GUEST BLOG / By Chef Jen Wanous for AARP--What makes superfoods so super? A “superfood” is a food that is nutritionally dense, delivering your body the most bang for your bite.
There are many superfoods in season during the summer months like berries, watermelon and avocado. Berries deliver a powerful antioxidant package with bone-building vitamin K and vitamin C. Did you know that watermelon has more of the heart-healthy phytochemical lycopene than tomatoes?
And avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat (the good for you fat!) and magnesium and potassium. There are many nuts available all season like almonds, and seeds like chia seeds. Both offer superfood qualities like added fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Try these three simple recipes and utilize some of the summer’s best offerings. From a quick protein-packed smoothie to a refreshing popsicle to a quick meal with an omega-3-rich protein, you can let these superfoods come to your rescue on any hot summer day.
Blueberry, Yogurt and Almond Smoothie
Starting with great superfood ingredients, this smoothie is the perfect breakfast or after workout recharger. You can pop a pint of blueberries right in the freezer or buy them already frozen. Using frozen blueberries adds a nice chill and texture to the smoothie.
Ingredients (serves two):
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup almond butter
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and blend well. Pour out into a cup, add a straw and enjoy.
Watermelon Chia Seed Popsicles
This treat will have you thinking you’re poolside with a soothing beverage in hand. You can pick up a popsicle mold at your local grocery or variety store.
Ingredients (makes six):
2 cups cubed watermelon
1 tablespoon whole chia seeds
zest and juice of one lime
a hearty pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pour or spoon out into popsicle molds to set in your freezer. These frozen treats will be ready to enjoy in a few hours.
Lettuce Wraps/ Avocado and Smoked Salmon
Here is a simple meal to prepare on a hot summer night. It calls for one cup of a cooked grain, which you can make in a rice cooker earlier in the day and stored in your fridge. Warm up the grain dish in the microwave before serving.
Ingredients (serves two):
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
4 leaves romaine or butterhead lettuce
1 avocado, sliced
½ cucumber, cut into spears
1 – 1.5 ounces smoked salmon, cold
Lemon squeeze (optional)
Splash of soy sauce
Heat your quinoa or rice so that it’s not piping hot, but warm. Holding your lettuce leaf in one hand, add a ¼ of each ingredient, the rice, avocado slice, cucumber and salmon. You can add a squeeze of lemon and a splash of soy sauce too. Eat it as if it were a taco, only it’s a superfood taco!