We all know the power of superfood but did you know that cooking or processing food ingredients may affect the nutrient content? While protein in cooked eggs make them 180% easier to digest compared to raw eggs, for most plant-based superfoods, especially those containing water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, a lot of these nutrition may be destroyed when in contact with heat i.e. during boiling.
What happens when you cook superfoods?
For example, boiling spinach reduces its Vitamin C content by half although steaming fish preserves its omega-3 fatty acids better than frying. Most green vegetables lose up to 30% of their vitamin C during microwaving; and lose even more during boiling. Baking does not really affect most vitamins and minerals, except for the vitamin B family.
Interestingly, stir-fried carrots provide better beta-carotene absorption compared to raw carrots. Tomatoes sautéed in good oils such as olive oil provide 80% higher blood lycopene levels compared to raw tomatoes although stir-frying red cabbage and broccoli dramatically reduced their vitamin C content.
All these indicate that while there may not be a perfect cooking method with nutrient-retention, usually fast cooking methods at lower temperature and less water usage are generally acceptable.
However, if you are going to consume superfoods such as seeds, nuts and fruits, surely it is better to enjoy them as they are? Imagine all the nutrients coming together? Food for thought, right?
How do vegans snack?
Vegans are often stuck in a dilemma between their dietary choice and finding small and conveniently prepared bites that meet the healthy vegan criteria, plus allow them to eat small meals a day compared to heavy meals.
Some granola bars may be vegan but they may not be necessarily healthy as they could be over-gloried cookies made with grains and dried fruit which are high in sugar. If they are said to include healthy, fruity superfood ingredients, perhaps the baking process may have taken a toll on some of the fruit-based ingredients!
Fortunately, there are ways of navigating around it. Yes, there are ways to have your delicious cookie that can be healthy at the same time!
No-bake superfood cookie option
To combine superfood ingredients into tasty and effective health bars, there are no-bake options to give you the best of both worlds and loads of energy too!
Supercookie Recipe 1
For example, you can blend almonds and dates with a couple of tablespoons of water, then mix them together with a blended mix that may include ingredients such as oats, hemp seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cinnamon and goji berries. Mix the two blended concoctions and pour into a parchment-paper-lined pyrex dish. Shape the mixture into small squares and they are practically ready to eat!
Think it will take you just 15 minutes to whip this up and you can even store in the fridge. Just take them out 20 minutes before consuming!
Supercookie Recipe 2
Get a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, loads of fibre, protein and good fats all in this yummy snack. This recipe is so simple and in fact, you can mix and match your favourite superfoods all into a food processor before shaping them.
Better still, this 10-minute recipe is no-bake, gluten-free, dairy-free and even grain-free! It’s packed with a whole combo of super nutrients and is guaranteed to energise you within a few bites! This is good for paleo eaters too!
The secret is in the super blend of seeds, nuts and fruits. Blend half a cup of pitted dates, a cup of nuts (almonds, walnuts…your favourites will do!), quarter cup unsweetened coconut flakes, 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs, 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of goji berries, a pinch of salt and up to 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup depending on your preference.
Blend all the ingredients first with the exception of the honey. Once well blended, add a tablespoon of honey and blend again until the mixture sticks together. Scoop them out by tablespoons and then roll into balls or flatten them into cookie shape. Store these bites in the fridge. You can whisk them out whenever you feel like having a healthy snack!
That is how easy it is to incorporate superfoods into your diet, easy to prepare, great to enjoy and convenient to bring with you on the go or as a healthy bite before and after gym! That’s another option that tastes great instead of just depending on fruit bowls alone to get your superfood dosage! Check out more recipes here!
Check out more superfood options and ideas at Superfood Asia 2019. Coming you from 24th to 26th April 2019 in Singapore. You will be spoilt for choice!