First of all, thanks so much for all of your comments and emails about Monday’s post. Your support has meant the world to me over the months that led up to that race, and I was beaming as I read some of your stories about the races you’ve been participating in too. My legs almost feel back to normal but I’ve been keeping mileage fairly easy over the past couple of days, focusing on rest and proper nutrition. Speaking of which, lets talk about a recipe that is FULL of nutrition, and colour too!
1. Recipe of the Week. Recently I was having a chat with a friend about anti-aging cosmetics and skin treatments. It was triggered by a trip to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy my usual foundation, but I hadn’t been to this location before. It had one of the bigger cosmetic sections I’ve ever seen in a Shoppers, and it took longer than usual to find my usual brand.
Maybe it’s just been a while since I’ve purchased beauty products, but I couldn’t believe how many anti-aging products were stacked on the shelves. Not only that, but they were crazy expensive! I know a few people around my age who look for anti-aging features in their skincare, although it seems a little early, seeing as we’re in our 20s. To be honest (and maybe I’ll regret this later – only time will tell), I don’t really see the need and would far rather EAT my skin-boosting nutrients!
That’s where this Mega Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl comes in. It’s a delicious combo of bananas and berries, and a little bit of acai berry powder. (I used this one from Navitas Naturals) Acai berries (pronounced a-sigh-yee) provide a super-charged dose of antioxidants which fight free radicals, prevent age-related diseases, and keep our skin looking fresh and vibrant. Who wouldn’t want that!?
You can keep the mix simple with the ingredients above, or you can pump things up with a few optional ones. A scoop of vanilla protein powder will amp up the protein content and also help to boost muscle repair. This is great if you’re enjoying the smoothie as a post-workout breakfast. (I used Vega Performance Protein, which is vegan-friendly and gluten free.) I’ve also added chia seeds to the mix to work as a thickener, as well as a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids which boost skin health.
Blended altogether, you’ve got yourself a delicious smoothie that won’t put a huge dent in your wallet like anti-aging lotions and potions do… and this is far more fun to eat!
2. Sorghum. A few weeks back, I saw this beautiful Roasted Cherry Tomato, Arugula and Sorghum Salad over on my friend Kate’s gorgeous blog. Her photos are always stunning, her writing is like a friendly conversation, and she’s got a knack for salad making – all factors which explain why I’m such an avid reader! I’d heard of sorghum before, but had only seen it as a flour at Bulk Barn. I’d heard that it was gluten-free but didn’t know much else. Since I don’t cook with flours very often, I didn’t have an urge to try it.
Well, that was until I came across Kate’s salad. It turns out that, like quinoa, sorghum is a gluten free ancient cereal pseudograin. It grows as a grass, later harvested for its small, round grains, and is native to northern Africa. Wikipedia tells me that it has a range of uses:
- In ground flour form, it’s an ingredient in flatbreads and other baked goods in African and Indian cuisine
- The grains can be popped like popcorn, which I’ve yet to try, but here’s a how-to video and I’m totally going to do it because it sounds fun. (If you can’t find sorghum but have amaranth, here’s how to pop that too!)
- Koreans cook it with rice
- It’s fed to livestock
- Liquid can be extracted from it and turned into syrup which can be used like molasses
- In China, it’s fermented and turned into booze
(You can thank me later when you’re the coolest co-worker around the water cooler with all these facts, mmkay?) As for me (and Kate too, evidently), I used mine in a salad. In the mix was the following:
- mesclun mix
- red bell peppers
- shredded carrots
- a oil-free green dressing I made in the Vitamix with cilantro, rice vinegar, ginger, miso and a small drizzle of honey
The sorghum took about 50 minutes to cook in a pot of water, so it’s not quite as quick as quinoa. Having said that, the grains are quite firm and chewy when fully cooked, and I anticipate that they’d keep their texture if prepared in big batches, rather than going mushy within a few days. The size of the grains reminded me of Israeli couscous, and they absorbed the flavour of the dressing really nicely.
If you’re sick of quinoa or rice and want to add a new whole grain into your weekly meal rotation, I’d recommend giving this one a try. My bag from Bob’s Red Mill only set me back about $3.50, so it’s definitely a good budget-conscious ingredient!
So tell me…
- Have you tried sorghum before? How did you use it?
- What are your thoughts on anti-aging skin products vs eating nutrient-dense food?