Finding many little ways to include a variety of superfoods in the every day meals is a small but important step toward a healthier us. You can’t rely on what’s trending only, but actually experiment with different ingredients to find what suits your body best, what makes you really feel good and rooted.
All superfoods, be them spices, algae, adaptogens, pollen, green leaves or seeds, contain so many incredible functional properties once digested, that go above and beyond their already high mineral content.
Quinoa has been a staple in my diet for many years, as it fits my need for protein (except the organic eggs and very rare dairy and cheese, I only take my proteins from plant sources and I have to make some magic with combining foods to create a balanced amino-acid combo).
It’s actually a seed rather than a grain, which is great if you’re following specific diet plans that avoid inflammatory foods (as refined grains are considered inflammatory).
If a single ingredient contain all essential amino acids, buy in bulk and keep it in hand, because this is quite rare to find in a almost vegan diet, without having to combine two or more food sources. Quinoa is a great source of minerals manganese, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.
In particular, you can find almost 60% of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of manganese in just 0.75 of a cup of cooked quinoa! You know how I mentioned that superfoods carry functional properties? Well, regular inclusion of quinoa in your diet helps to protect against many diseases, such as cancer, as it has high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’ve ever had chilli flavored chocolate, then you’ll understand why I combined cacao and chilli into this stew! In my opinion, they’re like two peas in a pod in terms of taste! Cacao, much like quinoa, has been recognized as holding incredible antioxidant properties.
Foods that possess these qualities are vital in our modern-day lifestyles, as they help to reverse damage caused by unhealthy foods, emotional stress and our exposure to various pollutants and chemicals. All of these factors can be a great burden on the body, but antioxidants will protect your health from the inside out!
The mineral that really stood out for me in cacao, is the high readings of iron, which is a mineral your body loses a lot if you’re struggling with heavy menstrual bleeding, due to issues like POS or endometriosis! Cacao is actually the highest known plant source of iron, while it also contain important concentrations of calcium, manganese, B vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Legumes contain very high amounts of an interesting mineral called molybdenum, which helps to break down amino acids and distribute them throughout the body for use. And for the magic I told you a few rows above, black beans are the perfect companion for quinoa, as it plays a big role in getting all of those amino acids to work in the body!
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- ½ cup red quinoa
- 1 can cooked black beans, drained
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1&1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Fresh parsley leaves, sliced avocado, fresh mint, to serve
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onions, bell peppers, sweet potato, cumin, chili and garlic and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the quinoa and beans, cacao, tomatoes and vegetable broth, mix and bring to boil.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
- Serve warm, garnished with fresh parsley.