5 Secret Cooking Tips for Anyone Wanting To Eat More Plant-Based Nutrient Rich Superfoods.
By John Allen Mollenhauer
What is a Nutrient Rich Superfood?
The official definition of “superfood” is a “nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”
Cooking or preparing nutrient rich superfoods isn’t a mystery and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Processed food manufacturers and marketing companies want you to think that cooking plant- based, nutrient-rich superfoods is impossible so you’ll buy their pre-prepared foods, and that’s ok. Our own company Nutrient Rich® Life offers on-the-go superfoods products to help you as well.
That said. I’m here to share with you 5 secret go-tos’ for preparing superfoods in your own kitchen that will help you make amazing tasty meals every day.
Over the years I’ve struggled to eat perfect everyday just as I’ve also mastered it. Learning what works for you and your family takes a little trial and error, but if I can do it, I know you can. These often secret tips are seriously simple and I hope they help you as much as they have helped me through the years.
- Don’t Cook, Eat Raw (No, this is now about being a raw foodist; eating raw food is only one aspect of a healthy eating style.)
This has to be my favorite weekday go-to when everyone is busy. Busy activity filled days are the days you need the best fuel for your body, but the reality of not having enough time can lead you to making bad choices, so what can you do? Eat foods raw. Eating a great big plate of raw super greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard) with a colorful selection of vegetables (carrots, beets, tomatoes, peppers), fresh and dried fruits (apples, cherries, bananas, acai berries), some healthy fat (olives, avocados, nuts or seeds) with a drizzle of flavored vinegars, will both taste good and be good for you. Raw foods provide you with plenty of nutrients and fiber as well beneficial digestive plant enzymes that get destroyed when foods are cooked. These meals will fill you up and help you maintain more vital energy and food energy.
- Smart Combos
Combining foods to maximize their nutritional contents help your body to digest the micronutrient phytochemicals, vitamins and nutrients they contain. Many foods that contain the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K, need to be eaten with fat so your body can absorb them. Vitamin A rich vegetables and fruits such as carrots, kale, spinach, sweet potato, kale, cantaloupe, papaya and mango, Vitamin D rich mushrooms, Vitamin K rich beet & turnip greens, collards, kale and spinach all digest better with fat. Vitamin E rich almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and peanut butter already contain fat, but make a great addition to the above foods to help your body absorb the vitamins. Green tea contains antioxidants and phytonutrients, to help your body absorb the catechins in the tea mix your green tea with lemon. There are many amazing food combos that taste very good.
- Make a Meal/Snack Plan
Sit down with your family and decide what you will eat for the week. Make a smart meal plan that is practical and easy for you to make. This way there will be no surprises and everyone gets a certain amount of say so and a general heads up for the week. Writing a meal plan, also helps you to shop and prep so you aren’t left scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to make for dinner. A good meal plan will also include great whole food snacks like fruit, veges, nuts etc…these in between bites can save you from being hungry and help you get to your next nutrient rich superfood meal. The last minute scramble at the end of the day is where it becomes really easy to hit the drive-thru and eat a bunch of junk.
The best thing to remember about nutrient rich superfoods, is that the whole food is the ingredient, so even when you don’t have a whole meal plan, “planned,” you can forego the recipe and must make a concoction you enjoy on your own terms, either by eating a superfood as a mono meal, or mixing a bunch together to make up a new dish you just love.
- Keep It Simple, Quick and Easy.
If you have just started cooking or preparing whole foods or if like me you’ve been cooking whole foods for a long time, keep your recipes simple. It’s rare that I will tackle a recipe with more than 5 ingredients, and a page of complicated instructions. If I do try recipes like that I make sure I have plenty of time. Use recipes that have 4-6 main ingredients no including spices, and jazz up your meals with garnishes like nuts/seeds, dried fruit, herbs, nut-based dressings and vinegars. Recipes don’t have to be complicated to be good, and the less mess you have to clean up means that you can relax and enjoy some downtime.
- Cook it Once
If you’ve made a smart meal plan…you’ll make rice, quinoa or vegetable or bean pasta once a week and leftovers will be lunches or snacks. Making a large pot of soup that you can eat for 5 days will also make your life easier and healthier. You can also pop an extra meal or two in the freezer as a back-up plan for days when you planned to cook, but it doesn’t work out. The smarter you make your meal plan, the easier shopping and making meals will be.
The secret to eating in a healthy way is to eat whole foods, plant-based, nutrient rich superfoods in great tasting ways that are super convenient. This will make all the difference in the world.