Eat/Drink: Recipes create nutritious feasts

How many superfoods are there in the world?

Probably too many to list but self-taught cook and author Rena Patten chose her favourites to create more than 100 recipes for her seventh cookbook Superfoods — 7 essential ingredients for living well.

The Cherrybrook author, 62, chose broccoli, quinoa, amaranth, chia, kale, seaweed and raw cacao for their highly nutritious qualities and health benefits.

By definition a "superfood" is a food that is packed with powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients that are not only supposed to keep you healthy from the inside out but may also help to ward off diseases.

"Superfood is a word that everybody is using because people are looking after what they eat," Mrs Patten said.

"We should all be eating more of these seven ingredients because they are very good for you.

"For instance, raw cacao is not processed like chocolate, has more antioxidants than blueberries or green tea and has more magnesium than any other foods."

She said the idea for Superfoods came from being constantly asked what to cook with kale when people saw big bunches of it in her supermarket trolley.

"For me it's all about showing people how to use the ingredients and how versatile they can be," the mother of three said.

Each chapter of the book is dedicated to one of the seven ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes and details of its health benefits.

■ Rena Patten is the best-selling author of Cooking with Quinoa and Quinoa for Families, both with gluten and wheat-free recipes.

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