk, and lime. This is also blended until it is smooth. Gazpacho is served chilled, so wait until it is the temperature you want it, and then put it in a bowl and add a dollop of your avocado cream. You can even add a little cilantro as garnish if you want more taste.
Chapter 5: Salads
Whenever you mention to someone that you are making a salad for a meal, there is almost always an inevitable comment about how that is rabbit food or the easy way out. Well, we can agree that these meals are easy. Since superfoods retain most of their nutrients when they are served raw, these salads involve little to no real cooking. We can also agree that this is rabbit food, but only if your rabbits love great tasting, flavor-packed meals because these salads provide nothing less than that!
The first salad comes from the BBC’s GoodFood blog, and it is a recipe for a superfood salad with a citrus dressing. Some of the superfoods included in this different kind of salad are broccoli, soya beans, and avocados. One super important superfood, though, is the quinoa. This edible seed from grains is extremely nutritious and also very easy to make. It is packed with protein and fiber as well as a number of very important antioxidants.
The first thing to do with this recipe is to cook the broccoli and the soya beans. This is done simply by boiling both in a large pot, but make sure to boil the broccoli longer than the soya beans. The broccoli should still have a bite to it, and it should not fall apart when you touch it. After they have been cooked, you can set them aside and chill them in a bowl or by rinsing them in very cold water. In another bowl, you should add the already cooked quinoa, a couple of avocados that have been peeled and diced, some spinach, some pomegranate seeds, and some toasted pumpkin seeds. You can also add chopped herbs at this time. Your choice of herbs depends on your taste, but basil or mint can be a great addition. Mix these ingredients with the broccoli and soya beans that you cooked earlier, and then you’re almost done. All that is left is to make your dressing. This is done simply by adding some zest with the juice from a lemon and an orange to a small amount of Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, and rapseed oil (though olive oil also works well). After you have added all of these simply whisk them together for a really tasty dressing. Add that to your vegetable and seed mixture from before and lightly mix everything together. It’s hard to point out all of the great superfoods included in this recipe, and it is even more difficult to list all of the health benefits each of those superfoods provides. What is easy to say is that this recipe is so tasty, and can easily be stored in the fridge for a couple of days and eaten as a snack whenever you get hungry.
The next recipe comes from Chef Dustin over at The Gardens at Brooks Ridge and it is for a grain, leaf and beet salad. This recipe has quinoa in it, which is a mega grain. The fiber, the protein, and everything else in it makes it great for you. And, it is a wonderful vehicle for flavor, too. Not only that, the beets in the recipe, though not everyone’s favorite food, are an excellent example of a superfood that also packs a super taste.
To make the salad you will need to boil, rinse and drain the quinoa. You should make sure that it absorbs plenty of water though, as undercooked quinoa is not enjoyable to eat – at all. While the quinoa is cooling, you can work on the other parts of the recipe. You will need to roast your beets in oil for nearly an hour until they are soft and can be peeled and diced. These, too, have to cool. You will want to blanch and chock some chard and broccoli, two other great superfoods, as well as shave some Brussels sprouts and toast some pumpkin seeds. Once all of this is done, you can mix together all of your ingredients and let it cool. Once it has chilled a bit, it is ready to eat!
Another great community salad recipe comes from Chef Michael at The Clairmont for a broccoli and apple salad with walnuts. This recipe is really simple, and packed full of nearly everything you need to eat healthy throughout your day. Apples provide vitamins and are high in fiber, broccoli has so many benefits (many of which are mentioned above), and walnuts are a good source of non-meat protein. This doesn’t even touch the other ingredients in this salad that provide excellent flavor and excellent support for your body.
This recipe is separated between the actual salad and the dressing. For the dressing, you will want to combine some vegenaise with lemon juice, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper in a bowl. After mixing them well and adding more ingredients to taste, you can set the dressing aside or let it chill. For the salad, in a larger bowl, mix together the broccoli, carrots, apples, onions, cranberries, and walnuts. That’s it! It really is super simple, and you can add as much dressing as you like. You can eat it immediately, or it can be refrigerated and eaten later.
This last recipe comes from a blog called hellohealthy, and it is a great meal for someone that wants to have a great meal with great health benefits but does not want to do anything at all to prepare it. The blog even describes the salad as a “multivitamin in food form,” and it is full of vitamins A and C along with potassium, fiber, and so much more.
The recipe is made in two parts. First, mixing together grapeseed oil, lemon juice, grated ginger, whole-grain mustard, and salt makes the dressing. The recipe notes that, if you want a little bit of a sweeter taste, you can also add some pure maple syrup too. You can mix this by simply whisking it, or you can just throw the ingredients into a blender or food processor and mixing everything that way. Easy enough, right? Turns out, the salad is almost equally as simple. Tear apart your kale and slice it so that it is thin and easy to eat. Do the same with some red cabbage, broccoli florets, carrots, and a red bell pepper. Imagine making everything into little straws or sticks. After cutting everything up, mix it together with the dressing you made earlier. You can then add parsley, sesame seeds, and walnuts, and you can even throw in some peeled and diced avocado if you want to. That’s it! This recipe is as simple as chopping and mixing, and it has so many health benefits that you won’t even be thinking about because you will be so focused on the great taste.
Chapter 6: Juices/Smoothies
One of the most popular ways to make sure you get a number of superfoods into your diet is through smoothies and juices. Some superfoods are hard to envision as additions to your favorite meals, but smoothies and juices are such a simple way to add something into your diet. Need to add more vitamin A into your diet? Just throw some carrots into a smoothie with a number of other fruits. Are you lacking the fiber you need for good digestive health? Flax seeds are a great addition to almost any smoothie, and you won’t even taste a difference.
Because of the importance of smoothies and juices to superfood diets, we are including several of them. It’s also worth noting that smoothies and juices are super easy to make. Most blenders can perform the needed functions to make smoothies and juices, and there a number of low cost, high-quality juicers on the market as well. All you need to do for most of these recipes is to peel and cut the necessary fruits and put them into the mixture with the other ingredients. Some don’t even require you to peel or cut anything! Plus, you might be surprised how healthy some of these smoothies are considering their ingredients.
For example, take this recipe from David Wolfe for a chocolate superfood smoothie. David Wolfe is very well known in the world of superfoods, juicing, and raw food diets, and he even goes by David “Avocado” Wolfe to show how serious he is about healthy eating.
This recipe is super simple. All you need to begin is adding cacao powder into a blender along with maca powder that will add a creaminess to the smoothie. You can add a little bit of cinnamon which will really draw out the flavor of the cacao. Next, you add some cacao nibs. This might seem strange considering that you’ve already added cacao powder, but the nibs will add a butter like addition. Next, add some coconut oil, some cashews, honey, hemp seeds, ginger, cayenne, a tiny bit of vanilla powder, and a little bit of sea salt. David, in his recipe, adds aloe vera and some medicinal mushroom powders, but those can be difficult to find or cut, so if you are trying to make a quick smoothie, you do not need to include these. Now, you have a powder and some other mixtures, and all you need to add is some kind of liquid. This liquid can come as simple water, but you can also use teas or coconut water if you prefer. It’s astounding to think that chocolate can be a superfood, but it has a number of antioxidants and other health benefits that, when mixed with the correct ingredients, as in this recipe, are really drawn out.
This next recipe comes from a relatively famous juice business called Bobo’s Juicery that is well known for the inclusion of superfoods in the drinks they serve. This recipe is also extremely simple. All that is required for this recipe is putting the ingredients into the blender and turning it on. Some of these recipes, though, include hard to find ingredients. If you are in a small town, you may have difficulty finding some of the main ingredients listed. In some cases, you may even have a hard time finding a store that even knows what you are talking about. Many of the recipes offer variations or alternatives so that, while these recipes have been carefully crafted to find ingredients that draw out all the nutrients from the other ingredients, you will not lose out too much by vying for alternatives.
This smoothie, or juice depending on how thick you make it, is supposed to help reduce allergies, according to the blog. It is simply made by adding a banana, dates, some hemp seeds, buckwheat groats, pink salt, filtered or coconut water, and either He Shou Wu, spirulina, baobab, or wheatgrass powder. Again, those last ingredients can be hard to come by, and your juice will still be healthy without them. It is also worth noting that many of these juices and smoothies are very particular about the kind of water used. In general, you should try to use filtered or coconut water when making these smoothies and juices, as the chemicals regular water can break down some of the nutrients in the ingredients and make the smoothie deconstruct.
We have included a couple of recipes from FoodMattersTV in this post already, and this one is just as good. This recipe is for a turmeric mango smoothie. You might be having a hard time imagining what such a smoothie would taste like, but it would suffice to say that it packs a serious flavor punch. What’s more, this smoothie is loaded with health benefits. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can be helpful for good heart health. Mangos have tons of vitamin A, as well as a large amount of fiber. Furthermore, this smoothie is loaded with other fruits and goodies with other benefits.
Much like the previous recipes, this smoothie is made simply by adding the ingredients to the blender and blending them together. Each of these ingredients has a special benefit, and we will try to go over all of those. First you will need some mangos, as previously mentioned, and some pineapple. Pineapple adds vitamin C to the mixture to help strengthen your immune system. It is also good if these fruits are frozen as the water and ice will come out when blending to add more of a texture, but you can also use fresh fruit. You will also need some filtered water and some fat-free Greek, Icelandic, or coconut yogurt. All of these yogurts are healthy additions to your smoothie, and along with adding a creaminess that will thicken the smoothie, they also come loaded with powerful antioxidants for staying off chronic illnesses. You will need a bit of turmeric and cinnamon as well. The cinnamon, surprisingly, also helps to reduce inflammation and can help regulate blood sugar, which can be especially beneficial to people with diabetes. After throwing all these ingredients in the blender and making it into the smoothie form, you can top it with goji berries (another fruit with superfood properties of its own), coconut flakes, or even raw hemp seeds.
Another great smoothie or juice ingredient is the apricot. Many people do not like the taste of apricots alone, so adding them to a smoothie can be a great way to reap their benefits – especially when you add chocolate! Apricots are full of antioxidants and can also help your eyesight. And, we have already mentioned the benefits that chocolate can have. That’s why this chocolate apricot shake from Clean Eat is such a favorite of ours.
Like all of the smoothies and juices, all you need to do is place the ingredients in a high speed blender or juicer and press the button. For this recipe, you will add one Thai young coconut (the water and the flesh) or you can simply use some kind of nut milk and some coconut milk. Along with that you will also want to add apricots, Medjool dates, cacao powder, ground cinnamon, grated ginger, and just a tiny bit of sea salt. Once you have blended these all together you will have a super smoothie with super taste, and it will be super healthy too.
Before we get to our last smoothie, we have another smoothie from a community chef. This recipe for a mint chocolate smoothie comes from Chef Iris at Brook Ridge. The name might sound like just a regular ice cream shake that you would order from the ice cream shop, and it is going to taste like that too (maybe even better). With the cashews, spinach, and bananas that are in it, though, you will be surprised at just how healthy it can be.
For this recipe you will want some frozen spinach and frozen bananas. Freezing these means that the water will come out when they are blended to add more liquid to the consistency. You will also want some raw cashews, some cacao nibs, mint leaves, and vanilla. Mix these with some rice milk and a bit of coconut water, and you will have yourself a great smoothie that tastes like it was just scooped for you at the parlor.
Finally comes one of the most flavorful superfood smoothies. This recipe is just called “Superfoods Smoothie” on the SkinnyMs blog it was posted on, but the name is generally called whatever berry you choose to use in your version. There are so many benefits to this smoothie, and it is so easy to make like the others. With how tasty it is, it can be easy to overlook the fact that this smoothie can also help promote weight loss. The smoothie boasts just over 100 calories and only one gram of fat – and it can also be very filling. If you are looking for a weight loss snack, this might be the one for you.
You will need a number of fruits, but you first want to start with some baby spinach. Spinach is a good source of iron, fiber, and many other important nutrients, and a smoothie like this one is a great way to get the leafy green into your diet if you are not accustomed to eating it on a regular basis. You will also want to include a banana for a burst of potassium to the smoothie as well as some ginger root for added fiber. You should add a cup of frozen berries of your choice, though blueberries are a great flavorful addition that can also be considered a superfood. Add some Greek yogurt for antioxidants as mentioned before, some chilled green tea (which also adds other antioxidants), some pomegranate juice for sweetness, and some crushed ice for texture and consistency. If you want you smoothie to be thinner, add less ice and more green tea, and if you want it to be thicker, you can add more ice and less green tea.
Chapter 7: Desserts
If you try any of the smoothies and juices listed above, you might be wondering why we are including desserts on this list at all. Most of those smoothies and juices are so full of sweetness and sugars that you may not even want a dessert after having one. After all, one of the recipes is even for a chocolate smoothie! Sometimes, though, you don’t want a fruity or liquid dessert, and you want something with grains and starches. Luckily we have you covered on that front too.
One of the foods that people always seem to miss whenever they are on a diet that deprives them of heavier sweets is cookies. Luckily, adding superfoods into your diet is not about keeping you from eating certain foods. In fact, this recipe for super seed goji cookies is sure to meet any cookie craving you might have. What’s more, this cookie, which is more of a raw cookie, has many nutritional benefits, and the blog describes it as being an “upgraded version of an oatmeal raisin cookie.”
This recipe is a bit more involved than the smoothie and juice recipes from the last section, but it is still pretty easy to make. Begin by soaking chia seeds in order to make a chia gel. This will be used later to get your cookie materials to stick together. Next, separately blend cashews and oats using a high power blender in order to make a flour from each of them. If possible, you can also just buy premade cashew and oat flour. Next, place the flours, hemp seeds, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, goji berries, maca powder, lucuma powder, cinnamon, and pink salt into a mixing bowl together. After you have mixed everything together, you will want to add the chia gel and mix some more. Afterward, you will want to put the mixture into little balls and put them in a dehydrator. Once they have reached the desired texture, they are ready to eat. A variation of this recipe can also be made without a dehydrator if you do not have one.
Here is another recipe that is even easier than that one. This recipe is called a “warm apple delight,” and it also comes from FoodMattersTV. It’s impressive how many benefits a simple little bowl of warmed apples and nuts can have, but this sweet dessert recipe shows how sometimes even the simplest foods can be the most complex. To begin, the apples in the recipe provide great digestive aid with their high fiber content, plus they can help keep your blood sugar levels regular. Also, the nuts and seeds in the recipe, along with pulling out the sweetness of the apples, provide plenty of protein and good fats in addition to vitamins and minerals.
Before you start cooking, preheat your oven to 250 degrees. While your oven is warming up, cut up your apples into small chunks and let them simmer in a pot of boiling water so that they become soft. You don’t want them to get so soft that they are mushy, so they should still have a little bit of a soft crunch to them. Once the apples are done, put them in a bowl with some coconut oil, shredded coconut, pepita seeds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia nuts, nutmeg, and cinnamon. After mixing these together, even them out, and then put them into the preheated over until they are the desired texture. The dessert should have a nice crunch to it, and you can even serve it with fresh blueberries for some added flavor.
Our community chefs also like to get their hands on the desserts. Chef Michael at The Clairmont has this recipe for a strawberry chai pudding that will really send your taste buds over the edge. Not only that, but the pudding includes chai seeds which are jam packed with nutrients and have very little calories. With just this small serving of chai seeds, in fact, you are guaranteed to add fiber, protein, calcium, manganese, and phosphorus into your diet. They are unlike any other food. That’s what makes it such a superfood.
For the pudding, you will want to blend together some strawberries, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and lime zest until they are smooth. Once this is done, you will want to pour the mixture on top of the chai seeds in a large bowl and whisk them together. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, and then do this again. After that, you need to cover the mixture and place it into the refrigerator for anywhere between four hours and three days. This allows the pudding to thicken, and while it may take a while, it is definitely worth the wait.
This next recipe also comes from our community. This is a recipe for a carrot cake with a faux cream cheese frosting courtesy of Dunwoody Pines. Regular carrot cake can be good for you already. Carrots have lots of nutrients and minerals and the cake is a great way to bring out their sweetness, but the frosting can be very unhealthy. Luckily, this recipe uses a different method to create a tasty frosting without being so unhealthy.
For the frosting, you will want to mix some ricotta with honey and vanilla and whip these together until the mixture is very smooth. After that, quickly put the mixture into the refrigerator and let it chill while you bake the cake. For the cake, combine several eggs, some oil, unsweetened applesauce, water, vanilla, and some sugar. Whisk these all together until they are combined. After that, mix together, separately, all purpose flour, cinnamon, allspice, ground nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Once these are mixed together, you can fold the dry mix into the wet mix until the two are combined and moist. Then, fold in several pounds of trimmed, washed, and grated carrots. Bake the mixture and use some kind of cake tester to determine if it is done. When the cake is ready, spread your frosting across the top and enjoy.
Our last choice of dessert recipes might seem a little strange at first. Most people don’t think of fries when they think of a dessert, and there isn’t much about the phrase “dessert fries” that sounds very healthy. Despite all of that, these superfood sweet potato dessert fries recipe from the Minimalist Baker are as delicious as they are healthy. The dark chocolate covering the fries helps add antioxidants and can lower blood pressure, while the pomegranates are high in vitamins and iron. The coconut, while pairing nicely with the flavors of the pomegranate and the chocolate, also add many nutritional benefits too.
Before starting, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heated, cut your sweet potatoes until they are small fry like shapes. In general, you should use one sweet potato per person. Put the fries on baking sheets with some olive oil and salt and let them bake until they are a golden brown. Make sure to remember to flip the fries over time too. Once they have cooked, take them out of the oven and begin covering them with some cinnamon as they cool. While the fries are cooling, make a peanut butter sauce by adding hot water into peanut butter until it pours well. You can also add agave or pure maple syrup if you think it is not sweet enough. Also make a chocolate sauce by melting chocolate chips in a microwave. You can add coconut oil to this mixture if it is not thin enough. Once both of the sauces are made and the fries are cool, arrange the fries on a plate and begin drizzling the fries with a decent amount of both sauces. When you think you have enough sauce, add some whipped coconut cream, some pomegranate arils, and nuts. You can even add more cinnamon, if you wish, to draw out the chocolate flavor even more.
Chapter 8: Entrée Sides
We promise, we are getting to the main course. On the other hand, every meal needs a little something extra on the plate. Not only that, but a healthy diet means diversifying what you eat. There is no perfect superfood that gives you all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you need. Instead, you need to eat a variety of different foods that all provide you with different and equally important health benefits. That’s why you need entrée sides. Sides can be super helpful in pushing your dinner plate from good to great on the health scale.
This recipe from Chef Michael at The Clairmont does just that. This recipe for cauliflower rice is a great way to get antioxidants from the cauliflower (more on that in a bit) while also providing you with a bed of healthy rice to put your entrée on. Not only that, but the recipe is very simple. Start by preheating your oven to 375. While that is happening cut up some cauliflower into florets and then pulse it down in a food processor until it is almost rice like in its consistency. Put this mixture into a large bowl and add coconut oil as well as some sea salt and black pepper. Put the mixture on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper, and spread it all out into an even layer. After about twenty minutes the rice will begin to brown, and your food will be ready.
Our next recipe comes from celebrity Meg Hall and it is for brussel sprout chips. Brussel sprouts are great for you as the have huge amounts of vitamin K and vitamin C. Furthermore, Brussels sprouts can be a natural anti-inflammatory and help with digestion. The benefits are almost endless, but many people dislike the taste. With this recipe, though, the sprouts are in chip form and have an excellent flavor that everyone loves.
Just as in the last recipe, begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. While this is happening, you will want to cut your Brussels sprouts in half. This can be difficult as you need to be careful while cutting to remove the stem and the core. Once this is done, you will want to gently massage the leave apart from one another. After that, lay out a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Toss the leaves from the sprouts in oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to really enhance the flavor, and then lay the leaves out of the sheet. Bake the leaves for just a few minutes until they are brown, and then they are ready to eat or snack on throughout the day.
Chapter 9: Dinner and Entrees
After all of these snacks and sweets, you might be wondering if there are any ways to include these superfoods into an actual meal that tastes good and is worth eating. The simple answer to that is, yes. In fact, there are so many options of entrees using superfoods in them that it was hard to choose which ones would best show the variety of ways to include superfoods into your dinner while showcasing the variety of nutritional benefits coming from all these different foods. These recipes range from super easy to relatively difficult, but all of them are very flavorful and packed with the nutrients that all of these other recipes have shown exist within most superfoods.
First, from the Gerson Institute, is a slow-cooked cauliflower with a carrot sauce. This recipe includes cauliflower, a very popular vegetable that has not seen a lot of love in the rest of this list. Cauliflower, like broccoli and kale, is full of antioxidants that play a role in preventing cancer. What’s more, the recipe’s sauce uses a carrot base that is full of vitamin B, and the two vegetables work together to draw the nutrients out of the other ingredients.
The recipe is, in fact, very simple. First, you need to cook the cauliflower. Begin by dicing a yellow onion and placing it in the bottom of a large pot. Then, place the cauliflower directly on top of the onions and cook them together, uncovered, until the onions begin to steam. At this point, you will want to cover the pot and let the cauliflower slow cook. Once the lid is hot, you can turn the heat down and let the cauliflower cook until it is very soft. The carrot sauce, which you can make while you are waiting for the cauliflower to finish, begins the same way as the cauliflower did. Start by putting onion slices at the bottom of a pot and then covering it with whole garlic cloves and carrots that have been sliced. Again, cook the vegetables uncovered until they begin to steam. Once they are steaming, you want to add some stock and cover the pot. Turn the temperature down when the lid becomes hot again and let it simmer until the vegetables are very soft. After this is done, blend the liquid in the pot with the vegetables. You can also add some honey at this point for a sweet taste. Once this is done, simply pour the sauce over the cauliflower head and dig in. You can also add some green onions or other garnishes if you wish.
We couldn’t end the article without another recipe from FoodMattersTV, and this dish is a great finale. This recipe is for lentil walnut tacos with a smokey cashew queso sauce, and it is sure to blow your taste buds away. Pretty much everything listed in the title is packed full of nutrients. Lentils are a great source of fiber, and walnuts and cashews provide protein, good fats, and other minerals and vitamins necessary for good health. This is a great dish if you are trying to show your friends just how good healthy food can taste, and has so many ingredients that are good for you that you will be having trouble remembering them all when a guest inevitably asks you.
This recipe comes in three parts (the lentil walnut filling, the cabbage lime slaw, and the smokey cashew queso sauce), and everything should be served on corn tortillas. The lentil walnut filling is easy enough to prepare. All you need to do is add some cooked green lentils and toasted walnuts into a food processor or blender with tamari or soy sauce, cumin, chilli powder, and some water if the consistency is too thick. You want the mixture to still have some texture so that it doesn’t spill out of the sides of the tortilla, but you also don’t want it to be too dry. Once you have prepared this, you can set it aside until later, or you can leave it in a bowl for people to prepare their own tacos as they wish. The cabbage lime slaw is equally as simple to prepare. Simply add shredded green and purple cabbage into a mixing bowl with two cloves of minced garlic, a minced jalapeno, chopped radishes, and chopped cilantro.
You should then put in some olive oil, lime juice, honey or pure maple syrup, and fine sea salt. Mix this all together in a big bowl and set it aside or put it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the queso sauce. The queso sauce is the most involved part of the recipe, and it is still fairly simple. Begin by soaking some raw cashews in water and then rinsing them under cold water after a period of time. Then, put the cashews, some tomato paste, some nutritional yeast, paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and lemon juice into a blender or food processor. You want to put the ingredients at the highest setting so that everything turns into a smooth cream. You may also need to add some water to thin down the sauce. Once all of that is done, simply warm your tortillas and you have an excellent tasting, healthy meal that, surprisingly, is also vegan!
We didn’t want to finish off without any meat options, so we have included this recipe for a scallop and orange salad from Family Circle. For this recipe, you could replace scallops with salmon, another superfood option, for another great tasting meal. But, both have their nutritional merits. The addition of oranges, spinach and nuts, means you will be enjoying your food along with the benefits of vitamin C, iron, fiber, and proteins no matter what.
Assuming you are using scallops, the recipe is actually pretty simple. Begin by zesting an orange and then peeling the orange and setting aside the pieces for later. You will also want to mix some freshly squeezed orange juice with the zest and include some olive oil, soy sauce, honey, and salt and pepper. Set this mixture aside and toast some walnuts for just a few minutes on a skillet. After that, you can use the same skillet to sauté the scallops over medium heat using olive oil and just a little bit of salt and pepper. Make sure to sauté them on both sides, but down cook them too much. After the scallops are ready, simply toss the oranges from before with the dressing you made as well as your toasted walnuts, some red onion, and some spinach. After the salad is prepared, you can place a couple of scallops on top, and you’re ready to eat.
Another seafood entrée option comes from Clean Eats. This is a recipe for wild salmon with a blueberry vinaigrette. Based on our other recipes, you know how great blueberries are for you. They are very rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and they are one of the best superfood fruits. What you might not know, though, is that salmon is also a superfood. Along with the great amount of protein offered by the fish, you also get fish oils and important fats not found in other fish or many other foods.
For all of these benefits, the recipe is actually super easy and only takes a few minutes to make. First, start by making the vinaigrette. This is very simple, and all you have to do is start by blending some blueberries, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Add some salt to taste, and then set the mixture aside. For the salmon, mix salt and fennel seed and then sprinkle this over two salmon filets. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet and add some oil to allow the pan to heat up. Cook the fish on both sides for just a few minutes and then take it out. Spoon a little vinaigrette on each, and you are ready to eat.
It wouldn’t be fair to the other healthy meats out there to only include seafood in our recipes. Luckily, Chef Michael from The Clairmont has this recipe for quinoa bison hash. You have probably heard enough about the benefits of quinoa in the other recipes even though its benefits really cannot be overstated. Bison, however, is a meat that people don’t realize has a lot of benefits, too. Bison has huge heart-healthy benefits as well as being harboring good fats that help block other unhealthy fats. Furthermore, because bison is not a standard meat, it is fairly likely that the meat you use will be organic and without unhealthy hormones.
To make this meal, start by boiling your quinoa. Make sure it gets enough water, and then drain and rinse it. Meanwhile, you can begin preparing your bison. Start by heating some coconut oil in a saucepan. Add some sweet potatoes and let them cook before adding in some onion and garlic too. Once the sweet potatoes are tender, you can add in your bison meat. Make sure to cook it until it is cooked all the way through. After that, you can add some kidney beans, spinach or kale, and onion and garlic powders. Stir everything together until it is fully heated and cooked. Finally, stir it together with the quinoa and you have a healthy meal that even the most meat loving people will rave about.
Before we get to our last recipe, we also have this one for chicken and mango lettuce wraps that also comes from The Clarimont. There are so many parts of this recipe that make it super healthy that it is difficult to pick out a single one to comment on. Of course the lettuce, assuming you use the correct kinds, are full of vitamins and fiber. Mangos are also a great source of vitamins, especially vitamin C. This recipe also calls for cucumbers, ginger, and so much more. Along with being so healthy, it really is a great treat on a hot day.
To make the meal, begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. While it is heating, put the chicken in a baking dish and drizzle it with coconut oil. You may also want to season it with some salt and pepper at this point too. Let that bake for about twenty minutes. After that, cut up your chicken and set it aside. While the chicken is cooking, you can go ahead and place some seasoned rice vinegar, olive oil, vegenaise, coconut amino acids, finely chopped ginger, garlic, and toasted sesame oil into a blender or processor and blend it for the dressing. Once both the dressing and chicken is done, place the chicken in a lettuce wrap with chopped cucumbers, scallions, and mangos and drizzle it with the dressing you made. As a garnish, you can even squeeze a lime over everything and add some cilantro too.
The last recipe is also very simple, and it takes very little time to complete. It is a recipe from Vegetarian Times, so it is vegetarian-friendly (and vegan-friendly, too). In addition to that, it only has five ingredients. Those five ingredients include kale, which is, as you have probably heard somewhere, the food of the time. Kale is packed full of iron, fiber, vitamins, minerals and or nutrients, and can be made to taste excellent like in this recipe.
To begin with, set a large pot of water to boil. While it is warming up, start washing and trimming your kale. You want to take off the thick stems from the bottoms, but you also want the kale to be in small pieces that can be easily chewed and eaten. Put the kale in a strainer or sieve and repeatedly wash and rub the leaves. This helps wash off the grittiness of the leaves and makes it better tasting. Once the water is boiling, you want to add your pasta, which can be udon, soba, spaghetti, or fettuccine noodles. You don’t want to cook them too long so as they are super soft, so only cook them as long as needed. As the pasta is cooking slowly add the kale leaves and keep pushing them down, so they remain submerged in the hot water. Keep doing this until the kale is tender and soft. Once both the pasta and kale are ready, remove them and drain them. You can then add sesame oil or tamari to taste. You can then add the sesame seeds, either white or black, for a little crunchiness. You can add salt and pepper to taste, and you can even add a small amount of cheese for an additional flavor kick, but if you have followed the recipe closely, you will probably not need anything else.
Chapter 10: Conclusion
These recipes really cover every possible health benefit that you might be looking for. There are recipes that focus on vitamin C and A like heavy fruit meals and snacks, while others focus on seeds and nuts that give protein and good fats to the body. There are smoothies and desserts for every senior with a sweet tooth, and there are soups and entrees for mouths looking for something a little more savory. There are a number of vegetarian meals, a few vegan meals, and even one with scallops or salmon if you’d prefer. There are meals that are made simply by pouring the ingredients in a blender and some more complex recipes. The point is, this list caters to many different types of people seeking to break into the interesting and nutritional world of superfoods. Furthermore, the list is focused on providing seniors with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that they may need to feel like super versions of themselves. While there is no substitute for a well-balanced and portioned diet that is made with the help of a nutritionist or other health professional, these recipes can definitely help put you on the right track to living a healthier lifestyle.
*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living