A couple of months ago I received a new collection of superfoods from one of my favourite organic companies, Neal’s Yard Remedies – I already love their products and books (find my previous review here), so I was really excited to try some of their new launches. Neal’s Yard are an all-organic brand that pride themselves on sourcing the most sustainable, pure and beneficial ingredients both for your direct consumption and for use in their amazing cosmetics too. Their staff are all passionate about what they sell and they have their own herbalists and nutritionists who ensure that every product provides the maximum benefit, so I know that I can always count on them to stock delicious and healthy goods.
The new or improved products in the collection that I got to try out included golden berries, mulberries, chia seeds, cacao powder, matcha green tea powder, lucuma powder and camu camu powder. What’s more, the ever-helpful staff were lovely enough to send some recipe cards that highlighted the best ways to use these superfoods. Here’s a bit of background to each one, as well as what I thought of them all…
These dried berries are also known as ‘physalis’ in the UK, and originate from Peru where their benefits have long been recognised. Golden berries are rich in antioxidants and B + C vitamins (including B12), so are a concentrated source of nutrients to support your body. I just love them for their tangy, tart taste – it complements sweet dishes such as porridge really nicely.
I’ve long been a fan of dried mulberries – they’re sweet, chewy and are reported to aid digestion and fight fatigue due to a host of essential fatty acids and vitamins. I loved using these ones in granola and muesli mixes, but my favourite way to eat them is stirred through creamy banana ice cream – they add a nice bit of texture and caramel sweetness to an already delicious snack.
Most of us will already be aware of the health benefits of chia seeds, and these seeds are powerhouses of energy: in Mayan, ‘chia’ literally means ‘strength’. The seeds are excellent sources of omega 3, iron, calcium and protein, and their hydrophilic properties mean that they swell up when placed in liquid and can therefore hydrate your system whilst aiding digestion. I love sprinkling them on porridge and smoothies, or you could make my Vanilla Chia Pudding for a satisfying breakfast.
Raw cacao powder
I’ve not met many people who don’t like chocolate, and if you’re going to eat it then raw cacao is the way to go. This powder is chocolate in its purest form: much less processed than cocoa, it retains all of the amazing health benefits normally lost through the heating of cacao beans to make commercial chocolates. Cacao is rich in magnesium, amino acids and zinc, thus promoting immunity, boosting endorphins and protecting your cells from damaging free radicals. I love using it to make Raw Chocolate Nutbutter Cups and my 60-second Chocolate Mousse.
Matcha green tea powder
Matcha green tea has recently exploded on the health food scene, with more and more cafes offering matcha lattes and other snacks containing this antioxidant-loaded wonder. With more concentrated benefits than standard green teas this powder provides even more nutrients, but also contains fibre to regulate your system and aid digestion after meals. I like making my own lattes with almond milk, but my favourite recipe using the superfood is my Matcha Mint Banana Ice Cream.
I’d never tried lucuma before this one from Neal’s Yard arrived, but I have to say it’s become one of my favourite superfoods. It is naturally sweet and quite similar to maca powder, with a caramel flavour that makes it wonderful to add to smoothies and raw desserts. Lucuma is a great source of fibre so helps to keep your digestion in great shape, and also supports your immune system.
Camu Camu powder
Another new superfood that I’d not previously tried, camu camu is a fruit that has a pleasant flavour when blended in smoothies and juices. According to the Neal’s Yard website, this powder has the highest natural vitamin C content of any food source recorded on the planet, with around 40 times as much as is found in oranges! For that reason it’s a great addition to the diet of anyone wanting to boost their immunity and reap the benefits of its rich antioxidants.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend checking out the excellent range of superfoods from Neal’s Yard and am so grateful to their generous staff for their continued kindness and advice. Most people are aware of their wonderful beauty and skincare products, but Neal’s Yard’s selection of edible goods is equally fantastic and all completely organic and sustainably sourced. To buy online or find out more about the company and their products head over to their website, www.nealsyardremedies.com.