Trading up is all about supercharging your diet. It's about consciously substituting nutrient-poor options with nutrient-rich options.
But do we have to spend a fortune on acai berries, chlorella and all the latest superfoods??
You can if you want. But before you do - just make sure you've got your basics down pat. My suggestion is to start by doing one simple thing:
STUFF EVERYTHING WITH VEGETABLES
In a previous posting, I showed you how to stuff vegetables into your muffins. But today - let's have a look at how we can turn one of everybody's favourite kitchen staples into a SUPERFOOD.
Who says it just has to be onion, garlic, tomatoes and spices? Adding veggies like peppers, zucchini and carrots raises the nutrient AND the fibre content. Plus, it reminds me of the beautiful tomato sauce my grandmother would make with the summer crop. She'd make a massive batch and every time I went to Spain to visit, I'd leave with a suitcase full of her tiny little mason jars.
- 2 tins of tomatoes (or the equivalent in fresh tomatoes)
- 2 tbspn of tomato paste (optional)
- 1 small onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 small/medium zucchini
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/2 pepper (red or yellow)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Chop up all the veggies and start with frying the onion and garlic with seasoning in olive oil over medium heat. (Don't burn the onions or my grandmother will be upset). Add the zucchini, carrots and pepper & cook until soft. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45min-1hr or until the sauce is slightly thick. Add the tomato paste if you feel it needs to thicken up a bit more. Or simply boil off the excess liquid with the pot uncovered.
Turn the heat off and blend with the hand blender or in a high-speed blender. Whiz until no trace of vegetables remain. You will get a velvety tomato sauce, lighter in colour than the traditional tomato sauce.
This sauce is AMAZING with long green beans. De-string the beans and steam them until soft (this dish isn't as nice if the beans are left a bit crunchy). In a separate pot, bring the tomato sauce to a light boil, then add the steamed beans. Turn off the heat and stir the sauce and beans together until well coated.
The benefits are just so incredible, I feel like calling this a SUPRAFOOD:
- Tomatoes are the best source of lycopene - a powerful antioxidant. The Mayo Clinic has published an article stating that lycopene is beneficial in preventing asthma during exercise.
- Green beans are also rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fats. They are anti-inflammatory, good for your heart and a perfect vegetable for those looking to regulate their blood sugar.
INCLUDING MORE VEGETABLES IN YOUR DISHES IS THE CHEAPEST, FASTEST WAY TO TRANSFORM YOUR MEALS INTO SUPERFOODS.
My grandmother knew that. She passed her superfood tomato sauce recipe on to my mother. And now I'm sharing it with you.
Thrive Nutrition Practice launches Spring 2016