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10 superfoods of 2015

Kale and quinoa have made way for kelp, freekeh and teff. Sonal Ved lists some new-age super foods you must stock your larder with

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10 superfoods of 2015
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Lotus seeds
Also known as pabdi, lotus seeds are obtained from the flower. This pebble-hard ingredient is crunchier than fried urad dal. A green stem that hides underneath its exterior is removed before snacking on it. Lotus seeds can also be cooked like popcorn. Slow-roast in a closed utensil to obtain a bowl of fresh makhana.

Farro


Belonging to the wheat family, farro is a sensational ingredient that goes into many Italian recipes, including salads and antipasti. After soaking it overnight, the kernel is boiled until al dente and tossed with olive oil and seasoning. It is rich in zinc which improves complexion and can leave you feeling satiated hours after lunch time.

Bone broth


From body builders to detox enthusiasts, bone broth is a trend born out of the Paleo diet movement that has people aping their ancestor's dietary habits. Meat bones are saved and bubbled with gallons of water, the elixir is seasoned, simmered and sipped in order to slim down the waist line and boost the immune system. Easy to make at home, the wood-coloured drink can be had on its own or added to soups.

Teff


Learn to snack on this and there will be something in common between you and Victoria Beckham. The grain, of Ethiopian origin, is gluten-free and is the size of poppy seeds. The amino acid-rich ingredient has to be pounded into a fine flour and can be used to make pancakes, breads, scones and other bakery foods or added to salads as a whole.

Acai berry


Locally available in frozen form, acai tastes predominantly tart with few bitter and fewer sweet notes. It has a light chocolaty taste (both acai and cocoa beans contain polyphenols). The tiny black fruit can be blended into a smoothie with orange juice, yogurt and a dash of honey.

Freekeh


Just when food geeks got familiar with farro, on came freekeh (pronounced free-key). The grain of Middle Eastern origin is a power house of potassium and magnesium and loaded with fibre. It was popularised by Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi who used it to make freekeh pilaf. The grain can replace rice in most dishes, including in sushi.

Chia seeds


Unless you are a food connoisseur you won't be able to tell the difference between Mayan descendant chia and desi subja seeds. Sprinkled on salads or blended into smoothies, chia fluffs up when in contact with water. They taste crunchy when dry and leave a slimy mouth-feel if soaked in liquid. The ingredient is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and minerals and promises to leave you feeling full for long.

Kelp


Kelp is gourmet and gorgeous. The seaweed found in deep oceans has a snappy texture and an umami flavour. It is abundant in minerals, considering it grows so close to the seabed. It is available in dried form and can be used to toss into salads, and added to ramen.

Moringa powder


The luscious green colour that this powder lends to your smoothie is enough to convert anyone into a moringa maniac. Loaded with more antioxidants than blueberries or green tea, moringa has a leafy, spinach-like taste and is of African-Asian origin.

Black rice


To make up for polished white rice's bad reputation, black rice comes with nutritional benefits such as iron, vitamin E and antioxidants. It looks beautiful when thrown into a bowl of salad because black is hardly a colour we expect on our plates. It tastes like brown rice, just nuttier.

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