Confession: I had no idea what superfoods were until I became a mom. The day I realized my infant was staring at my plate like a hungry wolf cub, I realized it was time to research healthy baby food. That journey introduced me to so many power foods I could make from home to help my daughter’s development. Over time, I woke up and smelled the coffee, realizing the rest of us could do with a healthier diet. This was especially true at snack time. Thus, I began the next leg of my journey. Finding tasty, family-friendly snack recipes that use superfoods.
What is a superfood?
If you’ve ever heard people talk about superfoods but you weren’t quite sure what they meant, here’s a simple definition: “A nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”
Want some examples? Here is a list of some everyday superfoods - excerpt from EatingWell.com - that packs an extra punch of nutrition:
Berries - Healthy for digestion, high in fiber, and can aid in protecting memory loss
Spinach - Loaded with vitamins, iron, potassium, and fiber. Great for expectant mothers.
Beans - Good source of iron, fiber, and lowering your cholesterol
Sweet Potatoes - Promotes eye health, as well as boosting your immune system
Broccoli - Contains cancer-fighting nutrients and a high dose of vitamins A, C, and K
There are many more options for powerful nutrition and a great deal of information about their benefits, but we’ve laid the basic groundwork here. Now let’s take a look at a few great snack recipes I’ve tried with my family that we love.
3 Delicious Snack Recipes That Use Superfoods
Steamed Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes, steamed
Real maple sugar (optional)
This makes a great power snack or a side in the place of mashed potatoes. If you want to sweeten it, try using real maple sugar as opposed to something like brown sugar. It’s minimally processed so the nutrients like minerals and antioxidants will be higher. This sweet potato snack goes great next to salmon (another superfood!), pork chops, or any meat, really.
Salad of Superfruits
Papaya - fights cancer cells and steadies blood pressure
Pineapple - great source of fiber
Blueberries - boosts brain power
Kiwi - immunity booster
Mango - improves heart health
Cube fruit and combine in bowl. Add some type of natural fruit juice to maintain freshness and refrigerate. If you balk at the natural sugar content in this snack, consider the power it has over a sweet tooth.
Sugar cravings are your body’s natural way of asking for energy or nutrients. When you eat fruit instead of a double fudge brownie, you’re providing energy and nutrients, thus satisfying your body’s needs much better.
Smoothies are fun for any age. They’re quick and easy with so much wiggle room in the recipe you could dance the Mamba with it. What I love about smoothies is that you can include superfoods that you don’t normally like and they’ll blend right in with the rest.
For example, I’m not a huge avocado or kale fan, but they’re two superfoods that fit quite nicely in a pineapple, kiwi, and coconut smoothie, eh?
Here is a quick recipe for our family’s favorite super smoothie snack:
Various berries, frozen
Kale or spinach
Greek strawberry yogurt
Blend and enjoy!
Want to make your kid’s day? Try an idea I just learned from wellness coach, Maddi Vonderau: Freeze your homemade smoothie in a tray to make popsicles! The kids will love ‘em! Mine beg for them as “dessert” after a meal or for a snack. It sure beats a lot of the other stuff I’ve let them eat, and they giggle at each other’s messy faces. That’s enough entertainment for all of us.
You can tailor your snacks to fit your own tastes, but I encourage you to drop in a few superfoods when you can. I love that my whole family can get a boost of energy with snacks like these instead of something processed from a box. Not that I’m perfect. I have a long way to go. But, every day, you have a choice. You can decide what to put into your mouth - into your body.
I’ll leave you with this final thought. As I spoke to Vonderau about her passion for nutrition, I asked for one simple step people could do to eat healthier. Her answer?
When in doubt, eat more leafy greens. If you’re not sure what’s a superfood or what’s going to lower your cholesterol or help you lose weight, just make “more greens” your starting point and educate yourself from there.
Got a favorite superfood snack? We’d love to hear it!
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