Nutrition is a vital part of living a brain healthy lifestyle. We are excited to share recipes that have ingredients that have special benefits for your brain. We hope you enjoy!

Sweet Potato Brownies with Raw Chocolate Sauce

(Makes 10-20 depending on pan size)

 

2 med-large sweet potatoes (1 lb 13 oz)

About 14-15 pitted medjool dates (8 oz)

2/3 c ground raw almonds (3 oz)

½ c organic brown rice flour (3.3 oz)

5 tbs organic cacao powder (1 oz)

1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Pinch of Himalayan salt

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350C, then peel and cut sweet potatoes into chunks.  Place in a steamer for about 20 minutes until they are very soft and starting to fall apart.

Put dry ingredients into a bowl, whisk to combine and set aside

Add the potatoes and dates into the food processor until smooth creamy, trying to only eat a few bites ;)

Add into bowl with dry ingredients and vanilla extract, stirring until well combined. 

Pour into a lined baking dish (I used a 9x11, which makes 20.  You can also use an 8x8 pan for thicker brownies and make 10) for about 20 minutes until a fork poked in the brownie comes out clean (might be longer with an 8x8 pan).  Remove from the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes, make sure to be patient, this step is crucial for the potatoes to stick together.  Then remove the brownies from the pan and let them sit out for a few more minutes before cutting. 

Serve with raw chocolate sauce (recipe below).  Also tastes good over organic vanilla coconut ice cream J

 

Raw Chocolate Sauce

 

Ingredients

 

4 Tbs organic coconut oil

2 Tbs maple syrup

¼ c organic cacao powder

1 tsp + ¼ tsp organic vanilla extract

Small pinch of Himalayan salt

 

Combine the coconut oil and the maple syrup together on a stovetop.  Heat on medium, bringing to a boil.  Allow the mixture to boil for about 30 seconds, constantly stirring.

Pour into a bowl, adding in rest of the ingredients, stirring until combined. 

Serve over brownies hot or let cool at room temperature (I like it best when it’s like a hot fudge sauce, straight off the stove J)


Benefits to the Brain

 

Cocoa

“Flavonal-rich cocoa can increase the cerebral blood flow to gray matter, suggesting the potential of cocoa flavanols for treatment of dementia and strokes” concluded the researchers in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.  It helps with more mental energy, helping people perform better on tests with less mental fatigue.  Cocoa helps with endurance and it also helps with blood flow and heart health amongst other healing benefits.

 

Chocolate

Chocolate not only helps improve memory and cognitive functions, but is also helps regulate blood pressure, endorphins (happy chemicals) and balances hormones.  Make sure the chocolate is at least 65% pure cocoa of this wonderful gift on earth for maximum brain benefits. Riboflavin, potassium and zinc are the key brain builders in chocolate.

 

Potassium

Potassium helps neurons function at their best by facilitating the flow of the signals between the brain, organs and muscles, it helps with balancing electrolytes and helps vital nutrients get the right body system in the correct amount. Good sources include bananas, oranges, tomatoes, beet greens, beans and potatoes


Turmeric Carrot Lentil Soup


(5 servings)

Ingredients

2 lbs organic carrots (I like the rainbow mix from Trader Joes)

½ c organic green lentils

1 ½ c water

6 cloves organic garlic

4 Tbs organic ghee

1 can organic coconut milk

¼ c organic unsweetened almond milk (I like Califa)

1 Tbs dried rosemary (1.5 g)

2 tsp organic turmeric

2 tsp organic cumin

2 tsp mustard seed

½ tsp dried sage

Dash of cayenne

¾ tsp Himalayan salt (or to taste)

Pepper to taste

½ c toasted organic walnuts (for garnish)

 

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 350F

Cut carrots into chunks (you have to option to peel, I like to leave mine on for more nutritional benefits but it is a little sweeter without the peel), place on baking tray with 2 Tbs of ghee, salt, pepper and garlic cloves with skin on.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until they are very soft.

While carrots are cooking, start making the lentils by boiling the water first then adding in the lentils, bringing it back to a boil uncovered.  Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover for about 20 minutes or until soft.

While lentils are cooking, toast walnuts in a pan on the stove top on med-high heat for a few minutes to release the flavor, be careful not to burn them.  Set aside for garnish. 

In the same pan, put 2 Tbs of ghee in a frying pan with the turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds, cooking until the seeds begin to pop.  Turn heat off once they begin to pop.  This allows the flavor profiles to be more prominent in your dish.

Once the carrots are cooked, peel the roasted garlic and put them in a blender with the lentils (there will most likely be extra water in the pot, add that in too) along with the rosemary.  Then add in the coconut milk and the spices, blend until desired consistency is reached. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with toasted walnuts.

 


Benefits to the Brain 

 

Sage

Has been shown to help memory recall faster and to a greater extent than when not taking sage.  It has been shown to help people keep calm, stay more alert and more content for up to six hours after taking the spice.   It has been shown to improve mood and reduce anxiety.  It has been shown to improve the memory-power of older adults.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric (and its active ingredient curcumin) promote brain health by preventing the buildup of harmful plaques between brain cells. Turmeric has powerful
antioxidant properties that help protect neurons from free radical damage while also having the capability of generating new brain cells and neural pathways. Manganese and potassium are the primary brain nutrients found in turmeric.

 


Spicy Lemon Mint Quinoa

(5 servings)

 

1 3/4 c organic vegetable stock

1 c organic quinoa

1 bay leaf

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs organic ghee

1 tsp organic cumin

1 tsp packed lemon zest

1 Tbs organic parsley leaves (chopped)

¼ c organic mint leaves (chopped)

1 Tbs maple syrup

1 Tbs organic green onion

¼ c toasted pine nuts

1/3 c dried organic cranberries (I like the ones from Trader Joe’s)

¼ c celery (optional)

Small handfuls of organic arugula and organic spinach (optional)

Organic cayenne pepper to taste

Himalayan salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

Directions

 

Rinse quinoa until water runs clear and drain. Place in pan with vegetable
stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook on low for 15 minutes. Remove quinoa from the burner and stir in lemon juice, maple syrup, ghee, cumin and some salt and pepper.  Let sit for about 5-10 minutes to soak up the lemon juice. When quinoa mixture has cooled, stir in green onion, parsley, lemon zest and mint. Let sit in fridge for an hour before serving. Toss with Mint-Garlic Dressing if more flavor is needed and to add a little boost to the salad.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toasted pine nuts and cranberries.

 

Mint-Garlic Dressing for Quinoa

 Ingredients:

1/4–1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, to taste (start with less)

1/2 cup organic, unrefined oil

1 organic garlic clove, minced (or to taste)

1 Tbsp. fresh organic mint leaves, minced

1 tsp maple syrup

 

1. Combine lemon juice, mint, and garlic in a blender.

2. Slowly add oil while blending to emulsify.

 


Benefits to the Brain  

 

Mint

Helps with digestion, has been shown to help people stay focused on their task and increase performance.  It also helps with the reduction of stress and anxiety.

 

Selenium

Selenium’s antioxidant protection helps prevent free radical damage that leads to cognitive decline, memory loss and “brain fog.” Selenium is present in just about every cell in the body and is essential for many processes in the body.  Food sources include fish, meat, grains, nuts, tomatoes and broccoli. 


Spinach Arugula Salad with Rosemary Avocado Vinaigrette

(5 servings)

 

Ingredients Salad:

4 oz organic baby spinach leaves, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces

3 oz of organic arugula

1 ½ cups whole organic grape tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup shaved or julienned jicama

½ organic avocado cut into slices

½ cup raw almonds (chopped)

1/3 cup dried organic cranberries

¼ cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese

2 Tbs fresh organic basil leaves torn into pieces

Coarse ground black pepper for garnish

 

Dressing:

3-4 Tbs raw apple cider vinegar (Braggs is a great brand)

2 Tbs shallot, minced

1 Tbs fresh organic rosemary

2 Tbs fresh organic basil

2 organic garlic cloves

1 organic avocado

1 1/2 tsp real maple syrup

½ cup extra virgin organic olive oil

¼ c water, to thin as needed

Himalayan salt to taste

 

Directions

 

Arrange the first 5 salad ingredients on the plate. Sprinkle with toasted almond slivers, cranberries, cheese and basil. Combine first 4 dressing ingredients and blend in a blender or cuisinart until the rosemary is chopped into pieces as small as you can get.  Then add in the avocado and maple syrup, blending until emulsified, then in the olive oil to completely emulsify (goal is to not have oil separated from the rest of the ingredients) Add water as needed to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste with sea salt. Put in fridge until ready to serve on salad.

 


 Benefits to the Brain 

 

Rosemary

Has been shown to decrease anxiety as well as improve memory before a test by sniffing the oil.  It has also been shown to help prevent blood clotting in the arteries which can lead to stroke.  Treatment with rosemary extract worked as effectively as Prozac in treating depression-like symptoms, according to a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

 

Avocados

Avocados contribute to brain health by promoting cell-to-cell communication while also improving your body’s ability to deliver other vital nutrients to the brain. They may also reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The primary brain nutrients they contain include are thiamine, riboflavin, zinc, omega-3 and omega-6.

 

Spinach

Spinach helps to improve learning capacity as well as motor skills and may slow or reduce the effects of age-related cognitive loss. The antioxidants and flavonoids in spinach also help in the prevention of cancer and heart disease. It is loaded with brain nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, choline, manganese, potassium, zinc, selenium, omega-3 and omega-6.