What if time is the barrier between you and your superfoods? Maybe it isn’t that you don’t want them or don’t like them but that you don’t have the time to work them into your routine. Your schedule is stretched to the max and it just won’t allow you to eat well, though you know that you should and believe in the benefits of a better diet.
What if I told you that there is a way to have it all at your fingertips when you need it? And that “way” would take you less than an hour on a weekend? If you knew that it would help improve your health, kick start weight loss and shrink your waistline, decrease stress levels and ease your schedule…would you do it? Read on to discover how.
Here is the superfoods list of the top 10 performers in the category of anti-aging, anti-cancer foods:
It is simple to have them at the ready as the foundation for every meal you will have this week. You are about to embark on a one hour journey of readiness and healthy meal plans using only your slow cooker and your oven. Store everything in the fridge and watch them all come together into multiple meals with minute effort.
(or stovetop but you have to watch it simmer for 3-4 hours)
- Place chicken bones and one onion halved (skin and all) into a slow cooker, cover with water, set on high. Walk away. 8 hours later, divide into 2-3 cup portions and place into fridge or freezer.
Turn oven on to 400 F and pull out two large cookie sheets:
- Rinse sweet potatoes and beets under cold water, poke with a fork and place them whole into the oven on the bottom shelf for 45-60 minutes. (rinse and reserve greens)
- Chop two onions, spread onto cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp grapeseed oil. Place into oven on top rack for 30 minutes, stir once. Store empty into containers. (do not wash cookie sheet, reuse for bread croutons)
- Cut fennel in half, remove core and discard fronds. Slice bulb into strips and lay onto second cookie sheet.
- Chop or rip 3-4 slices of day old whole grain bread into crouton sized chunks, sprinkle with dried herbs and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Empty onto onion cookie sheet and place back into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature before storing. Use for salads or soups.
Wash and chop and store in the fridge:
- Red peppers, broccoli and leeks. Store each in separate baggies to use as veggies and dip or within meals as below.
- Carve watermelon into cubes to use as a fruit snack or in smoothies.
- Peel and slice kiwi as above.
- Rinse and store blueberries likewise.
Now. What to do with all this prepped super food?
- Sauce: simmer to evaporate into a jus for grilled fish or chicken. Stir in 1 clove of garlic and 1 tsp fresh herb as desired
- Soup: 4 cups broth + 1 cooked sweet potato +1/4 cup cooked onion +1 tsp curry powder or 4 cups broth + 2 cups chopped broccoli + ¼ cup cooked onion + ½ cup cream
- Pasta Sauce= ½ cup broth + chopped cooked fennel + can white beans + ¼ cup parmesan cheese
- Salad=Cooked fennel + sliced leeks + red pepper + balsamic vinaigrette
- Mashed sweet potatoes = 2 peeled sweet potatoes + 1 tsp butter + salt and pepper
- Pan fried beets with beet greens = peel and chop 3 beets, warm in a skillet with 2 tsp butter + chopped leeks + chopped beet greens.
- Vegetarian= Leeks + oil + canned lentils pan fried
- Broccoli and Red Peppers with hummus
- Fruit salad of kiwi, watermelon and blueberries + vanilla yogurt + cinnamon
- Smoothie blend above ingredients
- Freeze fruit on a cookie sheet to preserve for future smoothies
You want to be ready for anything that the week throws at you! Having all of these items prepped and in the fridge makes those decisions that much easier. Do you do something similar? What tips can you share to get healthy foods into your diet easily and quickly?
About the Author
Theresa Albert is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. She is @theresaalbert on twitter and found daily at www.myfriendinfood.com