Superfoods, so called due to their abundance of nutrients, are a fantastic addition to any diet. What differentiates a superfood from other healthy food is the way the combination of nutrients combine to benefit the entire body.
These benefits can include anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and immunity boosting properties. We have therefore highlighted some of our favourite superfoods and delicious, flavoursome recipes that make the most of them.
Packed full of iron, calcium and vitamins A and C, beetroot is from the chard family. It’s super versatile and can be eaten raw, cooked, or blended into juice. This recipe for steak tartare by Adam Bennett uses beetroot juice for the accompanying pickled mooli.
Quinoa is a filling superfood, perfect for bolstering lighter recipes with an extra hit of protein. It also contains healthy fats, amino acids and a dose of carbohydrates. Not just confined to salads, quinoa can be used in a variety of hot and cold dishes. We suggest trying Alyn Williams’ recipe for slow-cooked Irish beef shin with quinoa, wild garlic and Parmesan for an original twist on risotto.
Unlike regular wheat, bulgur wheat is cracked and cooked. This means that it is low in fat and high in protein – a fantastic alternative to rice and couscous. With its origins in the Middle East and India, this recipe for beef koftas uses bulgur wheat to combine the beef mixture and add to its consistency.
Spinach has been described as the ultimate superfood, due to its flexibility and numerous health benefits. Containing antioxidants, vitamins and high iron content, made famous by Popeye, spinach is an easy green to add to any meal. This baked Gnocchi Bolognese uses large leaves of spinach to help give a delicious texture and flavour.
Kale is full of fibre, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals, which has caused its popularity to rocket in recent years. Above all this has been helped by the fact that it’s easy to cook with, has a low calorie count, and is a great addition to a wide range dishes. For a delicious warm salad, try Rachel Walker’s sirloin steak recipe.
A little known fact, clams are one of the best foods out there for your heart. They have a high amount of vitamin B12 and are loaded with protein, and have a beautiful, seafood-fresh flavour to base your dish around. If you find the flavour overwhelming, try adding a small quantity to larger dishes as a seasoning. Paul Foster employs this method in his recipe for hanger steak, using clams to add a sweet yet salty quality to the dish.