Man, can I stretch out 7 days or what???
So…it’s day 6…ok really it’s day 8 but hey who’s counting? How are you doing with these recipes? I am personally feeling pretty darn good. Like a have an extra pep to my step.
Today’s superfood recipe is a simple one, you don’t even need to cook anything! Woohoo! We are going to make some Greek Yogurt parfait, loaded up with a ton of tasty goodies.
Greek Yogurt Parfait with Blueberries, Pomegranate, Dark Chocolate, Coconut, Walnuts and Chia Seeds
What you will need…
Organic Greek Yogurt – Check out day 3’s post for the great health benefits yogurt has
Blueberries – These little dudes need a cape and eye make and we shoould be calling them “SUPER BERRY” cause they freaking rock! They help fight against diabetes, memory loss, excess weight, tumors and blood pressure. Wait…what was I saying? CLICK THIS! Ohhhh, right! Blueberries have high levels of antioxidants and are very high in Vitamin C. Forgive the sideways view…I’m a chef! Not a computer / video WHIZ! 🙂
Chia Seeds – READ ALL OF THIS! please.
Native tribes of Mexico and Central America have touted the “super” qualities of this tiny seed for centuries, but it’s only recently that chia, as a dietary powerhouse, has made it to the main stream. So, what can chia do for you?
One ounce of chia seeds contains 138 calories, 9.8 grams of fiber, 5.1 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids, 4 grams of protein, as well as a healthy dose of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and niacin. In addition, chia is an excellent source of antioxidants and amino acids. That’s a whole lot of nutrition packed into this tiny package. Chia is the highest plant-based source of Omega-3s, which help protect against inflammation and are important to a healthy heart. Chia is unlike other seeds because of its hydrophilic properties, or its ability to attract and absorb water. When soaked in water, a single chia seed is able to absorb up to 9 times its own weight in water! The seed becomes gel-like and is able to pass on its hydrophilic properties to the body. This allows you to stay hydrated longer during workouts! It’s easy to add chia to your everyday diet and benefit from its “superpowers”. Chia seeds can easily be sprinkled on salads, or in soups or stews. They can be ground into flour and used in baked goods. They can be used as an egg-substitute or a binder in vegan and gluten-free recipes. They can be blended into smoothies. Or, they can be turned into an energy-gel for your longer workouts. There’s no excuse not to take advantage of all chia has to offer.
Coconut – While it may seem like an exotic ingredient to a lot of us, to a good portion of the world, it’s eaten on a regular basis, and it shows. In Polynesia, as well as many Asian countries that eat coconut as a staple food, they have considerably lower instances of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Obesity rates are significantly lower as well. While the fat in coconut oil is saturated, it’s not the same saturated fat as what you might find in red meat. This plant-based fat is full of lauric acid, as well as heart healthy medium chain fatty acids. These work wonders in protecting your heart, as well as your bones and joints. Coconut is naturally high in fiber, something missing in a lot of processed foods. Fiber helps keep your blood sugar down and expands in your stomach, meaning you stay full for much longer than eating foods void of this vital nutrient. I think I just fell more in LOVE with coconut!
Dark Chocolate – yes I said CHOCOLATE!!!!! I have yet to meet anyone in my ripe old age of 38 who does not love chocolate. Have you? Here is some info you most likely never knew…now you are really REALLY going to love chocolate. Loaded with antioxidants, dark chocolate, can help fight against free radicals. Those are the same free radicals that can cause cell damage, certain cancers, and speed up the aging process. Dark chocolate can help increase the flow of blood to the brain, so it’s good for cognitive function. It also includes phenylethylamine, (try saying that three times fast outloud) or PEA, a chemical that encourages your brain to release endorphins, which will make you happier. Believe it or not, dark chocolate can do even more for your health. It has been shown to help regulate blood sugar because it works to reduce insulin resistance and won’t cause large spikes in blood sugar. It also contains high concentrations of copper, potassium, magnesium, and iron to prevent against stroke, cardiovascular disease, anemia, and high blood pressure.
Pomegranate Seeds – Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, or plant compounds that are instrumental in reducing the inflammation associated with heart disease. Polyphenols reduce the thickness of arterial walls, allowing blood to pass through easily. Diets that include polyphenols, like those found in pomegranates, help to prevent a number of inflammation-caused diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. A new study has shown that pomegranate extracts may be helpful in killing several different harmful bacteria strains, including E. coli and Staphylococcus. As we age, our bone density can decrease to unhealthy numbers if we’re not careful. Pomegranates can help keep bones strong because they contain estrogen from the seeds of the fruit.
***TIP TIP TIP*** – don’y fry bacon naked…wait, you already knew that…I meant to say…
How to Open a Pomegranate without a Mess
1. Fill a large bowl with water.
2. Use a sharp knife to slice an x into the top of the pomegranate.
3. Place the pomegranate in the water and use your fingers to pry into the x.
4. Pull the pomegranate wedges apart under the water and gently remove the white membrane
5. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the membrane will float. Skim the membrane off the top, drain the water, and enjoy your pomegranate!
Or, you can cut them in half and tap the hard red side with a large kitchen spoon, aiming the seeds into a large bowl…but this can get messy. However it is fun!
Walnuts – This wonderful nut is packed with nutrients that protect our delicate skin. Vitamins A, C and E are often found in skin creams which profess to make us look younger. No professing here—-Mr. Walnut tops the list of foods that fight aging by protecting our skin against sun damage and atmospheric pollutants. This nut just happens to be one of the Super foods that contains skin saving vitamins A, B, C, and E…naturally. Need to lose a few unwanted pounds or having trouble keep weight off? Walnuts are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which may help in shedding those last few stubborn pounds. By eating 4-5 walnut halves a day, maintaining an otherwise healthy diet, and incorporating exercise on a daily basis, walnuts can speed up your metabolism and assist in losing weight more quickly. Trying to kick the sugar habit? By eating 1/4 cup natural walnuts daily, your sugar cravings will be greatly reduced. Do you ever think to yourself on those restless nights, “If only I had a natural sleep aid?” Mr. Walnut to the rescue!!! Melatonin occurs naturally in walnuts, which has been shown to be an effective sleep aid. It also helps to lessen the effects of jet lag. Oh, sweet sweet nuts! Kisses to you!
So you will notice I didn’t add amounts to any of the ingredients today…”Danny, be the ball” Who can tell me what movie that is from??? First person to say on my facebook page gets a FREE quart of Popcorn shipped to thier house! go! Back to the recipe though…I didn’t put the amounts on this beucase you know “you” better than anyone else and you know what you like and don’t like…add what you want!
get ready for day 7 tomorrow…I am going to pack in 9 last superfoods with two spectacular recipes.
Love and peace to you all!