Superfood is a term to describe a food with exceptionally high content of nutrients (antioxydants, vitamins or other nutrients) and supposed to have health benefits. In my opinion, fruits and veggies are the most important superfood, especially if they have bright colours. Many foods have been recognized as superfood for years, like nuts, seeds, berries, leafy greens etc. But in the last few years, a lot of "exotic" new superfood appeared on the market. I don't particularly like to take supplements and prefer seeing my daily diet as my main provider of nutrients. Since no ingredient is magical, I try to include and vary those superfood as much as I can, because they can provide an additional nutritional value to a vegetarian diet.
These yellow sweet granulas are great sprinkled over a dessert or on energy balls.
Cacao powder and nibs
Dark cacao powder and chocolate are my ADDICTIONS ! Thank god it's very rich in antioxidants. I introduced dark chocolate to Noah after he was 1. He loves the bitterness of real chocolate, since he never got used to sugar loaded treats. I add cacao nibs in my granola (Noah counts them in the morning!) and in a lot of desserts (avocado chocolate pudding, cookies, tartlets etc.). I especially love to create treats that are so packed with healthy ingredients they can be eaten as a breakfast without any shame.
My FAVORITE source of omega-3 fatty acids ! I'm in love with the texture of chia pudding, which kind of reminds me of tapioca pudding. I often do a batch of chia pudding for the week (so easy to do!) and add it in desserts, with granola and fruits in the morning or in smoothies. If you don't particularly love that grainy texture, you can blend the pudding before eating it. That's what I do when I'm out of coconut yogurt for my granola in the morning. I also like to use chia seeds when I want to replace an egg in a cake, pancakes or a cookie recipe.
Flax seeds are a high source of essential fatty acids. I use it mainly in muffins, pancakes or granolas. When I don't want to use an egg in a recipe, I replace it by 1 tablespoon of flaxseed mixed in 3 tablespoons of water.
Another great add to a balanced vegetarian diet since hemp protein is complete (containing all essential amino acids). I add them in energy balls or granola, but I also like to sprinkle these raw seeds on top of salads to. They do have a strong taste, so I find that the best way to introduce them is to add some each time you eat quinoa or a rice casserole. You won't even notice it !
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast sold as yellow flakes in natural stores. It is popular within vegans and vegetarians since it's probably the most important (and perhaps only) vegetal "active and reliable" source of vitamin B12. It has a cheese flavor (similar to the "umami" taste found in parmesan cheese) so I add it in sauces (vegan mac'n'cheese or gravy sauce), patties, "no meatballs" or as a substitute to parmesan (mixed with brazil nuts) on pasta.
Unsweetened (or juice sweetened) açai, goji berries, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, sun dried tomatoes
Dried fruits are becoming more and more popular. They are loaded with antioxydants, vitamins and minerals, and easy to add in smoothies, desserts, granolas, salads, snacks etc. I add a variety of dried fruits in my granolas, depending on what I got on hand. I often use goji berries as a decoration on desserts. Sun dried tomatoes are great for dips, nut cheese, red pesto sauce and pasta dishes (sliced).
Seaweeds (Nori, wakame, agar-agar)
I use sea salt, which is non iodine, so I incorporate seaweed as a natural source of iodine in my diet. They are packed with minerals, electrolytes and chlorophylle. I use them to make sushis (Nori sheets), but we also like arame in stir fry's (with diced grilled tofu, thin sliced veggies and a bit of tamari sauce). Wakame are great in miso soup as well. I love spirulina in morning smoothies. Finally, agar-agar is also a seaweed I use to replace gelatine in desserts (vegan panna cotta!).
Every week, we buy a full fresh coconut (with the little umbrella on top !) at the farmer's market. It's our favorite drink when it's hot. When we're done drinking it, we scrape the flesh and either eat it with a spoon or add it on top of a granola bowl in the morning. We often buy commercial coconut water to add into smoothies too.
After our multiple trips to Asia, this high in antioxydants drink is my husband's addiction. I think we may have one hundred different kinds of tea in our pantry. We even took tea classes to learn how to make tea the right way.
Fennel herbal tea
This herb tea is great for digestion (and baby colics!). I drink it almost every day, especially since I'm breastfeeding and it's good to raise the milk supply.
Dear Kombucha, you were part of my childhood nightmares. Fermented bubbling tea with a kombucha mushroom in a jar is kind of weird right ? It's getting popular these days because Kombucha is now often mixed with juices or aromatic teas which gives it a nice flavour ! You may have to get use to the effervescence, but it's a great way to add probiotics to you diet ! Noah's asking for kombucha whenever we're at the natural food store !
This colourful and tasty green tea powder is great in desserts (muffins, mousses, truffles) and in smoothies !
This spiced indian tea (cardamome, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and black tea) brings back memories of my childhood. When I was young, my mother used to take us in an indian ashram (meditation center) and we drank a LOT of chai tea. Almost every day, my husband starts the morning with a pot of chai tea. I love to drink it just like this or add a bit of almond milk and honey. My kids (even Mila!) love it too ! We keep a cup of that wonderful spiced water before adding the tea just for them.
Nut milks (read more here)
Rooibos (herbal tea)
This african caffeine-free herbal tea is really tasty and good mixed with agrumes or vanilla.