With the beginning of a new year comes an overwhelming number of health articles.  I think I have seen it all, and we’re only 25 days into 2011.  The articles that always seem to catch my eye are the ones that list out “powerfoods.”  I haven’t figured out why I gravitate toward that topic, but it really does fascinate me.  I get super excited when one of my everyday foods makes it onto a list!  🙂

So anyways, as I was brainstorming potential blog topics, I thought, why not create my own list of “powerfoods” that give me myinnershakti.  In order to make my list, the food had to be a regular part of my diet, be versatile, and be yummy!  So without further ado, here are Par’s Picks (in no particular order):

1. Avocados – I use avocados in guacamole, salads, sandwiches, and even on their own (a very satisfying snack).  They are rich and creamy and have a really subtle taste that works with a lot of dishes.

2. Spinach – Spinach is obviously great as the base of salad.  It also works as a nutritious replacement for lettuce.  I also chop it up and mix it into stir fry recipes, soups, etc.

3. Tomatoes – An obvious use for tomatoes is in sandwiches and salads, but I also like to eat them raw with a little sprinkle of salt.

4. Bell peppers (red is my fav) – Peppers are great in salads and stir fry recipes.  They are also really good stuffed with spiced quinoa (thanks, Monica!).

5.  Dark chocolate – THIS IS BEST ENJOYED ALL BY ITSELF! 🙂

6. Tofu – Tofu scrambles are my new favorite, but this seemingly boring ingredient can be jazzed up and included in a lot of dishes, including stir fry’s, casseroles, and even baked goods.

7. Ground flaxseed – I love ground flaxseed because it adds a lot of nutritional value to a dish without sacrificing flavor.  I add it to my morning oatmeal, sauces, and even Indian food (no one can ever tell its there).

8. Peanut butter – I used to be a Reduced Fat Jif girl until I tried some of the all natural varieties out there.  My favorite brand is  Maranatha.  I just love how peanuty it tastes with very few ingredients.

9. Greek yogurt – Yogurt is great, but in my opinion, greek yogurt is the best!  It’s so thick and creamy and full of protein and calcium.  I love it in parfaits, smoothies, and dips.

11. Blueberries – My new favorite berry is the blueberry!  I love eating these berries by themselves, with my greek yogurt, in smoothies, and even in my baked goods (muffins, cakes, etc.).

12. Bananas – I pretty much eat one banana a day.  It’s the best snack because it keeps you full and satisfied!

13. Apples – An apple a day keeps the doctor away!  I love all kinds of apples, but my favorites have to be Gala and Granny Smith [with peanut butter].

14. Granola – A sprinkle of granola over my oatmeal or yogurt is the best because it adds crunch and sweetness.

15. Beans – If I had to choose one “powerfood,” it would have to be beans.  I love them all – garbanzo, black, kidney, pinto, etc.  I use them in soups, salads, dips, burgers, and even my brownies! 😉  They fill you up and keep you full for a long time!

16. Balsamic vinegar – I love ranch dressing but only the full fat kind (the reduced fat/fat-free stuff is too gloppy for my taste).  However, if I used full fat ranch dressing every time I had a salad, my arteries would be clogged!  So now I use balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make my own vinaigrette.  I find it really refreshing, and I personally like the tang that it adds to my veggies.

17. Olive oil – This is my go to oil for everything I make.  It’s full of heart healthy fats, and besides that, I just love the aroma of olive oil heating up in the kitchen!

18. Quinoa – Quinoa is the newest addition to my diet.  For those of you who don’t know what quinoa is, it’s a grain like edible seed.  The cool thing about quinoa is that it contains all 9 essential amino acids needed for human development.  It can be used in pretty much anything – casseroles, stir fry’s, oatmeal, baked goods, etc.

19. Larabars – All of the foods listed above are simple, whole foods.  In my opinion, a Larabar is 5 or fewer simple, natural foods combined into one, with the base being dates!  I wasn’t too sure if they would be to my liking, but one day my friend Courtney let me graciously try her Apple Pie bar, and I instantly became a fan.  My newest favorite is the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.  Other tasty flavors include Pecan Pie, Chocolate Coconut, and Chocolate Chip Brownie.  Do me a favor, if you decide to give them a try, let me know as I would love to hear your thoughts!

So, there you have it…Par’s Picks!  I’ll be sure to update this list whenever I find something worthy of being called a “powerfood,” so be on the lookout!

I would love to hear about what your “powerfoods” are and why, so if you have any, please share!  I am always looking for new ingredients to use in my everyday eats. 🙂

By Parita

0 thoughts on “Par’s Picks”
  1. Gala apples are my favorite too! And I used to put ground flax seed in my oatmeal (when I was allowed to eat it)…so funny! And of course, now I love quinoa…love your list!

  2. Parita…lovin’ your blog girl! Thanks for introducing me to Maranatha PB! Love it…eat it almost EVERYDAY. xo, shraddha

  3. love your powerfoods list…includes some of my favorites! i’d also add raspberries…it’s my favorite berry! love it for its antioxidant properties…but it’s also b/c it’s sweet and tart at the same time. love it frozen, on its own, with mango or lemon sorbet, or in greek yogurt. yum-o!!

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