We have long been fans of Julie Morris, the Los Angeles-based natural foods chef and pioneer in cooking with superfoods. Julie’s mission is simple: to share recipes and nutrition tips that make a vibrantly healthy lifestyle both easy to achieve and delicious to follow and it translates to her books.
Superfood Snacks: 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes is a not just a cookbook but a mini superfood encyclopedia explaining why each included superfood is so good for us, why we crave certain flavours and textures and how best to address these cravings via superfoods. There is also a substitutions list for when you don’t have a specific superfood to hand, healthier sweetener advice, detailed benefits of common herbs and spices, advice on kitchen equipment, a conversion chart for liquid and non-liquid ingredients, a resources guide and money saving tips.
Complete with a coded guide that explains if a recipe is helpful for beauty, bone strength, heart health, immunity or protein, recipes also feature feel good facts about the main ingredient and superfood tips about how get the best from each dish.
The recipes are unique and interesting takes on familiar or classic snacks and popular foods and the results are energising, feel good, delicious dishes that increase wellbeing within and without. So far we have made the Chia Thins, Cranberry Pistachio Buckwheat Granola, Candied Hemp Seed Clusters and Mulberry Licorice Chews, making substitutions when necessary – swapping out oil, gluten and always agave – and still ending up with a great tasting snack.
This is our new go-to recipe book and we so enjoy knowing why each recipe we make is good for us. The results are often beautiful enough to be wrapped as gifts and we are learning from this book – did you know that mochi, the short grain glutinous rice cake puffs up when cooked to resemble a fried food? This fun fact blew our minds and our absolute favourite recipe from the book is Maca Mochurros made from mochi, coconut oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon, maca and salt and just as good as the classic churro.
We spoke to Julie about her love of superfoods and the inspiration behind the book.
What inspired you to create Superfood Snacks?
There’s so many ways to truly enjoy a healthy diet, and many of us find it encouragingly easy to incorporate smart breakfasts, smoothies, juices, and nutrient-dense meals. It’s snacks, believe it or not, that are often our biggest downfall. I hear from family, friends, and clients all the time the struggle that surrounds what to munch on outside of structured meals which leads to acting on impulsive not-so-healthy cravings. To be fair, “healthy snacks” themselves have had a long-standing reputation of being pretty boring. Show me the person who is actually excited about curbing a craving with a bag of baby carrots! But in reality, there’s no reason for snacks to be destined to only the categories of either a “bore” or a “cheat.”
From superfood standbys like the Every Berry Smoothie Bowl to adventurous must-tries like the Maqui Mint Truffles or Brussels Sprout Crisps, these wholesome snacks and sweets will nourish, delight, and energise the whole family.
Each of the recipes within combines a culinary (read: delicious) focus, along with the same kind of eating ideology that applies to individual superfoods: eating with nutrient-density in mind. It’s not about counting calories; it’s about making every calorie count with stores of micronutrients packed inside. This is achieved through the reliance on plant-based whole foods and best of the best superfoods as first choice ingredients, which shine in the realm of nutritional bang per caloric “buck.”
How do you define a superfood?
I define superfoods as the most nutrient-dense, benefit-rich foods found in nature; foods that have the most amount of micronutrients per calorie.
Crave-worthy treats can be abundantly healthy too.
I’m not interested in semantics and see “superfoods” as a general philosophy of eating: an ongoing adventure to acquire the very best foods available and transform them into delicious cuisine.
What are your tips for creating healthier snacks?
Lean on fruits as sweeteners: For many of us, a snack craving goes hand-in-hand with a sweet craving. While grabbing a piece of fruit is always a first-choice in this instance, if you’re in the mood for something a bit more decadent, try utilising fruits and superfruits to help boost the sweetness of a recipe to help reduce the overall sugar, while amping up the nutrition at the same time. Instead of a sugar-saturated pastry, creating no-bake cookies using whole foods like dates and dried mulberries is surprisingly satisfying and nutritionally well rounded. I also like mixing sweet goji berries into trail mixes and muesli to add more than just flavor, but also stores of antioxidants.
Sprinkle with superfood seeds: “Superseeds” like hemp, chia and flax and even quinoa are a great way to easily boost the nutrition of anything you put them in with. You can throw some hemp seeds on top of avocado toast, stir some chia seedsinto a fruit cup, or bake flaxseeds into a chocolate cookie. This simple addition will add extra protein, fiber, essential fatty acids and trace minerals to anything you’re eating. Nutrient density is enhanced, and satiation is increased – win-win!
Sneak in superfood powders: There are so many incredible superfoods that now come in an easy to use powdered form, which makes them fantastically simple to mix into snack recipes of all varieties. From mixing wheatgrass powder into guacamole, to adding protein powders to flours, you can boost pretty much any snack recipe out there with at least a small spoonful of superfood “something”. Be a health opportunist!
At the end of the day, snacking isn’t something we should feel guilty about. It’s something we should feel great about and that’s exactly what you’ll enjoy with superfood snacks.