Superfoods have definitely made their way onto our menus in recent years.
Known for being nutrient-dense and good for health, superfoods have definitely outlasted many other food fads. While the common acai and goji berry often come to mind, there are many other versatile ingredients/superfoods that are often overlooked and can be used in innovative ways in our kitchens and recipes.
Here are 3 superfoods you can infuse into your cooking to provide nutritional food choices for your diners.
Great for coulis, vinaigrettes, juices and smoothies, berries are packed with nutrients. In terms of taste, raspberries and blackberries taste slightly tart and almost citrus-like. Blueberries are considered to have a more mellow flavour. They are an excellent choice for packing your dish with loads of colour and flavour, especially since they’re one of the very few foods that are naturally blue.
Some ways to incorporate berries in your menu:
- Add berries to muffins and combine them with macadamia nuts, a drizzle of honey and a pinch of coconut
- Use in a barbeque sauce for a sweet, tangy twist
- Make popsicles out of berry smoothies – a sure favourite with kids
- Top fresh berries on ice cream, sorbet or gelato and finish with a hint of cinnamon
- Make a vinaigrette and drizzle over a spinach or rocket salad, topped with crumbled feta and almonds
Nuts are known to be a healthy source of energy and unsaturated fats. It has been said that they manage high cholesterol levels, improve moods and even extend your life expectancy. What’s more, nuts also have a GI-lowering effect and help to maintain blood sugar levels.
Take note: If you’re serving nuts in your dishes, highlight it in your menu even if it’s used lightly as a garnish. This is especially helpful for diners with nut allergies.
Some ways to incorporate nuts in your menu:
- Swap salted and sweetened nuts for roasted nuts
- Toss them with salads or couscous for that added crunch and texture
- Sprinkle sliced almonds and cashews over broccoli or any vegetable stir-fry
Considered an ultimate superfood staple, yoghurt earned its reputation because of its high levels of calcium and its probiotic benefits. Probiotics help to ward off bowel diseases, reduce intestinal illnesses and diminish the risk of urinary tract infections. Yoghurt also helps in the healing of ulcers.
Some ways to incorporate yoghurt in your menu:
- Serve yoghurt at breakfast with fruits and cereals that are low in processed sugars and rich in nutrients
- Use it in dressings, soups and dips
- Make smoothies and popsicles using yoghurt, and infuse them with berries
- Offer it as an alternative to ice-cream for dessert
- Go Greek and create tzatziki to serve with grilled meats like tandoori chicken
- Add this superfood as a marinade for selected dishes, with a touch of turmeric for colour