2020 is the year of superfoods, the foods that in the last decade have brought new flavors and bright colors to our tables, healthy food, that combine a nutritional and healing function.
Let’s discover the trendy superfoods that, thanks to their versatility, have become increasingly present in our kitchens. Essential for a vegetarian and vegan diet, they have brought the Mediterranean tradition closer to distant cultures: this is the strength of food.
What are superfoods?
In the last decade these foods have become indispensable in our diet for their double nutritional and healing function. They are defined as “super” because their natural properties have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties: they are energizing foods, nourishing for the skin and for the body, they bring benefits to organs and muscles. They are therefore useful for improving your daily well-being.
The merits of superfoods do not end “only” in their healthy qualities. Due to their innate versatility, these foods are essential for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, but they have also enriched the dishes of the already rich Mediterranean cuisine, bringing new colors and unusual flavors.
What will be the superfoods of 2021?
Among the best-known superfoods there are: avocado, turmeric, buckwheat, watermelon and hemp seeds, spirulina, ginger and quinoa, but trends run after each other and never cease to amaze.
Trendiest superfoods in a list that can accompany you at the table throughout the day and that can satisfy your tastes. They are good for your health, but also for the soft skin, strong nails and beautiful hair.
The sweet bunting for a tiger breakfast
Also known as chufa or “tiger nuts” for its striped texture similar to that of the tiger, the sweet bunting is an ancient superfood: it is said that it was a snack loved by the Egyptians, who also used it as a medicine. This food contains 10 grams of fiber, almost half of the daily requirement. It is a resistant starch that promotes digestion, prevents constipation and helps those on a path dedicated to weight loss. Thanks to the presence of a high quantity of monounsaturated fatty acids it is also an excellent ally of the heart.
With a sweet taste, almost a mixture of coconut and almond, sweet buntings can be used as a simple snack, adopting the habits of the ancient Egyptians, or added to breakfast in cereals or smoothies.
Amla, lemon balm and moringa: drinks for every hour and for all tastes
Indian gooseberry (or amla) is a bitter-tasting fruit. Symbolic for Buddhists, it will be one of the most popular superfoods in 2021. Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, it can be added to smoothies or juices.
If you love herbal teas, lemon balm is worth trying: it is a fragrant herb, with calming and sedative properties. Taken after meals it promotes digestion and reduces the symptoms of gastritis.
Moringa, which had medicinal purposes for several centuries, is present in many healthy diets today.
Used mainly in powder form, moringa has a high protein content and is rich in antioxidants, iron, vitamins E and K. It can be diluted in tea, other drinks or smoothies. It doesn’t have much flavor, so you won’t notice a big difference to your palate, but it will have an energizing effect on your body.
Tahini, a superfood with a Middle Eastern scent
Tahini is a superfood made from sesame seeds. Also called butter or sesame cream, this food is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein, calcium, iron and magnesium. You can prepare it at home by toasting the sesame seeds and grinding them with a marble mortar, or you can buy it ready-made (even organic) in ethnic shops and in the most well-stocked supermarkets: the best preparations contain sesame seeds, without preservatives or whiteners.
Many know tahini as the star of hummus, but its mild taste blends well with many ingredients. For example, you can use it in pesto instead of dried fruit or as a condiment for your salads: just mix 30g of tahini (about 1 heaped tablespoon), 2 tablespoons of our EVO oil, 1 clove of dry garlic and aromatic herbs to taste. Its recommended always to keep it closed in the refrigerator and take it out half an hour before use to soften it.
Lupins: not just an aperitif
Lupins cannot be missed during an aperitif, but they have recently been rediscovered as a superfood because they are a vegetable source of proteins with a high biological value (an index of the quality of food proteins, calculated through the ratio between the nitrogen taken and that retained). Rich in mineral salts such as iron and potassium, they also contain B vitamins (especially B1). You can use lupine flour to make bread or to make delicious vegetarian and vegan burgers.
You may not have known that, but there are two superfoods that you know very well.
The well-known dried plums will be further re-evaluated in 2021. Rich in fiber and perfect for the intestine, they can replace the sugar in sweets and biscuits: just chop them finely and add them to the dough.
The peas are among the most eaten vegetable in the world and very popular in Mediterranean cuisine. What you may not know is that they contain all the essential amino acids for building muscle tissue. Simply mix their protein powders (easily found online, but also in many supermarkets) with any smoothie, soup or pesto to increase their protein intake.
New entry, golden berry
Originally from South America, with a golden color and sour taste, the golden berry (or physalis Peruviana, in Italy known as Peruvian alchechengio) is very popular in North America and has entered our kitchen through the pastry: you have surely seen it covered with chocolate among the pastries.
“Alchechengio” has an important concentration of antioxidants and is a perfect multivitamin with a high amount of vitamins A, B and C. In Peru, Argentina and Colombia it is mainly used as a snack, but with its slightly tart flavor you can create salads from conflicting tastes.
The evergreen: avocado
A superfood list cannot end without him: avocado. Cleared in all sauces and in countless dishes, this fruit will be one of the most used also in 2021. Rich in good fats and fiber, it contains more potassium than a banana and is a source of antioxidants. It is also very versatile in the kitchen: its flavor and texture allow you to create new recipes, even desserts.