I’m a huge fan of berries. They are such a delicious little treat and also full of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, slow oxidation process and prevent the free radical damage. Free radicals are nasty guys that come from both metabolism and environment such as pollution, radiation and cigarette smoke. These free radicals are very unstable attacking normal cells in our body, which have been linked to heart disease and certain cancers. The damage also accumulates with age. A little scary? Don’t worry! Our body has a defense system of antioxidants to prevent free radical damage. Plant foods are rich sources of antioxidants, most abundant in fruits and vegetables as well as other foods including nuts and whole grains. There is a huge range of antioxidants supplements out there, but not as good as naturally occurring antioxidants in foods. So whole foods, fruits and vegetables do the trick!
Just in case you are wondering, examples of dietary antioxidants are
– orange or yellow pigmented fruits and vegetables: carrots, sweet potatoes, apricot, rock melon
– dark coloured fruits and berries- citrus fruits
– garlic and onions
– broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts
– soy products and other legumes
– tea and red wine
My favorite on the list is berries. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Maqui berries. It’s a dark purple berry wild harvested in Southern Chile and considered the highest oxidant fruit on the planet. You can purchase certified organic freeze dried Maqui berry at the local health food store or on-line. If you don’t have powder, just use any berries either fresh or frozen. I know “Superfood” is a big trend at the moment, but I believe that as long as you have a well-balanced diet including whole foods, fruits and vegetables, you don’t need to spend fortune on supplements just because everyone does it.
It has been so hot in Perth. Almost 40 degrees everyday this week! I know we all feel like a bowl of cool ice cream or something naughty for dessert in this heat. I think I’ve found a perfect hot weather dessert to substitute that. Simple ingredients, no oven required and very little time to put together! Perfect!
To make two little raw berry cheesecakes
50g soaked raw cashew nuts
half block of tofu
sweetener of your choice – agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, etc anything you have in your pantry
a teaspoon of vanilla extract
a table spoon of coconut oil
a teaspoon of Maqui berry powder – use fresh or frozen berries if you don’t have it
blanched almonds and handful of dates to make a base
two food rings to mold the cakes
Blend blanched almonds and dates until it becomes a paste (it might take about 5-10 minutes, natural fat comes out of almonds and it gets nut butter texture). Press down firmly at the bottom of food rings to make a base. To make filling, blend all ingredients until it gets soft. Put the mixture on the almond base. Keep in the fridge for a few hours to set. Take the cakes out of the rings, garnish with berries on top and enjoy every mouthful:)