With more and more foods reaching super status, it can be hard to know whether the likes of quinoa or avocado truly earn or deserve the title of superfoods.
Never has there been such a wide group of people so committed to working harder, looking better or eating healthier. Millennials have become so obsessed with the latter that studies have shown that this generation is more likely to shop at speciality food stores than those who came before them. If food isn't sourced locally, organic and GMO-free - millennials aren't buying it.
Following in their elders' footsteps, it's now been noted that teens are spending more money on food than clothes. The birth of superfoods began when these two young generations combined to create a food-obsessed peer group labelled as 'foodies'.
As a result, we've heard countless times about the nutritional benefits of everyday ingredients like blueberries, spinach and walnuts that now class themselves as superfoods. With more and more foods reaching super status, it can be hard to know whether say the likes of quinoa or avocado truly earn or deserve the title of superfoods.
We caught up with executive chef at Avoca, Mark McGillicuddy to find out his take on this new wave of foodies and to discover what the best superfoods of 2019 truly are.
More than just ingredients to be worked into recipes, superfoods have always been an integral part of the food offering at Avoca, whether in our restaurants or Food Markets. Incorporating superfoods into cooking is an optimum way of adding nutritional value in a flavoursome way.
As a millennial, it can be hard to live a healthy lifestyle and keep up with the latest superfoods while maintaining a strong work ethic that this generation champions. While in the past, the term; superfood was a complicated word, this year it's about bringing it back to basics.
Don’t overthink big fancy superfoods you may not have heard of before, start to weave in natural superfoods into each meal by creating your own superfood schedule.
And if you're tired of eating avocados and blueberries, good news - there's a bunch of new superfoods that Mark believes you need to know about.
With high concentrations of Vitamins A and C and turmeric that works wonders as an anti-oxidant, mangos are now hailed as a natural defence against cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Found in many of the fresh salads at Avoca, kale contains high levels of Vitamin C which boosts natural collagen production.
Often a forgotten superfood, salmon is wonderfully versatile, boasting anti-inflammatory properties and is believed to decrease the risk of strokes, high blood pressure and heart attacks.
A cupboard staple at this stage, quinoa can be added to veggie burgers and salads with ease. With nine essential amino acids and an excellent source of minerals, quinoa should be a staple in not just your cupboard but your diet too.
Another salad friendly leaf, spinach is laden with health enhancing properties and antioxidants that benefit the entire body.
Not only does garlic elevate a dish’s flavour status, but it also treats conditions ranging from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to heart disease.
Below are some of Mark's favourite recipes that incorporate these very superfoods.
Quinoa, Irish sweet potato, spinach and black garlic fritters
"Incorporating everyday ingredients like these into your diet can score you big nutritional points." - Mark McGillicuddy
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 250g red quinoa, boiled until it opens up a little
- 1kg of spinach, chopped
- 100ml lime juice
- 1 spoon of diced chilli
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 100ml Greek yoghurt
- 300g Fivemiletown goat's cheese
- 1 preserved lemon, finely diced
- 50g parsley, finely diced
- 50g mint, finely diced
- 1tsp of cracked black pepper
- 5 eggs
- 10 cloves of black garlic
- Bake the sweet potatoes until soft, allow to cool, then scrape out the flesh
- Mix the sweet potato with all the other ingredients, grating the garlic and combining with goats cheese, last.
- Check the seasoning and adjust
- Cook at 155°C until golden brown.
Mango, turmeric, coconut and chia seed pudding
"Start off your day with a delicious breakfast pot. We have developed a mango,
coconut, turmeric and chia seed breakfast pot which contains a wealth of
superfoods." - Mark McGillicuddy
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1/2 can of cold water
- Flesh of 2 mangoes, puréed
- 3 mangoes de-stoned and cut into pieces
- 60g chia seeds
- 40g maple syrup
- 20g turmeric root, grated finely
A handful of colourful edible flowers to garnish
- Mix all the ingredients together and allow to stand for 1 hour in the fridge.
- Take out and blend together with a hand-held blender - allow to be coarse in texture.
- Rest the mixture overnight
- Half fill a glass or bowl with the soaked chia seeds pudding. Top with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, chia seeds, cacao and toasted shaved coconut. Sprinkle with edible flowers.
Not in the mood to cook? Try the new menu at Fodder Restaurant in Avoca Ballsbridge which features an abundance of superfoods.