Monday, July 9, 2007

Wonder Foods

These two foods are practically a staple among health-conscious celebs and foodies. Read on to find out why -- and how to pronounce them -- so you can casually order an açaí smoothie with all the cool of George Clooney. ;-)

Açaí berries (ah-sigh-EE or ah-SIGH-ee): Brazilian surfers eat theirs with granola, and we know what their bodies look like! Packed with twice the disease-fighting antioxidants of blueberries, açaí has already made Oprah's list of Top 10 Superfoods, and the Washington Post called the blackberry-flavored fruit the "new pomegranate." But you may find it easier to sip yours: Celestial Seasonings sells an açaí-green tea blend, and açaí martinis are on chic bar menus everywhere.

* For a DIY açaí fruit soda, just mix chilled sparkling mineral water with a few ounces of açaí juice, available at health-food stores. Sip. Look cool. Feel healthy.


Quinoa (KEEN-wah): Dry quinoa looks a bit like sesame seeds, but when cooked, it becomes fluffy and has a hint of crunch, making it an excellent substitution for rice, couscous, and pasta. Quinoa's major claim to food fame, however, is its "nutritional profile." A cup of quinoa has more protein than a quarter-pound hamburger and more calcium than a quart of milk. Yowza! It's also loaded with iron, magnesium, and a bevy of other minerals and B vitamins. No wonder the Incas named it "the mother grain."

And here's a quick and easy way to use quinoa. Delicious!

* Quinoa and Black Beans
Makes 2 servings, about 1/2 cup each

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons broth (or water)
1/2 cup hot quinoa (cooked according to package directions)

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion and cook until almost tender. Add beans and broth (or water) to the pan. Cook until heated through. Stir in quinoa. For an extra zing, stir in your favorite salsa.

Per serving: 162 calories; 4 g fat (0 g sat.); 0 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 4 g fiber; 60 mg sodium; 224 mg potassium.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Acai berries are amazing!!!!!