Friday, 21 February 2014

Food Friday (Superfoods for 2014)

It seems like every time I turn a page in a magazine or click on a website there is another piece of healthy eating advice to be had.  Often they contradict each other or, even more strangely, contradict what the same source may have advised at another time.

Coffee is good for you!  It's not!!  It is!!!

Drink milk!  Don't!!  Do!!!

Eggs are an excellent source of low cal protein!  They are high in cholesterol!!  Eat Eggs!!!  No don't!!!!

Really ... I can't keep up with all the contradictions and advice.  But I am willing to try new food adventures ... if the advice actually involves REAL food.  So with pictures and text all courtesy of:

In the interest of being current and sharing information (and definitely letting readers make up their own minds) this is the lineup of apparent superfoods for 2014 ...

Exotic spice blends:
Herbs and spices have long played a role in traditional Eastern medicine, but thanks to increased interest in holistic medicine, the fragrant pantry ingredients are beginning to take hold here, too. Expect to see our obsession with fats, oils and salt as flavour-agents fade, replaced by exotic blends of herbs and spices. Shichimi Togarashi, a traditional Japanese seven-spice blend of chile, citrus peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, seaweed and ginger, will likely be making waves in restaurants and food magazines this year. Za’atar (pictured here), a Middle Eastern blend of sumac, thyme and sesame, is already starting to trend.


This blue-green algae was dubbed the “food of the future” in the ‘70s for its extremely high protein and iron content and antiviral and anticancer properties – in fact, just one tablespoon of powdered spirulina a day is thought to be enough to restore health to a malnourished child. Recently though, health fanatics and vegetarians have started picking up the powder to power up their smoothies with protein and minerals. Chlorella, another nutrient-rich algae with similar properties, has been dubbed a possible solution to a worldwide food crisis, as it’s cheap and full of vital nutrients.

Black soybeans:
Dr. Oz dubbed these sexy little beans his favourite new superfood earlier this winter, and health foodies certainly took note. Black soybeans boast more antioxidants and protein than most beans (and less carbs!). They’ve also been shown to help animals lose weight and reduce inflammation; research has yet to prove they have the same effect on humans, but with a nutritional profile like that, it’s worth introducing these beans to your routine.

Full-fat dairy:

Skim milk, we are so over you. Low-fat and skim dairy contains added sugars to make it taste better, which only contributes to weight gain in the end. Plus, it’s been shown that without the fat in dairy, we’re left hungry and more prone to overeat. So be prepared to embrace fat by way of creamy ricotta, creme fraiche and, yes, heavy cream! We’re excited to see how chefs will be using these indulgent products in desserts and savoury dishes.

Anything but quinoa:
There’s no arguing quinoa’s status as a nutritional powerhouse – not only is it a rare plant source of complete proteins, but it’s also incredibly versatile in the kitchen. But it seems chefs and home cooks alike are getting a little tired of the grain, and are beginning to look at other ancient grains to fulfill their carb cravings. Grains such as teff, amaranth and millet are all popping up, and for good reason – these traditional grains boast high amounts of trace minerals and protein. They can also be ground into a fine powder and used as flours.

Super spuds:

Once reserved for Incan kings, purple potatoes truly deserve the royal treatment, considering their antioxidant content is four times higher than regular potatoes. The pretty spuds have also been shown to reduce blood pressure. While we don’t expect them to overtake their yellow or white counterparts anytime soon, purple potatoes will definitely find their time to shine this year.


Why eat tofu when you can have tempeh instead? This firm soy cake is made of soy beans that are fermented, which lends the meat replacement probiotic properties that regular tofu doesn’t have. The good bacteria in the fermented beans promote a healthy gut, which can make you less likely to get sick and may even fight obesity. Use tempeh as you would firm tofu – it’s great marinated and grilled.

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