Sweet treats & superfoods for a well being

4th January 2021 | Eativity editors

Many of us are steeling ourselves today for a return to work and normality, after a few weeks of lazy beach days, long lunches and marathon Netflix sessions on the lounge. (How good was The Queen’s Gambit?) Along with a return to the workday routine, you may be hoping to start the year off properly with a healthy diet. So, to give your lunchbox some extra nutritional oomph this year, nutritionist Tara Kaff has shared her top five superfoods to add to your diet, to help you stay healthy and happy in 2021. And to soften the blow of a return to work just a little, we’ve also included the recipes for two sweet raw treats that taste as good as they are good for you.

Tara Kaff’s top five superfoods to eat in 2021

Fermented foods

Fermentation is a natural process that involves microorganisms breaking down sugars in food, producing substrates that can greatly improve health. The process of fermentation results in the creation of beneficial probiotic bacteria and enzymes that improve digestion, increase immune function and even assist in maintaining a healthy weight. Common fermented foods include miso, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and yoghurt.

Acai

Did you know that the acai berry contains 60 times more antioxidants than blueberries? Antioxidants remove nasty chemicals in the body, and are crucial for a healthy immune system, glowing skin, reduced disease risk and healthy vision, and even contain anti-ageing properties. Acai is also packed full of omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which provide a variety of important benefits for your heart, brain, metabolism and energy levels.

Pulses

The pulse family includes peas, lentils and beans. These nutrient powerhouses provide an excellent source of fibre and are a low-fat source of protein. Diets high in fibre have been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Pulses are also packed full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, folate and phosphorus. Try adding some pulses into your salads, stews, curries and spag bol.

Beetroot

Beetroot is a vibrant superfood boss. People really underestimate the power of this potent red vegetable, but it’s full of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals and fibre. A unique component of beetroot is its nitrate content. Nitrates, when consumed, turn into nitric oxide and assist with oxygen delivery throughout the entire body.

Vegetables

Vegies will forever be a superfood, especially as many of us look to reduce our meat intake. They’re packed full of goodness and contain a vast nutritional profile, helping to support so many functions in the body – from maintaining healthy skin and hair to boosting immunity. Vegetables are also the catalysts for all chemical reactions in the body, they decrease your risk for chronic diseases and they improve gut health. If you struggle to get enough of them in your diet, try adding a greens powder to a smoothie. It’s an easy way to update your daily vegie intake. Amazonia Raw Nutrients Greens is a powerhouse greens blend containing nine sources of alkaline chlorophyll, wholefood vitamin B12, gut-friendly prebiotics and more than 74 trace minerals to give you energy and support optimal liver function.

Raw choc acai berry slice

Perfect as a clean midweek treat or a decadent but nutritious weekend dessert, the base is made from a mix of nuts, coconut, dates, cacao and buckwheat, while the chocolate layer gets its rich, velvety texture from cashews and coconut cream. To take the nutrition profile of this slice to the next level is the addition of acai freeze-dried powder, which is rich in vitamins A and C, dietary fibre and anthocyanins for strong hair, skin and nails.

You’ll need:

For the base

1/2 cup buckinis (activated buckwheat)
1/3 cup macadamias (or cashews)
1/3 cup shredded coconut
5 medjool dates
1 tbsp cacao powder
1/8 tsp Himalayan salt

For the chocolate layer

1 cup cashews (soaked for 1-2 hours)
1/2 cup coconut cream
2-3 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

For the blueberry coulis

1 cup organic frozen blueberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/powder

For the berry layer

3/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Raw Acai Freeze Dried Powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

1. First, prepare blueberry coulis. Combine coulis ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine all ingredients for base in high-power blender, blend until smooth. Press into base of a greased and lined spring-form cake tin. Set aside while you make chocolate layer.
3. Drain and rinse soaked cashews, place in a blender with the remaining ingredients for chocolate layer, and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon on top of the base and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
4. Once the cake has slightly set, spread coulis on top of chocolate layer. Return to freezer.
5. Combine all ingredients for blueberry layer in blender. Blend until smooth.
6. Spoon on top of the blueberry coulis and return to freezer for 4-5 hours or until set.
7. Allow to thaw before serving with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Vanilla maple collagen cheesecake

With no refined sugars in sight, this good-for-you cheesecake contains types I and III marine collagen, 25 percent of your daily vitamin C intake, iron, zinc and organic sprouted and fermented plant protein. With plant-based enzymes for optimal digestion, it’s the ultimate “beauty cake” to enhance collagen production to support hair, skin and nails.

You’ll need:

For the base

1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup buckinis
1/2 cup shredded coconut
5 medjool dates
1/2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

For the filling

1 1/2 cups macadamias and/or cashews (soaked for 2-3 hours)
3/4 cup coconut yoghurt
2-3 tbsp Raw Protein Collagen Plus
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp hulled tahini
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp mesquite powder (available online and at Woolworths, this is an optional ingredient)
2 tsp vanilla bean powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup filtered water 

For the topping

50g melted dark chocolate (dairy-free or vegan if preferred)

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients for the base in a high-power blender and blend until smooth.
2. Press this mixture into the base of a greased and lined spring-form cake tin and set aside while you make the filling.
3. Drain and rinse soaked cashews and/or macadamias and place in blender with all remaining filling ingredients, except chocolate. Blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Spoon filling on top of base. Place in freezer for 4-5 hours or overnight to set.
5. Remove from the freezer and drizzle with melted dark chocolate. Garnish with coconut flakes or shredded coconut to serve.

Recipes created by Healthy Luxe in collaboration with Amazonia.