By staples, I mean the basics. I’m talking about Sunday pancakes, the pot of rice that you make on meal prep day, sandwiches, and the standard salads.
Adding some simple toppings and additions will just give those staples a bit of a boost. I like to think we can make our food a little more functional this way. We can get stuck on autopilot and, as a result, bored. Sometimes, we just need a lightbulb to go off to jumpstart a new creativity.
Next time you are putting together some staple foods, try these functional additions:
Let’s face it, salads can get boring. A simple step like topping them with ingredients like crunchy chickpeas, nutritional yeast, hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds give your brain some healthy omega 3’s, additional plant-based protein, and B vitamins for energy.
Hummus is something that I use instead of mayo in sandwiches, quesadillas and wraps. It is packed with fibre to help keep you full longer, and antioxidants to boost immunity. Try adding roasted beets, garlic, red pepper or artichokes to your homemade hummus for different flavours.
Pancakes are a weekend fave around my house and the batter needs a boost. This is a great way to sneak in extra nutrients for those picky little eaters. I go as far as adding in ground flax for fibre, shredded coconut and chia seeds for healthy fats, and pureed pumpkin for digestion and extra vitamins.
Rice is a great filler, base for stir fries, and side dish for several meals. But, it bores me. I’m always looking for ways to make rice more functional, and this is how I usually do it. I skip the water and cook it with a can of coconut milk or broth. I stir in fresh herbs like ginger, cilantro and lime juice. I fry it up, once cooked, with chopped onion, garlic, carrots and peas. These add a little colour, some vitamins and minerals, and major flavour.
Water is a staple for LIFE and I see many clients who hate drinking it. My suggestion is to make it more functional (yes, it is possible) by adding in muddled mint, a sprig of rosemary, sliced cucumber, thinly sliced ginger, lemon juice, orange peel, even chia seeds, maple syrup and lime. My favourite trick is to fill up ice cube trays with any of these wonderful ingredients, and make flavoured ice cubes to make your plain ol’ water more exciting.