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Superfoods Are Abundantly Easy

It seems like everyone is looking for that magic bullet to make themselves healthier these days. With a little help from Melissa’s, nature has provided it! 

If you look at any article or news report that touts the benefits of nature’s superfoods, you find that over half of the items on just about any superfood list are fresh fruits and veggies.

Melissa’s has you covered with seasonal superfoods such as pomegranates, garlic, broccoli, citrus, and leafy greens. Leafy greens and citrus, which are in season and abundant right now, are usually at the top of that list. And they should be!

Image of organic kale

Take Melissa’s organic kale, for instance. The cold nights we have been having bring out kale’s natural sugars and deepen their color, making them sweeter and more nutritious. A deeper color means more carotenoids, a group of plant pigments including beta-carotene and lutein, known to combat heart disease, cancer, and cataracts. Plus, a one-cup serving provides twice your daily needs for vitamins A and C, 20 percent of calcium and 10 percent of iron.

image of naval orange
Or how about navel oranges? Oranges are an excellent food for the heart. Recent studies suggest that eating oranges may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension. One reason may be that regular consumption of fresh oranges and juice has been shown to significantly increase the levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol while reducing the undesirable LDL forms associated with heart disease. Oranges also have anti-inflammatory properties and can protect your body against blood clots and the build-up of plaque in arteries. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.

When buying Melissa’s organic greens like kale and chard, look for fresh, vibrant leaves and firm, clean stems. When you get them home, store them wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel in a plastic bag in the coldest part of your fridge. This should hold them for about 4 to 5 days.

For citrus, of which there are so many choices right now, you want them to be heavy for their size, brightly colored with unwrinkled skins. At home, you can store them at room temp for 3 to 4 days. If they get soft, you can put them in the fridge to add a couple more days of shelf life.

If you’d like to add more superfoods to your diet here’s a couple of my favorite tasty and easy recipes to get you started.

Black Kale and Orange Juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium organic yellow onion, medium dice
4 medium organic garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 pounds Melissa’s organic black kale (about 6 to 7 bunches), tough stems removed and leaves cut into bite-size pieces

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook until vegetables have softened about 4 to 5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, add orange juice and bring to a simmer. Add a few handfuls of kale and, as it wilts, continue to add a handful at a time, stirring constantly, until all the kale is in the pan, about 10 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the kale is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
1 head organic cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove organic garlic, smashed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat; cook and stir garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer half the cauliflower to a food processor; cover and blend on high. Add remaining cauliflower florets, one at a time, until vegetables are creamy. Blend in garlic, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt, and black pepper.

You can eliminate the cream cheese and parmesan if you are watch your calories and substitute 1% organic milk or unsweetened almond milk.

As you can see it doesn’t take much to start eating healthier. It can be simple and super.

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