Model, host, and health food blogger Mari Jasmine shares a recipe with hard-to-pronounce superfood ingredients but with clear benefits.
Photos by Francisco Nuñez
For those nuts about nutrition but squeamish about salads, superfoods have become quite the savior. As the name suggests, a superfood packs great health benefits into small doses, and often with less calories. While supermarket items such as salmon and avocadoes fall under the superfood category, many of these are exotic seeds, roots, and berries such as acai, quinoa, and spirulina.
“The one that I feel the most effect from is maca powder,” says Mari Jasmine, a model and host for ETC’s lifestyle show Etcetera. With shoots that can extend to a whole day, Mari relies on the native Peruvian root for the energy she needs.
“If you’re moody or if you’ve got a hormonal imbalance, maca can help support your body and fix the problem rather than have you rely on meds. It helps with PMS and gives you stamina,” she says. “Some men even take it to jumpstart their libido.”
While certain superfoods target specific health concerns, advocates like Mari attest to overall benefits such as support for one’s metabolism, a strengthened immune system, and a ward against cancer. An example of their potency: an orange is known for its vitamin C content but a superfood like goji berries has an even more substantial amount. What’s more, many of these superfoods come as powders that can be mixed into smoothies—a solution to their generally unappealing taste.
On her health blog, Mari shares numerous recipes where she incorporates superfoods into appetizing drinks and snacks. “You can bake with them. You can sprinkle it on cereal. I know people that make pancakes out of maca powder and who’ve used spirulina in a pesto dip,” says Mari.
Still, she considers smoothies the most effective way to get a quick shot of nutrients before you head out the door. For times when you actually want to enjoy what you’re ingesting, she suggests preparing a “smoothie bowl.” Fascinated, The Start asked Mari to whip up one of her body-boosting bowls. “It’s nice to top this with something like nuts, seeds, nut butter—anything you want. Then you can sit down and enjoy it like a meal.
“When it comes to vegetables, people think they’re boring if you just chop them up in a salad and that’s it,” she adds. “But by experimenting with different ways to prepare them, you can make really awesome things.”
The Superfood Smoothie Bowl
2 Frozen Bananas
1 Handful of Spinach
1/3 Cup of Blueberries (can be frozen)
1 Cup of Coconut Water (or regular water if unavailable)
1 Tsp. Spirulina powder or your chosen powdered superfood (maca and baobab are also delicious choices you can purchase online or at health food stores)
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with your choice of nuts, seeds, fruit, or butters. “You can even put cashew butter or berries,” says Mari. “This one in particular is topped with homemade granola and bee pollen.”