What the heck are these superfood things people keep talking about? Certain foods (mainly fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds) are particularly packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
From avocado to zucchini, we've got the lowdown on these super-powered foods that can boost health from the inside out.
Just because they're superfoods doesn't necessarily mean they're super complicated to prepare, though. For those who are crunched for time, inexperienced in the kitchen or just not in the mood to cook an elaborate meal, we've put together a list of our favorite simple, healthy recipes.
Each of the meals featured below includes at least two superfoods, so you're guaranteed to get a nutrient-packed meal.
What are you waiting for? Go get cooking!
1. Pumpkin-Spiced Oatmeal
Thanks to pumpkin puree, cinnamon and milk (of your choice), this hearty oatmeal packs a nutritional punch with four superfoods and less than five minutes of prep time. Optional toppings of nuts and dried fruits provide a morning energy boost, while a dash of the cinnamon adds savory flavor, protects your heart and fights inflammation.
2. Colorful Flower Eggs
These baked eggs pack 12.5 grams of protein per serving, so you don't need a mid-morning snack. If you're not a fan of vitamin-rich bell peppers (which are loaded with Vitamins A and C that protect the immune system and skin) as the containers for your baked eggs, substitute eggplant, acorn squash or pumpkin.
3. Kale, Almond, Banana Smoothie With Chia Seeds
A perfect on-the-go breakfast, this smoothie recipe features a delicious combination of four superfoods: kale, banana, almond butter and chia seeds. Although the recipe calls for almond milk, consider subbing in soy or skim milk, which both contain essential vitamins and minerals that can help with losing weight, building muscle and fortifying bones.
4. Sweet Potato Hash With Eggs
A hearty and delicious breakfast that combines sweet potatoes, eggs and red, green and yellow bell peppers, this hash can easily accommodate add-ins. Toss in some meat (like sausage or shredded chicken) for extra protein, or up the veggies with onions, kale or spinach. Sweet potatoes, which provide 400 percent of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, are both delicious and beneficial to eye health.
5. Shirred Eggs With Smoked Salmon
This baked egg dish is super simple, layering eggs, Swiss chard, onions and chives with slices of gooey brie cheese and salmon (which is full of brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids). Although the recipe calls for heavy cream, consider using milk or a milk substitute to reduce calories, without forgoing the silky texture.
6. Breakfast Casserole With Spinach, Leeks, Cottage Cheese and Goat Cheese
This fancy-looking casserole will impress your friends and make them healthier. It features a hearty serving of spinach, a great source of iron, which aids in building muscles. Simply combine spinach with leeks, cottage cheese and goat cheese, bake for 20 minutes and enjoy.
7. Goat Cheese and Beet Salad
Beets are back! This salad features bright red roots alongside thinly sliced carrots. It's a recipe perfect for any fan of cancer-fighting root veggies. (Bonus: The high levels of potassium in beets help your body build muscle and proteins.) Toss the vegetables with pistachios (for fiber and protein), goat cheese and baby greens for a speedy, tasty lunch.
8. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
This chicken salad recipe uses Greek yogurt (which is packed with probiotics that can aid digestion and supply a healthy dose of protein) rather than mayonnaise for a deliciously creamy and healthy sandwich filling. Apples, almonds and green onions add tasty crunch to this light, gluten-free lunch.
9. Quinoa Salad With Red Pepper and Cilantro
Quinoa is a powerhouse seed that provides a light but protein-rich base for this cool salad. Topped with a citrusy vinaigrette made of cilantro, lime and mustard, this meal will leave you full, without the empty calories in most pasta salads.
10. Spinach, Avocado and Kiwi Salad
This salad is primarily made of fruit, with spinach playing second fiddle. Featuring kiwis (containing 117 percent of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C) and avocados (which are loaded with healthy fats and vitamins like B6, which promote healthy skin), these superfruits make this salad extremely delicious.
11. Orange, Avocado and Arugula Salad
A simple salad that's surprisingly filling, this recipe is a straightforward combination of avocado, orange, pomegranate, basil, mint and leafy, vitamin-rich arugula. The light dressing of lemon, olive oil and honey takes just a few minutes to prepare, and it adds a citrusy kick to the superfood salad.
12. Stacked Salmon Salad
Avocado, yellow squash and whole roasted red piquillo pepper are neatly layered to make this bread-free "sandwich." Yellow squash not only has high levels of Vitamin C, but its high content of lutein helps protect eye health.
Oven-baked salmon acts as the bread to the layers of antioxidant-rich veggies. The best part? This stacked gourmet lunch takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
13. Sweet Potato and Green Bean Salad With Maple-Mustard Dressing
This roasted sweet potato salad is the perfect meatless Monday main. Toss the taters with green beans, mixed leafy greens, toasted walnuts and dried cranberries for a meal that packs a punch without much prep.
14. Grilled Halibut With Kale Pistachio Pesto
Although grilled halibut provides a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, the superfood hero in this recipe is actually the pesto sauce. Made of basil, kale, pistachios, garlic, olive oil, lemon and Parmesan cheese, this antioxidant-rich sauce is as tasty as it is healthy.
15. Harvest Skillet Popped Lentils
For this recipe, roast lentils in a pan until they're crispy, nutty and flavorful enough to tempt even meat eaters. Combine green apples, butternut squash and sweet potato with the lentils, and season everything with cayenne pepper, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar.
This article originally appeared on Greatist.