I know this must feel like I just cleared out my entire fridge, but I promise you that wasn’t the case. I love superfoods. It’s the most certain I’ve ever felt when it came to whole foods. Why you may ask? Well, for the first time I have been able to enjoy full seasons for the past three years without feeling any inflammation, aches, pain and suffering throughout my body. Oh and did I mention, I haven’t had a cold or flu in three years. I have to admit, I’m impressed as for someone who has a weak immune system, I heavily rely on superfoods to get me through the winter season. I learned quickly when I was diagnosed with my autoimmune that superfoods are essential to my overall health, they are nutrient powerhouses and if my body was planning on living in an inflammation-free environment, I would therapeutically incorporate superfoods at every meal. From spices to powders, nuts, seeds, fruits, whole grains and vegetables, these so called “superfoods” have become my new best friends. So, it’s fitting that I would fill my breakfast bowl to reflect the colours of the rainbow. My fascination grew into love and appreciation for all superfoods when I noticed the healing powers they posses. Yes, real whole food is healing, nourishing and incredibly powerful. Superfoods are wonderful nutrient-rich foods, potent with antioxidants and vitamins. They boost immunity, regulate cholesterol, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and did I mention they decrease inflammation in the body?
Today, I’m focusing on two ingredients that are part of my superfood smoothie – Cardamom and Raw Hemp Seeds. I’ve selected these two, but rest assured that all of them play a fundamental role in optimizing our nutrition. As well, let’s not forget to add a variety of superfoods to our meals to keep our diet well-balanced.
Cardamom is an all time favourite spice that can be added to smoothies, baked goods and savoury dishes. This exotic spice is native to India (second producer of cardamom in the world) and it has been used in Indian cuisine for many generations. Cardamom has a warm citrusy aromatic spice with a peppery kick to it and heaps of health benefits. This spice has similar anti-inflammatory benefits like ginger and turmeric. Which is why I love it so much! It’s also great for anyone with digestive issues, it’s potent with antioxidants, vitamins (A, B, C) and a great source of iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, copper and manganese. I love to flavour my tea with it, add it to smoothies, desserts or savoury dishes such as stews or with warm lentils. When shopping for cardamom, you can look for black or green cardamom in powder or pod form. I like to buy them in pods and put them in a coffee grinder or a wooden mortar, crush them into a powder form and keep them in a close tight jar to add to dishes. When buying the whole pods, you can keep it fresh for longer. Plus, have you tried to blend ginger, cardamom, cloves and anise together and let it sit in a mason jar opened on the kitchen counter? It truly smells like a bouquet of baked goods. Tip: Have the hiccups? Add 1/4 tsp. of fresh cardamon powder to a 1 cup of boiling water. Drink and voilà, the hiccups magically disappear.
Did you know that raw hemp seeds are a healing superfood? They lower cholesterol, blood pressure, support immunity, improve circulation and reduce inflammation. They are rich in vitamins, enzymes, essential fats (omega 3 & 6) and balance blood sugar levels. They are a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids (that our bodies can not produce) and are easier on digestion than dairy and animal protein. Hemp seeds are rich in vitamin E (great for skin and brain function), vitamin B1, B2, B6, D, zinc, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and carotene. These tiny seeds are also high in soluble fiber which is wonderful in keeping the digestive tract healthy.
For those suffering from immune deficiency diseases, hemp seeds can be a wonderful plant-food to add to a well balanced diet. The omega-3 & 6 fatty acids help reduce swelling in the body due to its anti-inflammatory properties and aid with supporting proper immune function. Next time you’re at the local produce store, why not try a hemp oil for your salad, hemp protein powder for your morning smoothie or pure raw hemp seeds as a topper to your meal next meal.
- 1 cup oats (groats or rolled)
- 2 cups filtered water (for your oats)
- 1 cup milk of your choice
- 1 passion fruit
- 4-5 figs
- 10 pitted cherries
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean powder
- 2 tbsp. hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 mango
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp. spiced lemon curd (recipe here)
- 1 tbsp. Organic Burst Maca
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Make sure to leave some fruit, seeds and nuts aside to top off your bowl.
- Add oats, water and coconut oil in a bowl and soak them overnight on the kitchen counter.
- In the morning, drain water and add oats to a breakfast bowl.
- Remove pits from cherries.
- In a blender add pitted cherries, figs, blueberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, passion fruit, vanilla powder, milk, mango, maca, cardamon pod, spiced lemon curd, lemon juice and blend well together.
- Transfer mixture to bowl and top up with figs, blueberries, passion fruit, hemp seeds and pistachios.