Discovering delicious recipes with impressive health benefits is easier than you might you think. And one reliable place for inspiration is Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
The Cook With Us community is thousands of people interested in at-home cooking from all over the world. It's a place to connect with others, exchange healthy recipes, and trade hard-won kitchen wisdom. Looking for a gluten-free birthday cake recipe? A dairy-free breakfast casserole? Got a bunch of Brussels sprouts you don't know how to prepare? These are your people.
Throughout April, Cook With Us is focused on brain-boosting meals and snacks. Research has repeatedly shown that food can be used to prevent cognitive decline. Each week of this month's challenge highlights something specific that does exactly that: healthy fats, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory spices, and dark chocolate.
If you're not sure where to start, the videos below sync up with April's theme. With eight delicious recipes, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to brain-boosting meals and snacks.
- Jenny Dorsey, chef, activist, and the founder of Studio ATAO
- Julia Turshen, chef and bestselling author of several cookbooks, including her latest Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes For Healthy Comfort Food and Now & Again.
- Mia Rigden, chef, nutritionist, and the founder of RASA, a company specializing in individualized nutrition programs
- Nyesha Arrington, LA-based chef and former contestant on Top Chef
- Sam Kass, cookbook author and the former White House chef to the Obamas.
The best recipes for brain-boosting meals and snacks
1. Lemon rosemary olive oil cake
Olive oil is one of the heroes of the Mediterranean diet because it's full of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, both of which are good for your brain. Since this cake is made with olive oil *and* rosemary—an anti-inflammatory herb—it fits into three out of the four weekly challenges. It's the perfect recipe to make for brunch.
2. Avocado chocolate mousse
This recipe fits the Week 1 and Week 4 themes since it's made with avocado (um, best healthy fat ever?) and dark chocolate. Here's what it's not made with: dairy, gluten, eggs, or added sugar.
3. Gluten-free blueberry pie
Blueberries may be small, but they're loaded with antioxidants. They're also the star of this gluten-free pie. The crust is made with a mixture of coconut flour, hazelnut four, and tapioca starch. Besides being high in antioxidants, this dessert is full of fiber, too.
4. Beet hummus
Beets are full of antioxidants. Beet hummus is a simple (and delicious) way to cook with them. Pair it with veggies for a snack that's loaded with antioxidants on top of antioxidants.
5. Anti-inflammatory carrot cake smoothie
While incorporating spices into cooking is a no-brainer, they're often overlooked as a smoothie ingredient. But not with this recipe, which combines cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger with carrots and pineapple. The end result is so warming and yummy it tastes like dessert.
6. Anti-inflammatory salad
This recipe uses turmeric, ginger, and garlic with Dijon mustard and olive oil to make a flavorful salad dressing. Since the dressing is olive oil-based, that means this salad fits the Week 1 cooking challenge, too.
7. Dark chocolate popcorn bark
Sweet, salty, and crunchy, this snack satisfies on multiple fronts. The best part? You only need four ingredients to make it. Dried cranberries add the perfect amount of tartness.
8. Chocolate reishi muffins
Reishi is a type of mushroom that's linked to the prevention of cognitive decline as well as immune system supoprt. On their own, the taste is rich and earthy, but they're downright delicious when baked into these muffins. Whip up a batch to eat for breakfast throughout the week.
For more healthy recipes and cooking ideas from our community, join Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
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