Another group of super foods that we enjoy for their taste, without perhaps thinking much about their health benefits are…
If you want to increase your nutrient intake in the foods you prepare, a simple and fast way to do it in the summer is by adding herbs and spices into your cooking. It’s not only fruit and vegetables that are superfoods! Summer is a great time to grow or buy fresh herbs which you can add to your meals for flavour and get additional nutrients at the same time.
Best Herbs for the Summertime
Most herbs can be considered superfoods since they contain so many amazing vitamins and minerals, but here are some of the best ones to find in the summer:
Basil – Basil is a fantastic herb for the summer season. You can use it to increase the flavour of your dishes when you want to reduce your sodium and get away from using a lot of salt.
Nutrients in basil include vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, folate, and calcium. As you can see, it’s loaded with important nutrients for your body!
Basil is the base for pesto. Add it to your food processor together with pine nuts, garlic, olive oil and some pecorino cheese.
Sage – Sage was known for its healing properties during the middle ages and today it’s used as a natural cleaning agent, pesticide and ritual object in spiritual sage burning or smudging.
Sage contains many polyphenols – plant-based chemical compounds that act as antioxidants in your body. It’s also high in vitamin K which is essential for bone health and circulation.
Add some chopped sage leaves into a tomato sauce or combine some with butter to make delicious sage butter.
Coriander– If you are a fan of making your own sauces in the summer, the next two herbs will be perfect to add to the kitchen. Coriander is extremely low in cholesterol, but it contains vitamins like C, E, A, and K. It also has dietary fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
I use coriander wherever I can! I add it to stir-fries, to kidney beans for tortilla fillings, to quinoa and rice.
Parsley – The next herb you can use for sauces and pestos in the summer is parsley. Like many other herbs, it’s high in antioxidants, containing a good amount of vitamins A and C as well as Vitamin K, folate and iron. It’s very low in calories yet full of taste, making it a great low-calorie ingredient for many recipes.
Since learning about their nutritional properties, I have always tried to use a lot of herbs in my cooking. And I really enjoy using fresh herbs that I’ve grown – or bought in a pot and then managed to keep alive!! I also love sending the kids outside to pick them so they see that you can actually grow real food and so that they get involved in the cooking.
It’s time to get chopping! Finely chop a mixture of them and add them to quinoa, rice or salads to give them a really great flavour and nutrient boost.
Here’s a quick, superfood-filled smoothie you can try:
PARSLEY SUPER SMOOTHIE
2 cups frozen pineapple
3 kale leaves
1 cup coconut water
½ bunch parlsey
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 tbsp flax seeds
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth.
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