Healthy Cook

Healthy Cook

From Savory to Sweet, These Superfoods Will Make You Swoon

by CAROL CORLEY

Early in the 20th century, the term “superfoods” was coined by United Fruit Company to market bananas — a fruit loaded with vitamins and minerals and considered a super healthy snack.

Bananas are still considered a superfood, but they have been joined by berries, green tea, nuts and seeds, kale, collard greens, yogurt, ginger, turmeric, avocado, beets, pumpkin, seaweed, and some fish.

Foods gain reputations as “superfoods” because they boast plenty of nutrients — such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In other words, they pack a healthy punch for each calorie. However, the Cleveland Clinic says this is not a recognized category by dietitians, and there are no specific criteria to warrant being on the list other than that they are thought to boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, reduce inflammation, and help the heart.

One thing to notice about superfoods is that they are colorful — dark leafy green vegetables, brilliant berries, colorful beets, pumpkin, turmeric, and even salmon.

Different sources included different foods on their lists. However, nearly all included salmon. Let’s start with a couple of ways to enjoy these special foods.

Grilled Salmon with Kale Sauté
(Adapted from eatingwell.com)

Ingredients:
Salmon filets thawed, 2 about 1-inch thick
Kale, 6 oz stemless, torn
Garlic clove, 1 finely minced
Thyme, 1/3 teaspoon fresh crushed
Garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Shallot, 1 tablespoon finely chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon peel, 1/2 teaspoon shredded, plus several lemon wedges

Directions:
Fish should be rinsed and dried with paper towels then set aside. Stir together flavorings and sprinkle on top of filets. Cook on the greased rack of a charcoal grill over medium coals. Grill for about 8-10 minutes, turning once, until fish begins to flake.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook shallot and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until tender, about 2-4 minutes. Add lemon peel and kale and cook covered for 2 minutes, then uncovered for 6-7 minutes until kale begins to wilt. Turn with long-handled tongs. Serve salmon with kale and lemon wedges.

Alternative: Marinade for Salmon
(Adapted from The Spruce Eats)

Ingredients:
Garlic, 1 clove minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3 tablespoons
Honey, 2 teaspoons
Turmeric, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground
Black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon (a necessary addition when using turmeric)
Salt to taste.

Directions:
Mix together and rub over salmon prior to cooking by your method of choice. I like to bake salmon in an oven preheated to 450F for about 12 minutes or a bit more. It’s best slightly undercooked.

Honey-Ginger Kale Salad
(Adapted from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients:
Kale leaves, 10 oz, stems removed, thinly sliced
Extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons
Apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons
Orange juice, 2 tablespoons
Soy sauce, 1 teaspoon (can use low-sodium)
Honey, 1-1/2 teaspoons, local preferred
Ginger, 1-1/2 teaspoons, grated, fresh

Directions:
Whisk together all liquid ingredients except oil, then whisk in oil slowly. Put kale in a bowl, drizzle with dressing and mix well. Kale should be mixed until softened, wilted, and reduced in volume by half.

Mixed Berry Smoothie
(Personal recipe)

Ingredients:
With this smoothie, your imagination is your limit. This is what I use — some or all, depending on what is on hand. Quantity will depend on the number of servings and preference, but I am giving quantities for a single serving. The more frozen fruits you have, the thicker the smoothie will be. Add milk or a tablespoon of hot water to thin it.

Mixed berries — frozen or fresh — strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, 1-1/2 cups
Water, 1/4 cup
Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup
Honey, 1 tablespoon
Banana, can be frozen, 1/2, peeled
Chia and flax seeds, 1 tsp each
Turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon or more to taste
Black pepper, a small pinch
Spinach, small handful of fresh baby, chopped
Protein powder, 1 scoop

In a strong blender, slowly add in all ingredients except yogurt and blend as you add. Turn up the power to liquefy. Once you have achieved the consistency you like, slowly blend in yogurt and pour the smoothie into a large glass.

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