7 Recipes That Change Plain Foods Into Healthy Superfoods
Superfoods are filled with nutrients, vitamins, protein, essential fatty and amino acids, good fats, antioxidants, and minerals, according to Natural News. These extraordinarily healthy foods can help fight disease, protect your heart, and keep your nervous system running at its best. Superfoods are something we should be eating daily, but it can sometimes be hard to find creative ways to chow down on quinoa and pounds of produce.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting your superfood fix is by including them in basic foods that you rely on to make your favorite dishes and meals. Spinach, walnuts, blueberries, and yogurt can all be used to transform ordinary kitchen staples into nutritional powerhouses. Here are seven recipes helping you slip superfoods into your bread, whipped cream, tortillas, and noodles.
1. Fresh Spinach Pasta Dough
Pasta noodles are a common kitchen staple that are regularly used in a variety of dishes. Why not make them ultra healthy by including nutrient-rich spinach? Men’s Fitness reports that one cup of spinach provides almost 200% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Thanks to Martha Stewart, you can now get your leafy green fix every time you prepare a noodle-based dish. Note: You’ll need a pasta machine to make this recipe.
- 6 ounces spinach
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- Coarse salt
- Semolina flour, for storage
Directions: Add 2 inches of water to a medium saucepan and fit with a steamer insert. Bring to a simmer. Add 6 ounces spinach, cover, and steam until bright green and softened, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly. Squeeze out liquid using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Puree spinach in a food processor. Add eggs and yolk to puree in food processor, and process until combined. Add flour and 1 heaping teaspoon salt, and process until dough just comes together, about 20 seconds.
Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 2 tablespoons flour if dough is too sticky. Place on a piece of parchment and cover with an inverted bowl, or wrap tightly in plastic; let rest for 1 to 2 hours. Cut dough into 8 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten dough into an oblong shape slightly thinner than the pasta machine’s widest setting. Dust dough very lightly with flour and feed through machine. Fold lengthwise into thirds and rotate 90 degrees.
Repeat twice on same setting to smooth dough and increase its elasticity. Turn the dial to next narrower setting. Pass dough through twice, gently supporting it with your palm. Continue to press dough, passing it through ever-finer settings, two passes on each setting, until sheet is almost translucent and very thin but still intact. The dough will stretch to about 16 inches long. If dough bubbles or tears, pass it through again, and dust with flour if the dough is sticking.
To make farfalle, lasagna squares, or ravioli, place rolled sheet on a lightly floured surface and cut out as directed in corresponding recipe, using a dry brush to dust flour off if needed. For ribbon pastas, place dough on a drying rack until slightly tacky, 10 to 15 minutes, and then use a pasta machine or cutting attachment to cut into strands. Drape over rack until strands are semidry and won’t stick together, about 20 minutes. Cook immediately, or lay flat on a baking sheet dusted with semolina, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
2. Whipped Greek Yogurt Cream
CleanLeanMommyMachine.com uses Greek yogurt to make a sweet and tangy whipped cream that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating. WebMD applauds Greek yogurt for its many benefits, explaining that it’s packed with calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. This creamy whipped topping is not only healthy but also tastes terrific on pancakes, waffles, or any desserts.
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 to 3 splashes pure maple syrup
- 2 to 3 teaspoons pure granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (optional)
Directions: Using the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, whisk the heavy cream and maple syrup together until it forms soft peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a medium-size bowl and set aside. Rinse out the mixing bowl, then add Greek yogurt and sugar. Whip for approximately 2 minutes. Taste and add another teaspoon of sugar if needed. Add yogurt to whipped cream and fold gently until combined. Check sweetness level and add another splash of sweetener if needed. Store in airtight container for up to one week.
3. Gluten-Free Quinoa Tortillas
You have the power to make your taco night a whole lot healthier. Using Bakerette.com’s recipe via The 36th Avenue, you can make homemade tortillas using quinoa, which is high in protein, iron, magnesium, and fiber. These nutrient-rich tortillas are also gluten- and lactose-free.
- 4 cups quinoa flour
- ¾ cup brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1¼ cups hot water
Directions: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Equally divide dough into 18 balls. Semi-flatten each ball of dough. Using two wax paper sheets or two plastic zip-top bags, open the press and sandwich the ball of dough between either the wax paper or plastic bags and place on top of the press.
Press the handle over and flatten the tortilla and trim off any dough hanging from the edge of the press. Gently peel the tortilla off the wax paper or plastic bags. If it sticks, then the dough is too moist. It should come off fairly easily without too much resistance. Next, place the tortillas in a nonstick skillet and cook on medium heat for about 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Serve warm or store in an airtight container up to three days.
4. Buckwheat and Chia Bread
Care 2 explains that buckwheat is great for digestion and contains antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and copper. The Healthy Chef packs this nutty-flavored superfood into a delicious loaf of bread that works wonderfully for sandwiches. You can also use your buckwheat batter to make pancakes or pizza crust.
- 1¾ cups whole raw buckwheat groats
- ¼ cup whole chia seed
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (or 1½ teaspoons gluten free baking powder)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Juice from ½ lemon (if using bicarb)
Directions: Preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Soak buckwheat in plenty of cold water for 2 hours until softened. Soak chia seed in ½ cup cold water until gel-like; this takes about 30 minutes. Drain the buckwheat and rinse through a fine sieve. Make sure all the water is fully drained. Place the buckwheat into a food processor. Add chia gel, ½ cup of water, olive oil, baking soda, sea salt, and lemon juice. Mix in a food processor for 3 minutes.
The bread mix should resemble a batter consistency with some whole buckwheat still left in the mix. Spoon into a loaf tin lined with baking paper on all sides and the base. Bake for 75 minutes until firm to touch and bounces back when pressed with your fingers. Remove from the oven and cool for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the tin and cool completely on a rack or board. The bread should be slightly moist in the middle and crisp on the outside. Cool completely before eating.
5. Blueberry Cream Cheese
Is a bagel with cream cheese your regular morning go-to? If so, we suggest preparing The Meaning of Pie’s recipe. It creates a cream cheese that’s filled with fresh blueberries, ensuring you have an antioxidant-packed topping to spread on your breakfast breads. It only takes 15 minutes to make and yields 2½ cups.
- ½ cup fresh blueberries, plus a few for garnish
- 16 ounces cream cheese (2 big blocks), room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon water
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
Directions: Rinse and drain the blueberries. Place them in a small saucepan with the granulated sugar and the water. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a heat-safe bowl to cool. You may place it in the refrigerator to cool. Once the sauce has cooled, place the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.
Whip the cream cheese for one minute. Add the sauce a little at a time until it is thoroughly incorporated. Scrape the bowl to ensure that you have no white stripes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to mix until it is thoroughly combined with the cream cheese. Transfer the blueberry cream cheese to a serving dish. Cover it with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Garnish with fresh blueberries.
6. Homemade Hamburger Buns
Hamburger buns are necessary for nights when you’re whipping up burgers, sloppy joes, and pulled pork. Sally’s Place suggests adding walnuts to these Homemade Hamburger Buns, creating a wholesome and nutrient-rich foundation for your meaty fillings. Best Health notes that antioxidant-packed walnuts can reduce your risk of diabetes and breast cancer. The recipe yields 16 buns.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional flour for kneading
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- ⅓ cup toasted wheat germ
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup solid vegetable shortening
- ½ cup coarsely chopped, toasted walnuts
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place 1½ cups each all-purpose flour and whole-wheat flour, the toasted wheat germ, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, preferably a heavy-duty one with a paddle attachment, briefly mix together the ingredients. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the shortening. Add the milk and sugar and heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is very warm, but no hotter than 120 or 130 degrees Fahrenheit. With the mixer at low speed, slowly pour milk mixture into flour mixture until blended. Increase to medium speed and beat mixture for about 2 minutes.
Add ½ cup each white flour and whole wheat flour and beat 2 minutes more. Add 1 cup white flour and beat until dough comes away from sides of bowl. Stir in walnuts. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use very little additional flour. Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place until double in volume, about 1 to 1½ hours. Gently punch down dough and divide dough into four equal portions. Divide each portion into fourths and allow dough to rest just 5 minutes.
Form the small portions into balls, and with fingertips fold edges under to form even circles. Place on lightly greased baking sheets about 2 inches apart, and with fingertips flatten each bun to a 3-inch circle. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Adjust rack in lower third of oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped lightly. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
7. Gluten-Free Breading for Chicken and Fish
Breading is a great way to add fabulous flavor and tasty texture to your meat. By making The Baking Beauties’ breading, which includes oat bran, you’ll get plenty of nutrients while enjoying a scrumptious supper. Livestrong explains that oat bran is an exceptional superfood that can lower your cholesterol and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. The recipe yields 3 to 4 servings.
- ½ cup finely crushed gluten-free unsweetened cornflakes or crispy rice cereal
- ½ cup oat bran
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
Directions: In a shallow bowl, whisk together the crushed cereal, oat bran, paprika, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Set aside. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Coat your meat in the breading mixture, followed by the egg mixture, and then once again in the breading mixture.