With the inundation of new health information we are exposed to on a daily basis, it’s easy to fall into the pattern of thinking that being a healthier version of yourself requires integration of a complex algorithm. When truly, optimum health is the result of simple rituals like moving your body daily, getting enough rest, eating a nutrient dense diet and incorporating healing foods.
Going that extra mile to add healing ingredients into your daily diet is vital for long term vitality, disease prevention and increasing the quality of your daily life. Through daily use of these superfoods, you’re likely to experience increased energy levels, improved moods, more regular bowel movements, better digestion and less bloating.
Keep in mind, these are just a few of the thousands of healing superfoods that have been shown by functional medicine practitioners and naturopaths to aid the body in maintaining and sustaining wellness. Once you taste these three healing ingredients in your next food prep day, you’ll be instantly hooked on reaping the benefits of these potent superfoods.
Turmeric has been all the rage in recent years, and for good reason. This bright orange, power-packed root is packed with antioxidants and boasts anti-inflammatory properties. This spice adds a vibrant colour to any dish it flavours, as well as an earthy, moderately spicy zing that’s different from the heat from peppers. In other words, it’s not too hot to palate.
This spice mixes well into entrees including casseroles, stir fries, as a vegetable seasoning, added into your morning smoothie, sprinkled into your post-workout protein shake, added atop your dessert or doused into a cup of tea.
The applications most suitable for turmeric consumption include joint pain, bodily inflammation, disrupted digestion, chronic illness, low energy, skin irritation, and PMS in women. When taken regularly after several weeks, you can expect to notice a difference for the better in your symptoms, especially in regards to energy and digestion.
The ginger root grows and appears very similarly to the turmeric root. Both of these healing roots grow a few inches beneath the soil line and sprout vibrant green leaves above the soil as the root continues to grow in size.
Ginger is known for it’s zippy, tart zing and can wake up and dish in a hurry. This root provides many benefits like balancing hormones, enhancing your body’s resting metabolism, improving digestion and soothing an upset stomach. You may have seen ginger crews in your local grocery store marketed at a stomach acid remedy.
Like turmeric, ginger is highly versatile. It can be used to boost savoury dishes as well as sweet desserts. Ginger is ideal to flavour water, add a punch of flavour to smoothies, ramp up dressings/marinades and even used as a seasoning on top of your meal. Women can look to ginger tea to help alleviate the discomfort, excessive bloating and cramping that comes with the monthly cycle.
Cacao is the pure, unrefined, unsweetened version of the more commonly known chocolate. Chocolate has morphed into a highly recognisable treat, candy and dessert. However, cacao in its original form is highly nutritious and packed with antioxidants. It adds a wonderfully rich and decadent flavour to anything it is added to.
This healing food actually comes from a pod, which also contains a fatty component known as cacao butter. Cacao powder itself though only contains a small amount of carbohydrates and virtually no fat. It’s ideal to add to sweet meals like desserts, smoothie bowls, healthy shakes and baked goods. Cacao can be used in salty & savoury dishes as well; just look to experiment and find a pairing that suits your taste buds.
To wrap it up…
Be creative with these ingredients and find which application you enjoy the most. They are all highly versatile healing foods and can be used in different amounts to achieve the desired medicinal benefits or flavour profile.
You can find all three of these superfoods in powder form, in capsules, in a tincture or as an intact root/pod. The powder forms are typically located in a bulk foods area, while the capsules and tinctures are generally found in the supplement section of most health food stores.
Healing superfoods have become increasingly popular in this new age of natural wellness. Thus, it’s easier than ever to seek and find inspiration on how to incorporate medicinal foods into your lifestyle effortlessly. With the natural products industry creating new products at a rapid rate, you can expect to be continuously surrounded by new ideas and motivation every time you’re shopping at your local health market.
Tried these healing superfoods but still have pain? Waverley Myotherapy Clinic have degree qualified practitioners who can assess what’s causing your pain, work out a treatment and management plan and get you back to doing what you love!
Helen Sanders is chief editor atHealthAmbition.com. Established in 2012, Health Ambition has grown rapidly in recent years. Our goal is to provide easy-to-understand health and nutrition advice that makes a real impact. We pride ourselves on making sure our actionable advice can be followed by regular people with busy lives.
There is no doubt that it’s starting to get colder. Blue sky is a now a rare thing I drop everything for to chase that 5-10 minutes of vitamin D or opportunity to walk the dogs in comfort! I don’t know about you, but I have a real love/hate relationship with winter. On the one hand I prefer heat so it’s tough to motivate myself to get out and about but on the other hand, it’s so cosy and warm in side – it lends itself to the occasional sleep in, curling up on the couch with a blanket knitted by nana and with the dogs on top for extra warmth, and soups! Lots of delicious, tasty soups!
What is bone broth?
Bone broth is just like stock only instead of putting lots of vegetables and meat into the pot, you put bones! This released the collagen protein inside the bones into the water which is extremely beneficial to us. Ideally the bones should be slow cooked over a long period of time to get the most benefit. You can still add vegetables & seasoning just like you would with stock so don’t fear you’re going to end up with a bland tasteless substance.
What are the benefits of bone broth?
Dr. Axe does a much better job of describing the benefits compared to what I can offer so if you want a detailed explanation please click here to go to his website. In a nutshell – Bone broth contains essential and non essential amino acids which are building blocks for our body to utilise. It also has collagen which assists connective tissue development and has nutrients which help our immune system, brain function & digestive function. Therefore bone broth can be helpful for skin repair, joint repair, stomach problems including IBS for example, muscle repair and fighting off winter bugs!
Where can I get bone broth?
Bone broth can be made at home or be purchased from the store. In the local area the IGA at Hamilton Place have both chicken and beef bone broth, and the health food store at Chadstone has Bliss brand bone broth. The purchased ones will set you back about $10-$15 per 500 grams.
How do I make bone broth?
Please go to Dr. Axe’s article on bone broth and scroll right to the bottom for some important information on making bone broth yourself. You must make sure you get the right type of bones, that they’re from a good source and you should add some apple cider vinegar to help draw out the nutrients. Check out the recipe here.
How do I use bone broth?
I love using bone broth in so many things during the winter! My favourite at the moment is to use it in zoodle bolognaise and a yummy tomato & chilli soup I make but you can add it as a base to any soup, stew or curry recipe. Would love to hear what you come up with, feel free to share your recipes here so we can all enjoy them!
Tomato & chilli soup
Serves 2, double quantity for a family.
250 grams bone broth (not chicken)
2 heaped teaspoons of concentrated tomato paste
2 whole tomatoes diced
2 tablespoons onion/spring onion or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder or onion oil
1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, garlic powder or garlic oil
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil leaves
2 cups of baby spinach leaves
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tamari
2 drops of doTerra oregano oil
Heat the bone broth on low heat
Add the tomato paste, tamari & spices and mix until dispersed evenly throughout the liquid
Add the diced tomatoes, spinach leaves, basil leaves & any other desired vegetables
Cover for approximately 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened, mixing occasionally so the tomatoes cook evenly
Serve with your favourite bread or protein side, add thin noodles, mushrooms or another yummy vegetable for a bit more bulk or have on it’s own as an entree!
Lots of people chat with me about lunch ideas that get them away from the boring and carb loaded sandwich or wrap. These rice paper rolls might look complicated, but trust me, they are easy. Once you get a few under your belt, you’ll be trying all sorts of different combinations! The recipe today is a classic Vietnamese style rice paper roll with a satay sauce, but as I pointed out you can try anything your heart desires! This recipe will make approx 12 rice paper rolls. I find 3 plenty as a lunch time meal but if you store some wrapped in moist paper towel and in an air tight container they will keep for an extra day. I tend to make them the night before as dinner and then have a couple of left over ones for lunch the next day. If I make them same day I tend to layer ingredients straight on to the rice paper roll and this is where you can get quite creative with pomegranates, shredded carrot, cucumber and all sorts of ingredients! Traditionally rice noodles are also added but I find this too bland and chewy so I like to add lots of fresh ingredients and some sort of protein.
Rice Paper Roll Ingredients
12 x 22cm rice paper roll rounds
1 cup Pulled Chicken, Pulled Pork or Shreeded Tofu (roast chicken, prawns or mince would also work)
1/2 cup Bean Sprouts (cut in half)
1 small red capiscum (thinly sliced)
1/8 Wombok thinly sliced (Chinese Cabbage)
1/3 cup mint leaves (fresh)
1/2 cup corriander leaves (fresh)
2 tblspoons Lime Juice (approx 1 lime)
1 tblspoon Fish Sauce
1/8 cup Tamari
1 tsp Lime Juice (simply steal a tsp from the rice paper roll recipe)
1 tblspoon Peanut Butter (or other nut butter)
1/8 – 1/4 tsp Chilli flakes depending on desired spice
Tip: For allergies omit the peanut butter, it’s still quite nice without it!
Making the filling
Combine the chicken, bean sprouts, red capsicum, wombok, mint, corriander, lime juice & fish sauce in a mixing bowl until well combined. Set aside while you prepare your first rice paper roll.
Putting your rice paper rolls together
Place the rice paper roll on a decent sized flat and clean chopping board.
Splash some water onto the rice paper roll and spread around with your fingers until it soaks in (the rice paper roll will go moist and will now be pliable – you may soak them in shallow warm water if you prefer but I find this moistens them too much and they go kind of soggy).
Arrange 1/4 cup of mixture onto the rice paper roll in a horizontal row slightly off centre towards you. Any ingredients that have remained long, line up across ways to make the rolling process easier.
Fold the edges in and roll up tightly rolling away from you to enclose the filling.
Continue this method until all the mixture is used up. The beauty of this method is that if you don’t use all the rice paper rolls, it doesn’t matter simply store them for next time!
Satay Dipping Sauce
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a small whisk or fork until the peanut butter has dissolved.
Take to work in a small jar for less mess, just make sure the jar has a wide enough mouth for dipping your rice paper rolls into!
That’s all there is too it! Let me know if you come up with any delicious recipes of your own or share here at the end of the blog post for everyone to enjoy! Props to taste.com which is where I got the foundation of this recipe and adapted it from.
Made this choc-mint smoothie for lunch today and it tastes so good I had to share! Very refreshing on this hot day we are having here in Melbourne. Added bonus, it’s packed full of nutrition including anti-oxidants and is great for you brain, your digestion and your energy levels!
2 cups spinach or kale
250ml milk of your choice (I used Nutty Bruce coconut and almond milk)
1 banana fresh or frozen
6 ice cubes
1-2 drops DoTerra peppermint oil
2 tablespoons chocolate protein powder (I used a whey protein isolate from grass fed cows. Isolate is easier to digest for lactose intolerant people. I don’t suffer at all!)
1 tablespoon MCT oil (I used bulletproof brand available here)
1 teaspoon pure cacao powder
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If it’s not sweet enough you could add some liquid stevia or a different type of sweetner but I think it’s sweet enough as it is.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I am (I am literally drinking it as I write!) let me know what you think or if you come up with any variations for me to try.
I have been asked to make a Christmas dessert this year, yay, exciting! Mostly because none of my family know what I can or can’t eat on any given occasion and it’s finally paid off! No more boring Christmas Pudding for me! I’ve decided to make a variety of Bliss Balls and because Christmas is indeed the season for sharing; today’s post I want to share my Christmas Cheer Bliss Ball recipes with you. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!
Zesty Lemon Bliss Balls
Big thank you to one of my clients (Anna) for sharing this recipe with me, all the credit goes to her for playing around with this recipe to make it perfect!
3/4 cups activated almonds (could also use cashews, walnuts or macadamias)
1/2 cup Medjool dates cut into thirds
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
Rind of half a lemon
1 tbl spoon lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
Put all ingredients in thermomix or other blender on high speed for 10 seconds
Roll into balls and refrigerate for approx 1 hour before consuming
Cinnamon Spiced Carrot Cake Bliss Balls
Nothing says Christmas like the spices cinnamon and nutmeg, yummo! The credit for this recipe goes to an app called “going coconuts with Brynley King” check out their website here, worth a look, some other fantastic recipes! I have altered the recipe slightly as I don’t like the sweetness of too many dates. I have highlighter the revisions if you’d like to stick to the original recipe.
1 cup almonds or cashews (could also use macadamias)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup dates (1 cup dates original recipe)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tblsp. coconut oil (no coconut oil original recipe)
Place all ingredients in thermomix or other food processor on high and blend until smooth.
Line a container with baking paper for storage.
Roll mixture into bite sized balls and then roll in extra desiccated coconut and place into your container.
Let set in the fridge for approximately 1 hour before consuming.
Cacao, Hazelnut & Rum Bliss Balls
2 cup roasted skinless hazelnuts
200g Medjool dates
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon rum essence
1 teaspoon hot water
In thermomix, blender or food processor, process 1 cup of hazelnuts until lightly chopped and set aside (medium for approx 5 seconds)
In thermomix, blender or food processor, process the second cup of hazelnuts, the dates, cacao powder and nutmeg until well combined and smooth (high for approx 10 seconds)
Add the rum and hot water and blend again to make the mixture moist and pull together.
With damp hands roll the mixture into bite sized balls and coat with the reserve of hazelnuts.
Place of a baking tray lined with baking paper and refrigerate for 1 hour before storing or consuming.
I’m so excited to make all these in one go. Normally I have to pick and choose what flavour I’m going to make and now I get to make 3 flavours in one go! I think maybe I’ll have a go at stacking them into the shape of a Christmas tree just like the picture! Remember that nuts although healthy are high in fats so eat in moderation. 4 balls is approximately a 1/4 cup of nuts. Hope you enjoy your Christmas and who knows maybe I’ve inspired some of you to try out one of these Bliss Ball recipes for Christmas!
I used to love pesto the traditional way, with pine nuts, and you may too in which case you can substitute the walnuts out for pine nuts. You can also use cashews which adds a little sweetness or combine the nuts, even better! I no longer mentally enjoy eating pine nuts after an experience which left me with a terrible taste in my mouth for several weeks. If any of you reading this have suffered the same fate you can probably identify. If you’d like to know more about ‘pine nut syndrome’ click here. Anyway, I was thrilled when I discovered you can make pesto with walnuts or cashews as well. This is a fructose friendly version of pesto if you stick to the walnut version and I’ve included a zoodle (noodles made from zucchini) with chicken breast and broccolini recipe for you to try it with, so yummy!
Nutty nutritional facts
Please click here if you’d like to read some interesting nutritional facts about nuts. Paleo Flip have done a great job of summarising all the pros and cons about nuts. If you’ve now finished reading these facts and they have left you feeling deflated and confused? Fear not, everything in moderation as they say! And as the article suggests if you pair nuts that have a poor balance of omega 3:6 with something that is anti-inflammatory such as olive oil or use this pesto with an oily fish high in omega 3’s such as salmon, you are all good! To give you a quick conclusion of Paleo Flip’s findings on nuts: if you’re looking for a snacking nut or baking nut, macadamias although very calorie dense have the best anti-inflammatory properties with almonds coming in second place. Walnuts although high in omega 3’s are also very high in omega 6’s and cashews aren’t actually a nut! They like peanuts are a legume which can be troublesome for some people to digest.
Walnut Pesto Recipe
1/3 cup walnuts, cashews or pine nuts (or a mix of all of them if you like!)
1/3 to 1/2 cup garlic infused olive oil
2 stuffed cups of basil
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 – 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Place the nuts & basil in your food processor and pulse until chopped
Add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese (optional) and desired amount of salt and cayenne pepper and pulse again
Put aside or store in air tight container in the fridge (It keeps for about a week)
Pesto Zoodle with Chicken Breast & Broccolini (serves 2)
2 tablespoons of pre-made walnut pesto
2 medium zucchinis
1 bunch broccolini
400 grams chicken breast (more or less depending on desired protein intake)
Mixed herbs to taste
Use kitchen tool to make zucchini noodles (looks like spaghetti) or cut into thin strips (looks like fettuccine).
Cut chicken into strips and apply mixed herbs to both sides if desired.
Pre-heat large frying pan to medium/low heat and add some coconut oil so the chicken doesn’t stick.
Put brocollini at bottom of steamer and zoodles at the top so they should be ready at the same time.
Cook chicken, flipping regularly until completely cooked through.
To serve place the broccolini at the bottom of the plate, then the zoodles, layer the chicken pieces on top and dollop a tablespoon of the delicious walnut pesto on top.
Once you’ve marveled your creation, you can mix the pesto in with the zoodles or use it as a dip, what ever you desire, enjoy!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post. If you have any queries about recipe variations or are unclear on certain aspects of todays recipes, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also if you would like to share your own recipe variations or other uses for the walnut pesto, feel free to share in the post feed.