How to Use Superfoods in Your Kitchen

Ramp up healthy living and learn some tips to eat well and feel energized without sacrificing flavorful, fun foods. Try these superfoods the next time you whip up a recipe.
By Danielle Isbell

This article has been posted with permission and originally appeared as 16 Superfoods to Stock Up On on Relish


In her book, Chia, Quinoa, Kale, Oh My!, Cassie Johnston shows readers how to do just that. With an easy guide to the superfood staples as well as 100+ diverse recipes, Johnston can transform a “health kick” into a new lifestyle. Below, Johnston shares her list of must-have superfoods (and what to substitute them for) along with three healthful recipes to try.

Stock Your Superfood Kitchen With:
Coconut Oil: Often considered the healthiest cooking oil, coconut oil is packed with a unique combo of nutrient compounds that aren’t found in other cooking oils.
Great used in recipes that call for: Butter, All other cooking oils

Fresh Lemons and Limes: You’ll notice that many of the recipes in this book call for fresh lemon and lime juice and zest. It’s a great way to impart tons of fresh flavor!
Great used in recipes that call for: Bottled juice, vinegar


Greek Yogurt: Thick and tangy Greek yogurt is a great high- nutrition substitute for mayo or sour cream in cooking and baking.
Great used in recipes that call for: Mayonnaise, Sour cream, Regular yogurt

Medjool Dates: One of the sweetest fruits on the planet, tender Medjool dates are available in most super-markets now.
Great used in recipes that call for: Other dried fruit

Natural Peanut Butter: Many peanut butters you find on store shelves are packed with additives and sugar. Try to find a peanut butter that is just peanuts and salt.
Great used in recipes that call for: Regular peanut butter, Almond butter, Sunflower butter

Olive Oil: Almost every home cook has a vial of olive oil in the pantry. In this book, you’ll see it listed in two different ways. Pick up a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for when the oil is used raw, and you can stick to a regular organic olive oil when the oil is used for cooking.
Great used in recipes that call for: All other cooking oils

olive-oilMark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

Organic Cane Sugar: This is the less-processed version of regular table sugar. It’s a good option for baked goods but, like all sweeteners, should be eaten in moderation.
Great used in recipes that call for: Turbinado sugar, Raw sugar, Table sugar, Coconut sugar, Maple sugar, Sucanat

Pure Maple Syrup: Not just for pancakes, pure maple syrup is an all-natural, vegan sweetener that is a great option for all-purpose sweetening.
Great used in recipes that call for: Honey, Agave nectar, Cane juice

Unfiltered Cider Vinegar: The health benefits of unfiltered cider vinegar could fill their own book! Look for organic, unfiltered vinegar for the best health benefits and flavor.
Great used in recipes that call for: All other vinegars, Lemon or lime juice

Sea Salt: Not all salt is created equal! All-natural sea salt is packed with minerals.
Great used in recipes that call for: Table salt, Kosher salt


Unsweetened Applesauce: Aside from being yummy, unsweetened applesauce is a workhorse of a superfood kitchen! Use it to sweeten smoothies and moisten baked goods.
Great used in recipes that call for: Pumpkin puree

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: Coconut has a natural sweetness that really comes out when it’s dehydrated and shredded.
Great used in recipes that call for: nuts or grains, like granola, bars, truffles and beyond. Don’t forget to try it in savory cooking, too!

Cacao Nibs: These little chunks of raw cacao are like the unprocessed cousin to chocolate chips. Unsweetened and richly chocolaty, they’re a great way to add chocolate flavor!
Great used in recipes that call for: Chocolate chips, Chopped dark chocolate


White Whole Wheat Flour: White whole wheat flour is a whole-grain flour made from soft white wheat, giving it a milder flavor than your typical whole wheat flour.
Great used in recipes that call for: Whole wheat flour, All-purpose flour

Whole Wheat Panko: Panko bread crumbs are a great way to make a crunchy breading or use as a filler. Try to track down whole wheat panko for the highest nutrition.
Great used in recipes that call for: Regular panko, Regular bread crumbs, Smashed saltines

Cassie’s Recipes Using Superfood Ingredients:

Chocolate-Coffee Energy Bites


Orange-Pomegranate Steel-Cut Oatmeal


Shrimp Tacos


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