I'm back for week 4 of the Superfoods Challenge! In case you missed it, we are adding a new Superfood (and its Sidekicks) each week in order to improve our health and eating habits. So far, the list on your fridge from the first 3 weeks should include:
Broccoli (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, Swiss chard): 1/2 to 1 cup per day
Wild Salmon (Alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sardines, herring, trout, sea bass, oysters, clams): 2 to 4 times per week
Yogurt (kefir): Two 8 ounce servings per day
How are you doing keeping up with these foods? Have you been able to continue eating more of them as we add new things each week? I found that it takes some focus to get them into my diet, but those Superfoods also displace less healthy things we could be eating instead! Have you tried any new recipes? There are some great ones posted over in my BlogFrog Community! Thank you for continuing to contribute over there.
This week's Superfood is a super yummy one: walnuts! I *love* walnuts, so this is going to be an awesome week for me. But if you aren't a fan, don't worry! There are some delicious Sidekicks you can try instead: almonds, pistachios, sesame seeds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews.
According to the Superfoods Rx website, nuts and seeds are a rich source of nutrients; "a nut or seed is basically a storage device that contains all the highly concentrated proteins, calories, and nutrients that a plant embryo will require to flourish." Walnuts are an exceptional Superfood because of the antioxidants they contain and their antiinflammatory benefits that decrease risks of some types of cancer, help prevent against cardiovascular disease, and protect against type 2 diabetes. One fourth of a cup of walnuts will give you 95% of your daily value of omega-3 fatty acids, 42% DV of manganese, 20% DV of copper, 3.8 grams of protein, 1.7 grams of fiber, 3.4 grams of carbs, and a wealth of other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids for only 163 calories. WHF recommends eating one ounce of nuts as a serving; this is approximately 28 grams or 1/4 cup of walnuts (about 14 walnut halves). SuperFoods Rx recommends five servings of walnuts or its sidekicks per week. For those who are doing Medifast, a half ounce of walnuts, pistachios, or almonds is an optional snack.
You can eat nuts and seeds out of hand, or you can include them in other foods and recipes. I love to add toasted walnuts to oatmeal. Slivered almonds or sunflower seeds often find their way into my salads. And you can also enjoy your nuts in the form of natural nut butters; look for butters without added sugars or oils. I have enjoyed natural, freshly ground almond butter from my grocery store and also enjoy sunflower seed butter on occasion. You can also grind your own fresh nut and seed butters at home with your food processor!
I have a recipe to share with you, but it's not for low carbers! I bake these for my children, because they are a sweet treat that is much healthier than your standard cookie. They are so yummy. All my kids love these (and so do I, although I'm not eating any at the moment!) I tore the recipe out of Clean Eating magazine some time ago. These cookies are gluten free, dairy free, and lower in sugar than most cookies. They contain all the health benefits of almonds (and dark chocolate! a wonderful combination) and the recipe only makes 2 dozen, so it works well for our family. I hope you like them!
Almond Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup natural, unsalted, unsweetened almond butter
3/4 cup sucanat (an unrefined sugar; you can substitute brown sugar or even white, but sucanat is excellent)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 oz good quality dark chocolate, broken or cut into chunks (darker is better!)
In a bowl mix everything but the chocolate using a wooden spoon until well combined. Stir in the chocolate.
Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (NOT wax paper!)
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until very lightly browned.
Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes; then remove to a rack to finish cooling.
1 cookie = 110 calories, 8 g fat, 10 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 2 g protein.
How will you enjoy YOUR nuts and seeds this week?
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