Category Archives: Breakfast

quinoa for days

raw quinoaQuinoa, the ever popular super grain. This splendid grain is popular for a reason (actually many!)- it has the highest nutritional profile and cooks the fastest of all grains. It is also a complete protein, contains more calcium than milk, is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, and Vitamin E, is gluten-free, strengthens the kidneys, heart, and lungs, and is ideal for endurance and energy. This mother grain is also very easy to digest and is a warming food. Phew! These little colorful beads really are so full of ancient wisdom and nutritional power. Quinoa has been grown and consumed for about 8,000 years on the high plains of the Andes Mountains in South America. And now today, it has become a popular grain of choice with many uses.

Just one cup of quinoa cooked in two cups water yields four servings. I like to make a bunch and use it throughout the week, especially if I am super busy and don’t have a lot of time to cook. You can find white, red, and black quinoa but there is also a rainbow variety that I like to buy. Pretty much anything that has the word rainbow in front of it (rainbow chard, beets, carrots, etc.) I am a sucker for.

cooked quinoa

spicesCook extra quinoa to use for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are some examples of ways to use quinoa and make it last you at least a few days. And make use of your spices! Depending on what you like, they can add warmth, zest, or a kick to your dishes.

For dinner, I like to cook quinoa and pair it with brussels sprouts roasted with maple syrup or avocado, black beans, sweet potatoes, corn, and hot sauce. Quinoa pairs perfectly with so many different veggies and proteins so go crazy! I like to add turmeric, paprika, cumin, or curry powder to my savory quinoa dishes.

After dinner, I store my extra quinoa in an air-tight container in the fridge. Then the next morning, I combine it in a pot with oat milk (or any plant-based milk) and leave it on the stove just enough to warm it up. Then I add whatever I am in the mood for: nuts, seeds, maple syrup, almond butter, raw honey, raisins, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, cardamon. Quinoa is a higher protein subsitute for oats, so add whatever you usually like in your oatmeal.

For lunch, you can take some more leftover quinoa and make a warming soup. Combine water, miso paste, basil, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, sprouts, and seaweed in a pot and simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes. Add the already cooked quinoa and cook for another minute or two. Enjoy!

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Superfood Smoothie

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I truly believe that if you want an easy way to fall in love each day, look no further than food.  The more I learn about the healing powers of food, the more I not only fall madly in love but also become more mindful of what I put into my body.  There is great truth in that old adage “you are what you eat.” In these colder months when warmth, Vitamin D, and immunity are all low, it’s vital to enlist the help of food to give us that extra boost.  To help me feel more super during the winter blues, I turn to superfoods.  An easy way to incorporate superfoods into your diet is to add them to your morning smoothies.  The three superfoods I add to mine are maca powder, cacao powder, and spirulina powder.

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Maca: hails from the high Andean mountains of Bolivia and Peru.  This root is one of the only plant foods in the world to thrive at such a high altitude.  It endures intense sunlight, powerful winds, and freezing temperatures, making it extremely resilient and strong (remember, you are what you eat!).  Maca is an “adaptogen” known for its ability to nourish and balance the body’s endocrine system, combat stress, and fight fatigue.  It is especially beneficial for women’s health, aiding in reproductive function and helping to balance hormones and increase fertility. Maca has been long regarded as a stamina booster and libido enhancer.  Boasting 31 essential minerals and trace elements, this superfood also dishes out a big dose of fiber, calcium, protein, and four unique alkaloids called Macainas.  Phew! Now that is one super food.

Flavor profile: malty, nutty, hints of vanilla and butterscotch.

Raw Cacao: one of the richest sources of immune-boosting antioxidants found in nature (4 times the amount of green tea!).  It is also one of the greatest sources of magnesium, which plays an important role in heart health.  Cacao powder is high in iron and contains fiber, calcium, zinc, and alkaloids.

Flavor profile: real chocolate! More savory and nutty than processed, sweetened chocolate but you may still confuse this morning smoothie for dessert.

Spirulina: highest known nutritional content in the world. Supports total health for longevity and boosts immunity.  It is truly the original superfood as it is one of the oldest life forms on Earth.  Spirulina is a blue-green algae that helped produce the oxygen in our atmosphere billions of years ago so that other life forms could appear (my heart is fluttering right now).  Some say that it is so nutrient-dense that you could survive on it and water alone.  Includes all 8 essential amino acids and 10 non-essential ones.  Contains 60-70% complete protein- more protein than beef, chicken, or soybeans!

Other benefits: highly digestible, protects immune system, aids in mineral absorption, reduces cholesterol, produces red and white blood cells, helps fight free radicals responsible for body aging, promotes weight loss, improves digestive health, natural cleanser and detoxifier.  Believe it or not, the list goes on.  Even if you just added this to your diet you would be doing your body, well-being, and overall health a tremendous, beautiful favor.

Color profile: this is what makes the smoothie a rich, deep green color that just seems to shout LIFE!

These three superstars add a lot of power to this luscious, tasty, uplifting smoothie.

Superfood Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup almond milk (can substitute any kind of milk you’d like)

1 big handful baby spinach

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1 banana (I like to freeze mine)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tbsp. raw cacao powder

2 tsp. maca powder

1 tsp. spirulina powder

Blend ingredients until fully unified, smooth, and dark green.

*The great thing about smoothies is that they are adjustable and easy to experiment with. You can use other milks (hemp, rice, soy, coconut) or try adding a nut butter (almond, cashew, hazelnut).  Just as it is for your health, it is also important to honor your taste buds.

Cheers to your health,

Sarah D.

Sources: [1] chinese-herbs.org [2] http://navitasnaturals.com