This week we’re breaking down the fact vs. fiction of the trendiest “health”a.k.a superfoods. All of our players featured have substantial instagram credibility (cut to a beautiful overlay of an acai bowl and a matcha tea with a shocking 4 digit like count), but is it enough cred for the College Chefs stamp of approval?
Here’s your definitive guide of what’s worth spending your budget on, and what’s instagram-hyped BS.
Historically a medicinal plant with ties to ancient China. High in antioxidants, a good source of fibre, high in iron and vitamin C and vitamin A. The berries contain all 8 essential amino acids, providing a surprising amount of protein from a fruit.
➤ Uses: great to top: smoothies, bowls, yogurt, fruit salad. A great berrie to accompany Caco (another superfood cousin).
They’ll add a pop of color for your foodie photographs... if you’re into that kind of thing.
➤ Price: Not budget friendly, but worth the price on occasion.
➤ Verdict: Worth the hype, but not essential. If you enjoy the taste and can afford them, they’re a fun way to spruce up a dish and add some great health benefits.
This nutrient dense food was made famous by its high antioxidant content. It’s also anti inflammatory and full of Anthocyanin (good for your heart/ cholesterol).
However, some purees have a high amount of added sugar.
➤ Uses: acai bowls (as previously stated, very photogenic), as a flavor agent in sauces/dressings, mixed in smoothies/ yogurt, anything your creative mind can come up with (did someone say acai pancakes?)
➤ Price: Varies. Between the berries themselves, powders, and frozen purees, you can usually find an option that fits your price range.
➤ Verdict: They make a great treat, and can make a regular dish seem ~fancy~ while simultaneously providing a good-for-you antioxidant punch. However, if you’re on a strict low sugar diet, maybe not a great option.
A cousin to wacky tobacky, they’re a variety of the cannabis sativa plant species. Completely legal in all states, the -umm effects- of the plant are not entirely the same as their cousins’.
Rich in fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, 25% of the calories from the nut are protein, high amounts of the amino acids- making them a complete protein, great source of fiber (good for your gut!)
➤ Uses: They’re a great source of plant based protein. Their mild nutty flavor blends well in smoothies and dressings. You can sprinkle them on anything; oatmeal, avocado toast, granola, in a smoothie
➤ Price: Not the cheapest option in the grocery store but you get a huge nutritional bang for your buck.
➤ Verdict: Amazing option for anyone who’s interested in micronutrients and plant based protein.
It has a low GI (glycemic index, aka how fast a food affects your blood sugar), it’s high in fibre, higher in protein compared to other whole grains.
Also a plus: it’s super easy to cook.
➤ Uses: as far as your imagination can stretch; great in salads, stir frys, in stuffed peppers, in pancakes, in trail bars, the list goes on and on.
➤ Price: relatively inexpensive, usually cheaper in bulk
➤ Verdict: amazing all around grain grain, with subtle flavor that blends with any seasoning. A great pantry staple.
It's FULL of nutrients, such as folate and anti-inflammatory vitamins A, C and K. High in fiber, which is good for your gut and helps helps you feel full.
Most of the fiber is insoluble, which is hard to digest and can cause bloating. However, cooking kale makes it more digestible. If you really want to use it raw (like in a salad) massaging the leaves while rinsing also helps breakdown the fibers.
➤ Uses: You can steam it. throw it in: a stir fry, a salad, a smoothie, a juice, a pasta dish. Make a batch of kale chips. It has a slight bitter taste, but blends in almost any recipe that you’d like to add a little ~green~ to.
➤ Price: Affordable. Even cheaper when bought in bulk.
➤ Verdict: For those with no digestive problems, it’s a great vegetable to mix in your diet. Even with the slight bitter taste, it’s an amazingly versatile food. Kale is a great product to have on hand, but it’s “superfood” title doesn’t mean you should place it over it’s green cousins .
Also known as Indian Saffron or the Golden Spice. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Renowned for its anti inflammatory properties and use for reducing chronic pain. High in manganese, iron, potassium, and vitamin C.
➤ Uses: A common spice in curry powder, you can add it to other spice mixtures as well such as barbeque rubs. Can add it to dressings and marinades. Use in smoothies, soups, and the increasingly popular turmeric latte. Turmeric supplements are also available for those who simply want to embrace the benefits.
➤ Price: While some supplements can get a little pricey, the turmeric you’ll find in your local spice isle is extremely affordable.
➤ Verdict: The medicinal properties of this spice have had staying power for a reason. It’s amazing to create new flavors and mix into a regular diet.
As long as we’re able to refresh our Instagram feeds and connect to wifi, superfood trends will continue to pop up.
Whether you’re rushing to the store to add our featured foods to your cabinet or sticking to you’re tried and true basics, we’d love to hear your feedback. Slide into our DM’s on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with any questions or culinary advice you’re looking for.