Superfoods. What are they? How does an edible substance become a superfood? Does it go to super hero school, don a cape, and save the world? Ok, obviously not, but superfoods do exist and are very beneficial to your health and body.
What is a superfood?
Superfoods are defined as those foods that are so nutrient-rich that they can help fight aging and illness. They have high amounts of flavonoids and micro and macro nutrients while being low in calories. These are the foods that will boost a person’s immune system and help him or her fight everything from the flu to aging. Foods given this title are usually based on solid research and should be considered seriously for almost anyone’s diet. (source: wisegeek)
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Salmon, spinach, and blueberries are some of the most well-known superfoods, but lately, some new goodies have been making the Superfood headlines.
One of these goodies? Goji berries.
Go-what now? Goji berries are grown from a shrub in China, Mongolia, and the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet (for some reason I’m picturing the frozen mountainside where Christian Bale went to train in martial arts and become Batman). According to Natural News, they are also occasionally called wolfberries (how bad ass is that?).
Anyway, these babies have been popping up on health-store shelves and have been starring in a number of recipes. The Blue Diamond sponsored HealthysELF challenge to try a new fruit or vegetable was coming up, so I gave in to the hefty price tag and bought a bag.
What gives goji berries superfood power? They have all 18 amino acids, deliver a healthy dose of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E and contain more vitamin C by weight than any other food on earth! They are also rich in iron and a bunch of other nutrients I can’t even pronounce – but apparently they are important for healthy eyes and nervous system.
I heard it’s best to soak them before eating to soften them up, but curiosity got the best of me. I popped one or two berries into my mouth and immediately understood why they should soak. Goji berries straight out of the bag are pretty tough and chewy – and a little sour!
I decided, instead, to mix them into some overnight oats.
The results were much better! Overnight oats are always delicious, but the goji berries (once soaked with the oats and almond milk) added a nice, sweet flavor to the oats and had a soft, raisin-like texture. I’ll definitely be mixing these into oats again and maybe bake them into muffins!
I used this overnight oats recipe, but replaced the blueberries with a sprinkling of goji berries and nixed the cinnamon.
What new fruit or veggie did you try for the Blue Diamond #getoutandgrow challenge? Have you ever tried goji berries? What did you think?