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.
My friends, after four days of this:
It’s time for a little green goodness. Yes, I’m a bourbon girl. And that smokey chipotle hot sauce is outrageously good.
But I’m glad to see my friends, vegetables. You may have noticed I don’t post a lot of smoothies on here. I just haven’t been in the mood for them lately. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what’s better, juicing or blending? I wrote a post on it here.
This is a delicious green smoothie recipe, if I do say so myself. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re new to green smoothies, because if it weren’t green, you’d never know it had a vegetable in it!
Spicy Sweet Green Lemonade
Makes about 18 oz
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 overflowing cup green seedless grapes
thumb of ginger
1 lemon, peeled, seeded
1 cup water
Liquid Stevia (to taste)
Put all ingredients in a blender (Vita mix!) and blend until very smooth. You can also add ice, but I prefer to pour it over ice. Add a few drops of Stevia to taste.
We had a wonderful time in Atlanta hanging out with my husband’s mom, dad, and brother (plus niece and nephew pups!). It was a treat for all, because we haven’t all been together under the same room for a long time. I’m insanely happy to be home though, because Eli decided that naps and sleeping were for punks the entire time we were there, and I’ll just say… It was rough.
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend! And if you try the recipe, please do let me know!
Happy Fourth everyone! Here at Casa Sturj, we are recovering from the nasty stomach virus that took us out like dominoes, so we are laying low. It’s way too hot outside to be doing much anyway.
Because my tummy is still on the fritz and I just know it’s dying for some happiness, I cooked this up as a tasty treat. There’s a chance I would have used some additional ingredients if I had them/thought they’d be a good idea on my tummy. But I’m pretty darn happy with how it turned out!
Super Hydrating Green Colada
- 1 cup Coconut water
- Handful frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 rounded tsp coconut butter
- 1 handful baby spinach
- sweetener to taste
- ice to your preferred consistencyBlend it up baby!I’ve also been snacking on watermelon, which seems to agree with my system. I sprinkle a little sea salt on the chunks and they are delicious and great for hydration.So, how about you guys? Any fun plans for today? Let me live vicariously!
Well, it’s a hot one. I’m not complaining, because I’d prefer heat to cold any day. We got a later start to the day because my dear son actually slept in until 9:15 — I know, WHAT? I don’t know. I’m not getting excited.
Today was Eli’s first time on swings.
He LOVED it. He laughed the entire time and tried to mimic my “Wheeee!” I died of cuteness several times. And then I died of heat stroke.
So we came home and made this.
Orange Creamsicle Smoothie (Dairy Free)
2 whole oranges, peeled
1/2 cup almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
Ice – add gradually until desired consistency
1/8 or half a handful whole raw cashews
2-5 drops Vanilla liquid stevia
Put oranges, milk, and nuts in the blender and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until desired consistency.
I love the combination of orange + cream. This is a very healthy alternative to say, a sugar-laden Orange Julius or a regular Creamsicle. Can you use orange juice instead of whole oranges? You can, and it will probably taste fine, but nutritionally, it won’t be that great. Fruit juice is pure sugar without the fiber to aid your body in digesting it, so it will just do a spike ‘n ditch on your system. By processing the whole oranges in the blender, you’re giving yourself the fiber in addition to the sweetness. If your oranges are super sweet, don’t even bother with the Stevia and instead add a few drops of vanilla extract.
The cashews are kind of optional, but they lend a creamier texture to the drink. I would avoid almonds or almond butter because they will change the taste.
I had to restrain myself from throwing in a handful of spinach. I think it would still be tasty, but not an Orange Creamsicle. Maybe next time!
This was a perfect treat to cool off with. Eli enjoyed a little too.
What’s your favorite “cool off” beverage?
It’s been a minute since I’ve made a smoothie, because the mood just hasn’t struck me. Today, however, 3pm had passed, I hadn’t had lunch, and I was seriously contemplating a Chick Fil A run, so…
2-3 handfuls baby spinach
Approx 1 cup milk of choice (almond for me!)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp coconut butter
6 drops vanilla liquid stevia
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
Blend it up!
It’s delicious and I feel good about myself.
Happy Friday you guys! My cranky boy has decided to
pass out take his nap early this morning, so I thought I’d take a moment to share with you three things I’ve been doing each night to help center and ground me, navigate the day to come, and to make sure I’m being deliberate in my actions. I use a journal for this.
- I write down the best thing I did that day. It could be as simple as drinking my green juice. Or perhaps not throttling the cat when he decided to wake up a sleeping baby.
- Make a quick list of the top things that need to be done tomorrow. For example, on my list today I need to vacuum and clean bathrooms.
- Write down one thing I’m not proud of doing today, and lay down a couple of sentences if I’m in the mood as to why it happened or how I can change it.
I’ve found that this practice brings the important things that have happened during my day back into focus. If I’m being crabby or mean, taking a moment at the end of the day to think of the best part of my day usually un-funks me and makes me realize that it’s probably not so bad after all.
Do you do something similar to this?
Yesterday I had some pretty epic eats.
I made a dressing with a cashew cream base and some kelp granules, but it wasn’t perfect, so until I get it just right, I won’t put the recipe here. But it’s coming! Spiraling your veggies is a fun way to eat them.
Unfortunately, the best thing I ate yesterday was unpictured, because I made it as I was rushing out the door. It was just a smoothie, but WOW. I’ll make another one this afternoon and be sure to share. But here’s the recipe:
Blueberry Lemon Dream
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- enough Almond milk (or milk of choice) to cover blueberries 1/4 inch or so
- a little sweetener (I used raw honey)
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
Blend it all up. Add a little ice if you want. Adjust the milk. But OMG. How delicious is it? With that lemon? And the color of it? AHHH.
Well, I’m off to make some coffee now. It’s one of those days. Thankfully, I forced myself to drink one of these babies first:
Coffee is very acidic, so if you must do it, it’s definitely better to have your alkalizing green juice first, wait about an hour to soak up all of those lively nutrients, and then pour the acid into your belly. But gosh, that acid tastes so good. 🙂
Have a wonderful Friday!
Our Sunday is off to a nice start – Hubs has hit the gym, I’m showered and dressed and have already taken my troop for a walk around the park. AND, Eli is sleeping. It’s like, some sort of fantasy land around here!
Since I started off this morning with a nice big green smoothie, here’s the recipe for you. It’s my “go to” recipe, and if you’re a PB + Choco kinda person, it’ll be right up your alley.
Choconutter Green Smoothie
almond milk (1-2 cups, depending on the consistency you like)
1 tbsp raw cacao powder or unsweetened coco powder
1 tbsp almond butter (or a little more…:)
1 scoop chia seeds (or protein supplement of your choice)
sweetener to taste
If you have a Vita Mix or Blend tec, just toss all the ingredients in and let it roll. If you’re working with a regular blender, process the spinach with the almond milk first, then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. For sweetener, I really am partial to Agave or Maple syrup in this particular smoothie, but for right now I’m only using Stevia as a sweetener. It does the trick, but I can’t say it’s as amazing as those two sweeteners. Just something to keep in mind.
This is a handful of spinach, btw.
So, while we are on the topic of Green Smoothies, I wanted to talk about the differences between juicing and blending, because they really are quite different.
Juicing is the process of squeezing the liquid from fruits and vegetables while removing the fiber. This basically leaves you with a vitamin rich liquid that requires little to no work for your digestive system – it’s kind of like a power shot for your body. Juicing is very popular for when you’re detoxing, because it does not tax your system at all but delivers high quality nutrients. Juicers that are popular these days are the Jack LaLanne and the Breville (which I have and love).
Blending is the process of pulverizing fruits and vegetables. A blender like Vita Mix or Blend Tec will process the fibers of fruits and vegetables, including the skins and piths, into a very smooth consistency. But it still has fiber and because of that, your body will still need to work to process it.
Both are wonderful ways to get high quality vitamins and minerals into your system. Personally, I like to juice first thing in the morning and have a green juice as a balancing and alkalizing way to start my day. Then I ease into breakfast later on, and feel less guilty about my morning cup of coffee. However, sometimes I’m just not in the mood for juicing, and a smoothie sounds better. So I do that instead.
I hope this helps!
Have a fabulous Sunday!