So, what is a superfood?
Basically, anyone anywhere can call anything a superfood. Really. There’s no law against it. Nor is there a solid definition. However, within the health community in general, a superfood is basically a naturally occurring food that has a large concentration of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals. Basically, something that gives you a huge nutritional bang for your buck.
But there are subcategories within superfoods, and what I’m focusing on in this post are those exotic supplements that are sometimes found in powder form. Things like Camu, Maca, Spirulina, Goji berries, etc. Regular fruits and vegetables are superfoods too. Don’t forget that!
Take me with a grain or two of salt, obviously, but I’ve never ridden the superfood bandwagon, and I’ll break down the why for you. And then after I do that, I’ll contradict myself and give you a recipe for a smoothie that contains not one, but TWO superfoods.
Here’s my deal.
If you label something as a superfood, it automatically increases exponentially in price. The exception of that is something like kale. Which is totally a superfood. But not found in the high plains of the Himalayas. Would I recommend to a client who is currently on a diet of processed food, little to no veggies, and looking to lose some weight and eat healthier, to go out and spend $200 on superfoods? NO. It’s completely insane. Why spend all that money on Goji berries and Reishi mushrooms when simple and basic fruits and veggies will nourish your body, help heal you, and make you feel awesome? It’s just not logical.
Also, I am a believer that people need to eat local more often. Your diet really should reflect your climate, altitude, and your energy level -as much as possible. The fruits and veggies that grow and thrive where you live, are the same fruits and veggies that can fortify YOU to grow and thrive where you live. If you’re eating a bunch of products from the Amazon and the Himalayas, you’re missing that point.
Superfoods, to me, seem at times to be one of those road blocks for people. A turn-off, if you will, to a healthier lifestyle. If you believe that you need to buy these products to live healthy, perhaps you’ll decide to just wait. Because living healthy is too expensive, and your Dollar menu diet is much cheaper. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Having said all that, I do think that some superfoods can be a great addition to an already healthy diet. I think of them as “boosters” if you will, to elevate and help support different functions that need supporting.
Currently, I’ve got these superfoods hanging around:
The goji berries were an impulse buy. I truly admit it. And I don’t even care to eat them if they aren’t covered in chocolate. So, lesson learned.
The Raw Cacao powder is pretty much a staple in this house. We don’t buy regular coco anymore. This stuff is delicious and packed with lots of goodness. Flavanols, polyphenols, antioxidants – Oh, and it’s chocolate. Hi. I absolutely put it in everything.
The Maca is more of a luxury buy. It’s an adaptogen, which means it contains things that can help your body adapt to different situations and stressors. It’s also purported to support your “frisky” behavior and help correct hormonal imbalances. The taste is kind of caramel-like to me. Nutty and caramel. If you’re going to drop some $$ on a superfood powder, I’d give this a vote.
The coconut butter is also a luxury buy. But since my desert choices are limited right now on the Whole30, this coconut butter melted with some cacao and maca = heaven.
So that’s my thought on the superfood supplement situation. What do you think? I’d love to hear from you and perhaps also hear what your faves are 🙂
And now, to the smoothie.
As you know, I opened a can of pumpkin.
So, you know. It’s ON.
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Note: If you don’t put the spinach in this smoothie, it will 100% taste like pumpkin pie. Obviously, my version is green and you can still taste a bit of the spinach. But I just can’t make a smoothie without putting some spinach in it, if I have it. Just can’t!
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 heaping tbsp canned pumpkin
1 heaping tbsp nut butter (I used cashew. I’m rolling like that these days)
1 tsp Maca powder
1 tsp cacao powder (optional, but why not?)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
8-10 oz water or liquid of choice (a nut milk would do nicely! I used water though)
Pop it all in the blender and let it do its thing. You can add sweetener if you like. Once I can use sweetener again I’ll probably make this with Maple syrup or Stevia. We’ll see.
Add a little ice to cool it off, blend some more.