Love a list. The below is courtesy of one of the team at My Food Bag, Danielle ‘Daikon’ Pearson. Yum. Enjoy.
10 foods I cannot live without!
- Avocado: this wee nutrient powerhouse is full of a number of important nutrients including electrolytes potassium and magnesium, as well as fibre and some of those heart healthy unsaturated fats. Avocados are a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant contributing towards optimal heart health, blood sugar control and weight management (through increasing the satiety of meals and snacks). I enjoy mine in the weekends for breaky with scrambled eggs, bacon or salmon, a grilled tomato, spinach and loads of fresh parsley.
- Salmon: another ‘superfood’ high in those powerful anti-inflammatory fats, in particular, omega 3’s. Omega 3’s play a vital role in protecting our cell health and function, as well as cognitive functioning. My absolute favourite way to eat salmon is my mum’s famous salmon en croute and a fresh side salad.
- Blueberries: these little balls of goodness are rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Research shows blueberries are extremely beneficial for the nervous system and can actually improve your memory! I had friends over for dinner the other night and had a heap of blueberries to use up so I made a macaroon tart topped with blueberries and pistachios, yum!
- Almonds: this popular and very versatile nut is the seed or pit of the fruit from an almond tree, a cousin of the peach, cherry and apricot tree. Almond fruit production peaks during the warmer summer months, but luckily for us, almonds are available all year round. One of my favourite ways to start the day is my breakfast smoothie with almond milk, frozen banana, almonds or almond butter, cinnamon and whatever else tickles my fancy (eg. berries, cacao and/or spinach).
- Cacao bean: cacao comes from the cacao bean and its name literally translates to ‘the food of God’s’ in the Aztec language due to its super high nutrient profile. Cacao is extremely high in antioxidants (apparently, even more so than green tea and red wine – great reason to eat more chocolate), and is also high in magnesium and iron. This makes it a great addition to your post-workout smoothie, reducing free radical damage and aiding muscle recovery and energy production. I like to make my own chocolate ‘ice cream’ at home using frozen bananas, cacao powder, almonds or almond butter and a drizzle of coconut cream. Yum!
- Bananas: you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em! Bananas are another food high in magnesium, potassium, and natural sugars, making them a suitable food for active people. Along with my breakfast smoothies and ‘ice cream’, you can’t beat a slice of homemade banana and walnut loaf with butter, or ricotta and a drizzle of honey for a real treat!
- Eggs: another love or hate food. Eggs can be eaten at any time of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks), they’re super cheap, super versatile and SUPER nutritious. Some even call eggs the ‘natural nutrient pill’ because they’re full of nutrients essential for life. Along with my weekend cook up, another favourite way to eat eggs for me is a good old eggs bene on potato or kumara rostis (instead of bread), with salmon and a drizzle of hollandaise.
- Coconut (anything!): coconuts have such a unique flavour and are another very versatile food. Coconuts are high in fibre and iron, with the coconut water being particularly high in electrolytes – a much healthier alternative to many sports drinks! One of my favourite things to eat is a spicy curry using coconut milk or cream. My sister makes a delicious Thai duck curry with lychees, and Nadia’s Thai red chicken and pineapple curry is another fav I have recently added to the list!
- Cheese (esp. feta and blue): according to one website, there are over 2000 varieties of cheese and mozzarella rates as the global fav! A refreshing blue cheese, walnut and pear salad on a hot day is one of my favs!
- Orange kumara: a sweeter alternative to red kumara, orange kumara is packed with fibre and vitamin C, beneficial for your immune system! Who doesn’t love homemade chips and wedges?! I make these to go with healthy homemade burgers, pizzas, fish n chips, or even eaten cold as a snack.