If you are among the throng of Americans who have been clamoring to the gym and vowing off of high-fructose corn syrup this month, good for you! The New Year is a great time to ramp up healthy living, but, as February rolls around, do you worry these health changes may not be sustainable? What if you could eat well, feel energized and fit into your tightest jeans without sacrificing flavorful, fun foods?
In her book, Chia, Quinoa, Kale, Oh My!, Cassie Johnston shows readers how to do just that. With an easy guide to the superfood staples as well as 100+ diverse recipes, Johnston can transform a “health kick” into a new lifestyle. Below, Johnston shares her list of must-have superfoods (and what to substitute them for) along with three healthful recipes to try.
Stock Your Superfood Kitchen With:
Coconut Oil: Often considered the healthiest cooking oil, coconut oil is packed with a unique combo of nutrient compounds that aren’t found in other cooking oils.
Substitute for: Butter, All other cooking oils
Fresh Lemons and Limes: You’ll notice that many of the recipes in this book call for fresh lemon and lime juice and zest. It’s a great way to impart tons of fresh flavor!
Substitute for: Bottled juice, vinegar
Greek Yogurt: Thick and tangy Greek yogurt is a great high- nutrition substitute for mayo or sour cream in cooking and baking.
Substitute for: Mayonnaise, Sour cream, Regular yogurt
Medjool Dates: One of the sweetest fruits on the planet, tender Medjool dates are available in most super- markets now.
Substitute for: Other dried fruit
Natural Peanut Butter: Many peanut butters you find on store shelves are packed with additives and sugar. Try to find a peanut butter that is just peanuts and salt.
Substitute for: Regular peanut butter, Almond butter, Sunflower butter
Olive Oil: Almost every home cook has a vial of olive oil in the pantry. In this book, you’ll see it listed in two different ways. Pick up a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for when the oil is used raw, and you can stick to a regular organic olive oil when the oil is used for cooking.
Substitute for: All other cooking oils
Organic Cane Sugar: This is the less-processed version of regular table sugar. It’s a good option for baked goods but, like all sweeteners, should be eaten in moderation.
Substitute for: Turbinado sugar, Raw sugar, Table sugar, Coconut sugar, Maple sugar, Sucanat
Pure Maple Syrup: Not just for pancakes, pure maple syrup is an all-natural, vegan sweetener that is a great option for all-purpose sweetening.
Substitute for: Honey, Agave nectar, Cane juice
Unfiltered Cider Vinegar: The health benefits of unfiltered cider vinegar could fill their own book! Look for organic, unfiltered vinegar for the best health benefits and flavor.
Substitute for: All other vinegars, Lemon or lime juice
Sea Salt: Not all salt is created equal! All-natural sea salt is packed with minerals.
Substitute for: Table salt, Kosher salt
Unsweetened Applesauce: Aside from being yummy, unsweetened applesauce is a workhorse of a superfood kitchen! Use it to sweeten smoothies and moisten baked goods.
Substitute for: Pumpkin puree
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: Coconut has a natural sweetness that really comes out when it’s dehydrated and shredded.
Substitute for: none
Cacao Nibs: These little chunks of raw cacao are like the unprocessed cousin to chocolate chips. Unsweetened and richly chocolaty, they’re a great way to add chocolate flavor!
Substitute for: Chocolate chips, Chopped dark chocolate
White Whole Wheat Flour: White whole wheat flour is a whole-grain flour made from soft white wheat, giving it a milder flavor than your typical whole wheat flour.
Substitute for: Whole wheat flour, All-purpose flour
Whole Wheat Panko: Panko bread crumbs are a great way to make a crunchy breading or use as a filler. Try to track down whole wheat panko for the highest nutrition.
Substitute for: Regular panko, Regular bread crumbs, Smashed saltines