#24: The Super Scoop on Superfoods! with Julie Morris

LISTEN HERE OR ON ITUNES:

I’m not usually the fan-girl type, but considering I have 5 out of 5 of Julie Morris’ cookbooks, all of which I pre-ordered, squealed at their arrival and have since splattered on, flagged, underlined and cooked dozens of recipes from, I think it’s safe to say I’m a SUPER fan of Julie Morris. Julie Morris is a plant-based chef, 5 time best-selling cookbook author and overall superfood SUPERstar. I’m not just saying that about the superfood superstar, it’s not just a cute little term I decided give her – she really is a superfood pioneer and leading expert. All of Julie’s beautiful books, Superfood Kitchen, Superfood Smoothies, Superfood Juices, Superfood Snacks and Superfood Soups have completely changed the way the world incorporates superfoods into their diets! Me very much included!


And to make this a double-whammy of an exciting episode, my favorite superfood company, Amazing Grass, is sponsoring it! I am beyond thrilled about this because I do truly, honestly, whole-heartedly adore Amazing Grass’s amazing grass!

You’ve seen me use amazing grass greens powder in my What I Eat in a Day videos, you’ve seen it in my Mindbodygreen article about my daily diet, you’ve seen me give samples of it away at live events so others can become addicted to it, and you’ve seen it in my Instagram feed probably more than you’ve seen my puppy (and that’s saying a lot). You’d be lucky to have any and all of their superfood greens powders grace your lips but my favorites are their watermelon-flavored energy (which has my favorite matcha in it!) and their pineapple lemongrass multivitamin which has probiotics and reminds me of my beloved trip to Thailand.

TO make Amazing Grass even MORE amazing, they’re offering Party in my Plants podcast listeners 40% off, yes, 40 % off your Amazing Grass order if you go to their website and use code: PLANTPARTY40. <<


Here are the super notes from this super episode:

Fun fact: I have one of the only 3,000 copies of Julie’s first AMAZING book – Superfood Kitchen (my version is called Superfood Cuisine) which, interestingly enough, she had to self publish because nobody wanted to publish a book about superfoods!!! She was so ahead of the time because just a few years later, “superfood” because THE CATCHPHRASE of the century! Go Julie, go!

In college, Julie developed all the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (it’s a thing!) and, well, long story short, she started to take matters into her own hands (and body). She says,

I had this thought that was like, ‘maybe there’s something that I could eat that would give me energy.’”

UMMMM, YEAH JULIE! So she started reading about these superfoods that had been used in ancient times for healing and she had no clue where to get them so she got them off these funky raw food websites (that she says should’ve been called weirdfood.com). First to arrive at her doorstep were goji berries and maca which she started to play around with.

At first, Julie was like, what the heck?! Why aren’t these superfoods giving me those energy highs, baby?! I WANNA FLY! I WANT MY WINGS! But then she realized, wow, I don’t have energy lows either. Sweet. No 3:00 nap! I’m waking up feeling baller in the AM! So overall she was like…

ok, this is mind-blowing. I feel awesome. I feel this thing…called…BALANCE!”

–> This is when she realized that the food she was eating was actually making her feel…good.

She says

“We have so much more control over the way we feel than we give ourselves credit for.”

Julie’s goal is to make recipes for our modern times. Recipes that marry the knowledge of these ancient super foods with modern day taste sensibilities. (And our modern day needs.)

She says…

“When you eat with the intention of doing good for your body, what is amazing for me, time and time again, things fall into place. Aches and pains go away. Your weight gets balanced. You start to perform better at work, you start to perform better at sports. You start to be able to think a little bit better, sleep a little bit better. Things just start to become easier. Things fall into place. And so the rewards are absolutely endless.”

JULIE’S DEFINITION OF A SUPERFOOD:

Superfood, n. The most nutrient-dense*, benefit-rich foods found in nature.

*What’s nutrient density?? Nutrient density doesn’t have anything to do with macronutrients (proteins, fat, carbs…the stuff that you read on the back of the label or monitor on Weight Watchers). It has to do with micronutrients, which are vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. THESE are the things that are ESSENTIAL for us to consume in order for our bodies to thrive. So, nutrient dense foods have mega-doses of micronutrients!!! They give us the most nutrition for our buck.

  • Example: look at vitamin C. Normally for vitamin C we think of oranges, orange I right? Ok, well in just 1 tsp camu berries (also known as camu camu powder), you have the vitamin C equivalent to 7-8 oranges! (Not to knock oranges, they’re great! Eat them! But just to show how superfoods rock.)

(FYI: To Julie, it’s more about mindset than semantics. She cares less that about whether like, an apple is considered a superfood or not and she cares more about what it can provide our bodies, nutrient-wise.)

Moving forward, here’s THE PIMP (party in my plants) SUPERFOOD DEFINITION:

Superfood, n. a food that provides highly-concentrated, super packed, woahhhhh so many nutrients in one small little dose!

So, can people get away with eating a crappier diet if they eat superfoods, too?…….

Julie says she’s all about the idea that “it all adds up.” She says, “the more good that we bring into our diet, the less room there is for the bad and over time, that can create a very positive change.” Julie’s a realist, ok?! She’s married to a German man who loves his pastry but also loves his goji berries and green smoothies! Which all sounds awfully familiar to the Party in My Plants philosophy that it’s all about eating more plants than you do crap! And it sounds like my relationship with my boo (unlike my former relationship with my ex-boo).

–> THE MORE SUPERFOOD ACTION A PERSON CAN DO, THE BETTER. <–

GAME TIME! (You know I love my games. Remember when we played “Spiralize that!” in episode 2?!) This game is: Superfood. Super fact. Super way to eat it.


SUPERFOOD #1: ACAI.

SuperfactS: Acai originated from Brazilian surf culture! (Surfs up, dude.) Peeps started to notice that acai bowls (which surfers were eating at acai cafes near the beach in Brazil) were fueling their long hours out in the waves and they wanted that kind of energy for themselves, too! Turns out, acai is an exceptionally balanced superfood, packed with carbs, plant-based fats like avocado (great for reducing inflammation) and antioxidants (what give it their instagram-able purple hue) which helps a ton with circulation of oxygen throughout our bodies which is one of the BEST things for us and our energy in general as well as for improving our athletic feats and our daily thinking!

Super way to eat it: IN SMOOTHIES! She does love her acai bowls, but she prefers to make them herself because a lot of smoothie bars add a lot of unnecessary refined sugar to theirs which really diminishes/negates the nutrient density of the acai! (<– That sucks; good to know!)

So, to make her own, she’ll either use the unsweetened frozen packs or unsweetened acai powder and then she’ll add frozen banana or medjool dates for natural sweetness. Lemme stop rambling and she can tell you how she makes her acai bowls in this awesome post she wrote about, well, how she makes acai bowls!!

#2: CACAO. (aka: LEGAL CHOCOLATE) (aka: Julie’s favorite superfood IF she has to choose a favorite which she doesn’t like doing.)

SuperfactS: cacao is one of the very best superfoods on the planet (Wahoo! Great news for all chocolate lovers!).

Ok, so here’s the lowdown: cacao grows on trees. The tree grows these football-like colorful pods. When you open a pod, inside there are these huge seeds that are called cacao beans even though they’re seeds (weird but just go with it). Kind of like coffee beans but the size of fava beans. If you dry these beans, remove their skin and press on them a bit, they crumble naturally into….NIBS!!!! Really the most pure form of healthy cacao we can eat! Chock full of natural plant-based fat (it’s actually a saturated fat but since it’s plant-based it won’t eff with your cholesterol!), antioxidants and minerals (especially iron and magnesium).

CACAO NIBS: pretty much the closest you can get to the way cacao naturally grows in da wild! (Or on da farm!)

Super way to eat them: sprinkled onto oatmeal, baked into cookies and brownies, on top of your Instagram smoothie bowl…

CACAO POWDER – To make the powder, the fat (that’s in the nibs) has been stripped away from it, leaving literally just the antioxidants and minerals (and having very low calories!). So this is probably one of THE MOST ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS YOU CAN EAT. IN THE WORLD. OUT OF ALL FOODS. SERIOUSLY.

Super way to eat it: smoothies, mixed with coconut yogurt, banana ice cream, in baked goods *YOU CAN USE IT 1:1 IN ANY RECIPE THAT CALLED FOR COCOA POWDER* Oh and if you’re wondering if baking it will destroy the amazing antioxidants, the answer is an exciting: NO! It’s really high heat (like roasting temperatures) that can kill the antioxidants.

{WONDERING ABOUT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CACAO AND COCOA? READ HERE!}

{And here’s Julie’s amazing cacao hot fudge recipe! And you’ll find a wholllleee chapter of cacao recipes in her super awesome book Superfood Snacks!}

#3: CAMU CAMU.

SuperfactS: it’s kind of like a rainforest cranberry! Which are traditionally harvested on canoes. Cool! It’s the #1 source of vitamin C of any food yet discovered. So that’s amazing for boosting immunity, enhancing skin, reducing inflammation and loads more. Note: you can’t cook with it! Also note: it’s VERY BITTER! So you’ll want to hide this in your recipes.

Super way to eat it: throw in a pinch or ¼ tsp into a smoothie, smoothie bowl, salad dressing, etc. and you’ll get so much vitamin C without even tasting it! So one expensive bag (yes, it’s expensive), can last FOREVER!

#4: CHIA SEEDS.

SuperfactS: Julie thinks that nobody has an excuse not to use these guys! They’ve got fiber, great healthy fats, great healthy minerals, they’re the epitome of a superfood!

Super way to eat it: sprinkled on top of things! Hummus, salads, smoothies, in baked goods (ground chia seeds is what she uses for baking!) and in chia puddings. Julie warned though that chia puddings can, umm, make you fart. Since chia seeds have so much fiber (1 – 1.5 tbsp is about ⅓ of people’s’ daily serving of fiber) be forewarned (and try not to eat too much chia pudding at once….).
I love Julie’s chia gel from her book Superfood Smoothies! It’s perfect (just a combo of chia seeds + water) for adding to smoothies to thicken them up and make them healthier 🙂

Here’s my go-to, make-weekly chia pudding recipe! (Both in chocolate and in vanilla).

And here’s Julie’s advice about sprucing up your chia puddings.

#5: GOJI BERRIES.

SuperfactS: Julie thinks they’re as close to a “perfect” food as you can really get! They’ve got all the major macronutrients in them: protein, antioxidant-rich fat, low-sugar carbs. They also have over 20 vitamins and minerals, more vitamin C than oranges, more beta-carotene than carrots, more iron than soybeans or spinach and huge amounts of antioxidants! They’ve been studied a ton: for brain, eye and cardiovascular health! Julie believes that goji berries are one of the staple, starter, MUST HAVE superfoods. They taste like a cross between a cranberry and a raisin.

Super way to eat it: sprinkled on a smoothie bowl, blended into a smoothie, on top of banana ice cream, oatmeal…the usual. But Julie loves to use them both savory too! They’re surprisingly great in sauces and soups! Which is why she put them in so many of her recipes in her wonderful book Superfood Soups!

#6: MACA. ~magic~

SuperfactS: It’s really an ENERGY FOOD! WOOT WOOT WOOT! This one is a superstar because of having micronutrients called phytochemicals which help out our adrenal glands like woah. It’s what is called an adaptogen – which only 1 in 4,000 plants is considered. Adaptogens work WITH our body to balance out the imbalances in our bodies! SERIOUSLY?!?!? Maca somehow knows, on it’s own how to freaking balance out our energy and hormonal wellness imbalances?! Props to you, maca.

{Note: it’s not a stimulant that’ll give you energy and then give you a crash. It actually helps you build your body by giving energy long-term.}

Super way to eat it: It tastes a little butterscotchy which means it goes great with chocolate things, nutty things, creamy things like banana things, date nut balls and this superfood nut butter that I adore.

Other things you might be wondering:

  • How do you store superfoods? In general, these specialty superfoods can be stored in the pantry but the ones with higher fat: like chia seeds or hemp seeds can last longer in the fridge 🙂
    Can our bodies become “immune” to superfoods? No. Our bodies need nutrients on a daily basis!
  • Can you overdo superfoods? Yes! You don’t need massive quantities of superfoods! It’s not like, if 1 tsp is great, ½ a cup is greater. NOPE. At some point, your body’s just going to stop digesting and absorbing the nutrients making it totally pointless.
  • How do you deal with the high prices of superfoods? You look at it like, you really don’t need a lot of it. LOOK AT THE COST PER SERVING. And you’ll see how actually not expensive superfoods are since one bag of, let’s say, camu camu can last like a century!
  • New to superfoods? Start with: chia seeds, goji berries, hemp seeds (great source of protein!) and one type of greens powder. We both love Amazing Grass! (The amazing sponsor for this show.)

So what next?…

  1. Buy 1-5 of Julie’s beautiful books. I promise you won’t regret them!

        

2. Hang out with Julie on the socials! Her website | Instagram | Facebook

3. GET YO’ AMAZING GRASS ON! With the amazing 40% discount! >> Go here and use coupon code PLANTPARTY40 at checkout for the Party in My Plants Podcast exclusive 40% off deal! << 

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