Superfoods Blog

Page updates and recipes for integrating potent plant-based nutrition into your busy body and active life!

What About Tiger Nuts?

Our Review Plus Nutritional Benefits

Tiger nuts, also called earth almonds or chufa, are a relatively new and trendy food recently introduced on a larger scale to worldwide health food enthusiasts in 2013. Claimed to be a wild foraged food source gathered by Paranthropus boisei or the "nutcracker man", the early ancestor of modern-day humans, they are frequently marketed as a "paleo" food. Evidence also suggests that they were a popular crop cultivated in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago. Although they are grown and have naturalized to moderate climates around the globe, the nuts are native to the Eastern hemisphere, mainly Africa, the Middle East, India, Madagascar and Mediterranean countries in Southern Europe.

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How to Make a Tincture

Using Organic Fo-ti Root

Learning how to make a tincture is a fairly simply process that doesn't require a whole lot of skill or fancy equipment. In this recipe we'll show you the basics when preparing tinctures from herbal roots. In this case, we utilize one of our often-made favorites that we always like to have on hand in large quantities, our fo-ti root tincture! Tinctures are a very convenient and therapeutically effective way to take herbs. They are very potent, usually more so than teas or tablets, and are readily available for dropping into drinks, teas or just plain water.

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Pink Himalayan Salt

A Mineral-Rich Table Salt Alternative

Pink Himalayan salt is a natural salt that has only recently gained popularity among health-conscious consumers in the last 15 years. Also referred to by the names pink salt, Himalayan crystal salt and occasionally Himalayan sea salt, it is primarily used as a table salt alternative. Like little "mini crystals", it is known to contain a rich source of trace minerals that exist within a unique crystalline form. Shades may vary from rosy salmon-colored pinks to sheer white or translucent, with darker pigments usually indicative of its mineral concentration and iron content.

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Raw Gingerbread Cookies

A Dehydrated Recipe Using Fo-ti and Fresh Ginger

A good raw gingerbread cookies recipe in your arsenal of healthy holiday treats is a nice thing to have when you want to splurge and celebrate this traditional food-feasting time of year. And, just because you want to try to maintain good dietary practices that won't cause weight gain, fatigue or digestive issues, doesn't mean you can't enjoy customary dessert or food alternatives. Most all Thanksgiving, Xmas, or other cultural-specific recipes have their healthier substitutes. This recipe is our raw vegan version of the gingerbread cookie, a common treat served at Christmas in the U.S.

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Beetroot Juice and Powder

Potential for Enhanced Exercise Performance

Beetroot juice is a concentrated vibrant magenta colored liquid that has in the last several decades been shown to have numerous health-enhancing properties particularly beneficial to athletes as well as aerobic workouts. Today it is often sold commercially as a sports drink or performance boosting energy supplement for this reason. Studied in recent years for its positive effects on the cardiovascular or circulatory system, red beetroot is known to be one of the richest sources of naturally occurring nitrates as well as betaines and other antioxidants like the betalain pigments, particularly betacyanin and betanin which give beets their deep red-purple color.

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What are Kelp Noodles?

How to Prepare Them for Best Results

Kelp noodles, a semi-transparent spaghetti shaped noodle, are a gluten-free low-calorie alternative to grain based pastas. We bought our first package way back in 2005 when they first started appearing at many California-based natural food co-ops. At the time, not many people were using them or even knew they existed. Today, they are much more popular among health-conscious consumers, especially individuals with gluten allergies or food sensitivities. They are also widely used by those adhering to a raw vegan diet, along with spiralized zucchini, as a pasta replacement.

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Top 2 Benefits of Holy Basil

A Sattvic Herbal Rejuvenating Rasayana

Holy basil, also called "tulsi" in Ayurvedic herbalism, has been one of the top herbs utilized in East Indian therapies for centuries. Known for its versatile and potent medicinal qualities as well as its tasty flavor, it is most commonly prepared as a tea infusion. Now also becoming increasingly popular here in the West, it is definitely one of those "rasayanas" or rejuvenating tonics that is worth testing out for yourself. It makes a delicious hot morning beverage and offers a broad spectrum of benefits suitable for most body types.

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How to Cook Quinoa for Best Results

Three Recipe Options Plus Our Favorite

This basic quinoa recipe is one of our favorite ways to steam this alternative gluten-free variety. Although it deviates a bit from most standard grain to water ratios, in our opinion it produces a more fully cooked end result with a much better consistency. While those new to quinoa might be put off by the undercooked quality that is typically advocated by most online recipes, we feel adding in a bit more water can make a big difference to the palate as well as digestive system. We actually give three alternate ways to make quinoa, so you can pick and choose from any of these options, depending on your own personal preferences.

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What is Nutritional Yeast?

Clearing Up Some Misconceptions

Nutritional yeast is a form of dried deactivated yeast that is most well-known as a cheesy tasting food topping, particularly popular among those adhering to a vegan or vegetarian diet. Acting as a fortifying dietary supplement, a tasty topping sprinkled on foods as well as a versatile recipe ingredient, it has been used extensively by health enthusiasts around the world for decades. But, what is nutritional yeast exactly and are all brands created the same way? Here on this page, we will answer these and other commonly asked questions.

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Easy Cultured Vegetables Recipe

Plus Some Full-Proof Success Tips

This cultured vegetables recipe is one of our go-to favorites that blends the wonderful chopped cabbage leaf with some basic but colorful vegetables: red pepper, broccoli, carrot, kale, red onion as well as the spicy daikon radish root. Although the color will fade some after the fermentation process, the end result provides a nice blend of textures and pickled sweet flavors.

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Lion's Mane Mushroom

Supportive to Brain and Nerve Functions

Lion's mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus, is an immune enhancing medicinal species that has become particularly well-known in the last several decades for its health-supporting effects on the brain and nervous system. The subject of much scientific analysis, its specific neuroprotective attributes have been shown to far supersede any other edible variety known today. Not exactly your typical cap and stem looking mushroom, lion's mane has distinctive white cascading tendrils that, as the name implies, somewhat resemble the mane of a lion.

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List of 5 Wild Herbs

To Harvest for Herbal Preparations

Here's a list of some common wild herbs you might want to look for when out in the woods, coast, desert or high mountain elevations. Once safely identified, you can harvest them for use in homemade wild herbal preparations, like teas and tinctures, or dry and store them for later use. Some of these herbal plants listed have cleansing qualities whereas others contain nutritious and immune enhancing compounds. A varied intake of wild edible greens, as well as herbs, can be a great way to get a broader spectrum of other phytonutrients not typically found in cultivated foods.

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Simple Flaxseed Crackers Recipe

A Crunchy, Dehydrated and Low Fat Snack

Flaxseed crackers are a handy healthy snack to have on hand for dips, hummus, seed cheese, soups or are delicious all by themselves. They are low fat, gluten-free and completely raw vegan. These are a basic recipe that only require a bit of prep work. Mostly that involves soaking your flaxseeds in enough water to create a gelatinous consistency similar to egg whites. This is usually achieved by soaking them the night before (or at least 4 hours) before you want to use them.

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Acerola Cherry Benefits

Food-Based Vitamin C Vs. Ascorbic Acid

Acerola is a cherry-like fruit that grows in warmer climates and subtropical regions and is believed to be native to the West Indies, other regions of the Caribbean as well as areas of the Yucatan and Central America. They are not typically eaten straight like other cherries as they have a sour tart taste, but are blended into recipes or drinks. Because they rapidly start to ferment soon after harvest, they are most always prepared before export as a freeze-dried powder or as a powdered water extract.

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Raw Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie

A Recipe Using Lions Mane Mushroom

This raw chocolate coconut cream pie recipe is another version of our original coconut cream pie, but instead using dried coconut, chia and cashews to create the traditional "cream pie" consistency. As usual, we also thrown in a heaping tablespoon or two of a favorite superfood. In this case it's brain boosting lion's mane powder, but you can substitute most any other superfood powder that doesn't have a super strong taste.

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Kombucha Pros and Cons

Potential Benefits and Side-Effects

Kombucha drink is a fermented tea made with a sugar source, caffeinated tea and a scoby kombucha culture, a gelatinous firm jelly-like structure made up of various yeasts and bacteria. The final ferment produces a tangy slightly sweet beverage with varying degrees of fizziness depending on the length of fermentation and techniques employed. While kombucha is known to contain many health-enhancing substances, it is not however necessarily beneficial for all people. Here on this page we will discuss the pros and the cons of this now widely popular fermented beverage.

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Chinese Herbs and Toxic Contaminants

Possible Heavy Metals and Pesticide Residues

When purchasing Chinese herbs it is definitely important to make sure you are getting a clean, quality product. In recent years, some studies have identified high levels of heavy metals as well as pesticides particularly in herbs sourced from China. Because Chinese tonics by nature are most effective with regular long-term use, these possible toxic substances can in fact build-up in the body over time producing toxic outcomes rather than therapeutic ones. This is a major concern if you are a frequent tea drinker or extract and supplement user. Here we give our top recommended herbal suppliers and details about their quality control and lab testing.

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Flaxseeds

An Omega-3 High Fiber Food Source

Flaxseeds come from one of the world's first cultivated plant species recognized on the list of eight "Neolithic founder crops" of early agriculture. Domesticated from wild flax by ancient farming communities in the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East, the plant was extensively utilized for its versatility as both a fiber and oilseed crop. The seeds are now also nutritionally valued as a nourishing dietary superfood due to their particularly high amount of omega-3's, fiber and lignan content, ranking #1 in all three categories for any vegan food source.

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Raw Flourless Pizza Crust Recipe

Using Gluten-Free Sprouted Buckwheat

This is our no-bake pizza crust recipe made with essentially three main whole-food ingredients: sprouted buckwheat, chia seeds and carrots. When processed into a dough and dehydrated this combination provides a perfectly firm yet flexible pizza crust texture, similar to New York-style pizza. When making this recipe, we like to divide up the dough portions to create several mini-size pizzas. These are great to have on hand for making instant meals and will keep for several weeks when stored in the fridge.

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Health Benefits of Cilantro

Top 3 Reasons to Eat or Juice It

Cilantro, also referred to as Chinese parsley, is the tender soft green leaves and stems of the coriander plant, Coriandrum sativum. Like dill, it is utilized for both its leaves as well as its dried seeds, which are commonly ground as a culinary spice known as coriander seed powder. Although the leaves are widely used as a culinary herb and raw garnish, both the leaf and stem can also be used for therapeutic purposes, especially when consumed in higher amounts through blending, juicing or as an extract concentrate.

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Kombucha Mojito Recipe

How to Make a Mojito Superfood Style

This is our kombucha mojito recipe, a healthier version of the traditional Cuban cocktail. While classic mojito's, served as an adult alcoholic beverage, are traditionally made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, mint and carbonated water, ours leaves out the rum and replaces other ingredients with a few superfood surprises. In essence, our mojito is an energizing green drink designed to make you naturally "feel good", while also providing the sweet minty-lime flavor that mojito's are known for.

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He Shou Wu Root

A Prized Top Longevity Tonic

He shou wu, also known as fo-ti or Polygonum multiflorum, is classified as one of the premier major tonics in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has been used for centuries as a Taoist longevity herb fundamental for increasing Jing and kidney Yin, the deep primordial stored life force that fuels all other energies. The Taoist philosophy of "internal alchemy" claims that preserving one's Jing is an essential component to prolonging one's lifespan. In today's modern fast paced world, many people are burning up this energy reserve at a rapid rate with the use of stimulants and excessive lifestyle habits that can over time cause adrenal fatigue and deep depletion of kidney Yin.

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Spirulina Benefits

Top Superfood Protein and Multivitamin

Spirulina is a species of edible blue-green algae that naturally grows wild in tropical and subtropical ponds, lakes and alkaline waterways. The genus Arthrospira is among the diverse class of single-celled cyanobacteria identified to have played a primary role in creating the Earth's life-sustaining atmosphere nearly 2.3 billion years ago. Along with phytoplankton, this group of ancient algae also contributed to the basic foundation of the food chain, essential to developing some of the first life forms on the planet.

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Coconut Bacon Bits

A Tasty Raw Vegan Bacon Alternative

Our coconut bacon bits recipe makes a great topping for salads, meals and is even delicious as a crunchy snack eaten by the handful. It's crispy, salty, smoky-sweet and tastes pretty darn close to bacon, but it's completely vegan and pig friendly! What is coconut bacon? When most websites use the term "coconut bacon" they are most always referring to dried coconut slices or pieces that have been baked with spices. They are not the long traditional shape of bacon strips, but are more like "bacon bits."

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Pure Maple Syrup

An Alternative Natural Sweetener

Pure maple syrup is made from the sap extracted from certain species of maple trees primarily growing in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Tapping maples for this clear sweet liquid is a practice originally acquired from various indigenous woodland tribe's native to these regions. The syrup we are explicitly referring to is 100% pure maple syrup, which is nothing but the boiled sap from the maple tree. Manufacturers use the word "pure" to make the distinction that maple syrup is the only ingredient.

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Health Benefits of Quinoa

The Andean Gluten-Free Grain

Quinoa is a whole grain variety that originated in the Andean highland regions of Peru and Bolivia, where it was utilized as a staple food source by pre-Columbian civilizations. Becoming increasingly popular among a more mainstream audience for its higher protein to lower carbohydrate ratio, it has also taken center stage as one of the top gluten-free grains advocated for those with gluten intolerance, wheat allergies or celiac disease.

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Activated Charcoal

Detox Uses as a Periodic Dietary Supplement

Activated charcoal is a manufactured form of carbon that has been utilized since the early 1900's as a natural remedy and top universal antidote employed around the world for extreme cases of toxic contamination or gastrointestinal poisoning. Today it is not only a convenient household first aid kit item, but is likewise considered a potent substance to take during periodic cleansing regimes due to its ability to effectively adhere to toxins and chemicals that may accumulate in the body.

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Goji Carrot Cake Recipe

A No-Bake Flourless Cake Using Superfoods

This is our tried and true carrot cake recipe we commonly make for birthdays or special gatherings. It is a gluten-free flourless cake with no baking required. All you'll need is a food processor for the cake ingredients and a blender for the cashew cream cheese frosting. While eating a raw carrot cake might seem a bit odd at first, rest assured it is not at all as unappetizing as it may sound. This particular recipe, we have perfected over the years, offers the best blend of dense cake-like texture and thick, smooth, sweet cheesy frosting.

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Schizandra Berry Tea and Extracts

Beauty Herb and Sexual Tonic

Schizandra berry tea a is a delicious and fruity liquid made with one of the top major Chinese herbs, schizandra berries. Also spelled "schisandra", the fruit has been highly valued since the beginning of Chinese herbalism for its full spectrum of tonifying properties, often prized alongside ginseng, goji and reishi mushroom. Unlike other berries, schizandra is not a fruit you would commonly consume by the handful, but is rather prepared as an energizing and restorative tonic tea or taken in extract form.

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Black Bean Miso Paste Recipe

A Homemade Soy-Free Alternative

This black bean miso paste recipe is an American-style miso or "modern miso", a non-traditional version utilizing black beans as opposed to the customary soybean selection. It is made the same way you would make Asian varieties; you simply substitute black beans instead of soy. This can not only be a preferred option for those trying to avoid soy products, it also tastes absolutely delicious using this legume option. When making a homemade miso paste, is important to know going in that there is a good amount of waiting required.

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Mung Bean Sprouts

A Raw or Cooked Plant-Based Protein

Mung bean sprouts come from the green mung bean variety commonly used in Indian cuisine when making curries and dals. While most cooked recipes utilize hulled yellow mung beans or split mung beans, for sprouting purposes the whole unhulled green legume is the only type that will actually sprout. This is because the seed is still viable and contains living energy necessary for the sprouting process. In recent decades, consuming these raw sprouts has become an increasingly popular way to eat them, usually served in small amounts atop meals or salads.

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Quinoa Salad Recipe

A Mediterranean Version

This quinoa salad recipe is a personal favorite utilizing one of our top cooked grains of choice, quinoa. Pronounced "keen-wah", this South American staple makes an especially nice salad ingredient when cooked, cooled and added to chopped, diced and thinly sliced raw vegetables and a marinade using fresh herbs. Very similar to the popular "quinoa tabbouleh", but with a Mediterranean twist, a quinoa recipe like this one is a great choice for a light and refreshing main meal or can likewise be served as a side dish to other protein sources.

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Agaricus Blazei Mushroom

Benefits of Immune Supporting Beta-Glucans

Agaricus blazei is an edible medicinal mushroom species that grows wild in various habitats that are conductive to its growth cycle. It is also widely cultivated and used for culinary purposes, sold dried or prepared as a dietary supplement. The mushroom comes from the genus Agaricus and is related to the common white button mushroom cultivar, Agaricus bisporus. This particular "blazei" selection is well-researched and known for its high amount of polysaccharide content, specifically the class of beta-glucans.

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About Wild Grape Leaves

How to Harvest and Prepare Them

Wild grape leaves are an edible, leafy green species that grow prolifically throughout the world in a variety of different climate zones. Wild grapevines produce very large leaves the size of one's hand and are a rewarding species to harvest as you can collect a big bagful in under a few minutes. Wild leaves are frequently utilized as a type of wrap to hold an assortment of food fillings, often referred to as "stuffed grape leaves" in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultural dishes.

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Best Charcoal Lemonade Recipe

Using Aloe Vera Gel and Chia Seeds

This is our charcoal lemonade recipe, a now trendy health food drink concoction commonly made from water, lemon juice, a sweetener and, of course, activated charcoal powder. If you're used to the idea of consuming green juice or green smoothies for breakfast, charcoal lemonade is also another alternative option to consider. It is especially helpful for detoxification regimens as it helps to promote the cleansing of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract.

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Cistanche Stem

A Potent Kidney Yang Tonic and Aphrodisiac

Cistanche stem is the stalk of several species of desert plants that grow wild in dry arid regions of Asia and the Middle East and is commonly cultivated in northwest China and Mongolia for commercial use. Classified as a major Chinese tonic herb, it has been used for centuries in traditional formulations to help restore and support kidney Yang and tonify Jing, one of the three treasures associated with our deepest stored energy reserve. It is known throughout Asia as a top male tonic for its ability to increase sexual virility and libido as well as improve the fertility rate in both men and women.

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