By Nancy Smorch
I have mentioned before that I have an addiction to books - especially cookbooks. Well, one of my more recent cookbook acquisitions was "Superfood Smoothies," by Julie Morris.
I had purchased her other book, "Superfood Kitchen," on a trip to Barnes and Noble... for something totally different. I swear there’s some secret force that pulls me to the cookbook section every time I go there, and this visit was no different.
Normally I don’t read much of the cookbook itself - I just go straight to the recipes. But this time I read Julie’s story, and found it really interesting how she developed a relationship with superfoods, which she defines as "foods that are exceptionally nutrient dense and high in antioxidants and phytochemicals."
Julie was noticing that she was more and more run-down... and finally, in college she crashed. In her book, Julie documents how she regained her vitality, energy and focus through changing her diet, and by adding superfoods into her snacks and meals.
This really caught my attention because I am always looking to see just how much better I can feel, and how much more energy I can have, by tweaking what I do and what I eat. After reading, I was ready to explore the world of superfoods to see if and how it made an impact on my life.
What I really like about her books, especially "Superfood Kitchen," is that she gives an excellent explanation of overall nutrition and the current state of our food supply. She also lists some of the superfoods she recommends, with some interesting history. For example, did you know that chia seeds were once a staple in the diet of Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans? They used them to increase their strength and maintain their stamina on long journeys!
To be honest, I really wasn’t expecting too much when I purchased "Superfoods Kitchen." I loved the pictures, and I thought there would be one or two recipes that would be successful, but the rest would be too “out there” for my family.
But, I was wrong - I found a number of recipes my family enjoys.
Her Sushi Salad Bowl is a fun and easier alternative to making sushi and it is soooo good! And her Chocolate Energy Bars have become a staple - especially when I know my days are going to be busy and I might not have the time to make a good lunch or snacks. I’ve even made these bars for Mike to take when he travels, knowing that his options for good nutritious food will be limited (and traveling is not a time when you want to skimp on nutrients!).
I wasn’t aware that Julie had another cookbook until Amazon kindly told me that based on my previous purchases and views I might be interested in her "Superfood Smoothies" book. I ordered it right away, even though past smoothie books have been disappointing and monotonous.
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. Of course the pictures were gorgeous, but the smoothies were also fun and unique, without being so crazy that they wouldn’t taste good. I absolutely love the recipes! My favorite is the Mayan Chocolate Smoothie - with a touch of cayenne powder and cinnamon powder it makes a great chocolate meal, or a treat with a kick. This one is Mike’s favorite so far, too.
I can’t wait to try the Banana Fennel and the Chocolate Kale - what?? Chocolate and kale? I love both, but wouldn’t have thought to put them together. Julie hasn’t disappointed me yet, so I’m confident it will be delicious.
I’m having a great time playing around with both cookbooks and the superfoods. My pantry now is well stocked with superfoods such as cacao nibs, hemp seeds, maca powder, cacao powder, camu camu powder, and chia seeds.
I can honestly say that when I eat one of the superfood recipes or drink one of the superfood smoothies, I really do feel better! Just last week I was talking to my sister on the phone, and I was really hungry as it was one of those days that I was running around so much I didn't have time for a proper meal. I was tiring out, and starting to lose my focus. I knew I needed a nutrient-dense snack. So I put all of the ingredients for the Mayan Chocolate Smoothie in the Vitamix, paused my conversation to mix the smoothie together, and drank it as we talked. I started to perk back up immediately - and it was delicious, too!
So if you can’t tell, I highly recommend both of these books.
I can hear the objections already that superfoods can be pricey, but because they are so nutrient dense, you don’t need a lot of them in each recipe. They will last you much longer than you expect, making them well worth the money - so no excuses!
You’ll feel better.... and I think you’ll have a lot of fun entering the world of superfoods!