Holiday Giveaways :: Day 6 :: Cookbook

Today, Day 6 of our holiday giveaways, Meredith Baird is back here to share with you the interview she did with Julie Morris, author of Superfood Kitchen: Cooking with Nature's Most Amazing Foods. AND we're doing a giveaway of Julie's new book! 

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Q: Hi Julie, thanks for the interview today. I was beyond impressed to find out that you did all of the food photography  yourself, and the layout and design? As if writing a book isn't hard enough- this part just blew me away. Please explain {wink}. 

Thank you! Well, I am extremely passionate about art of all forms (culinary arts obviously included)! In fact, when I was looking to go to college, instead of attending culinary school, I opted to go to Pasadena Art Center with a major in Fine Art (which I later switched to Advertising). It was there that I took several graphic design classes and photography classes and developed some base skills. But… my true calling is food, so I moonlighted as a freelance graphic designer for many years while I worked on developing my career as a natural food chef and recipe developer. It was nice being able to put some of my other interests to work within the book… although admittedly an enormous challenge!

Where did the idea for this book come from? Is this your first book?

Superfood Kitchen is the republished version of Superfood Cuisine, which is my first book. I’ve been a long time fan of superfoods (nutrient dense foods of all kinds), but was surprised and frustrated with the lack of information on how to use them in the kitchen. Initially, I started developing my own recipes simply for personal enjoyment. In true synchronicity, I was offered an executive chef position at an incredible superfoods company: Navitas Naturals. Working with such an array of amazing foods showed me not only the delicious diversity of superfoods, but also how many people were in the dark on how to use them, just as I once was. I realized it was time to gather together my experience and recipes, and put together a resource that health-seekers and food-lovers alike could use as a guide on how to use superfoods … which became Superfood Kitchen!

How long have you been passionate about a vegan/ superfood filled lifestyle?

I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14, but I started getting into a nutrient-dense, fully plant-based diet about 10 years ago. I love every bite of it.

What does your daily food routine look like?

I’m one of those people who wakes up hungry, so I usually have a couple dates or a homemade superfood energy bar before I go for an early morning run or workout. After, I’ll have a superfood smoothie, which varies from day to day, but includes things like hemp protein, maca, and camu powder mixed with fruit and coconut water. Since most days out of the week I’m testing out recipes, to be honest, the bulk of my day is fueled by grazing on whatever I’m making. As you can imagine, this can be a little bit random(!), so I like to balance it out with green juice and simple snacks like sprouted bread with almond butter. For dinner I usually have a WBS – World’s Biggest Salad – which varies as well but includes different types of greens, sprouts, avocado, seeds, quinoa, etc. And at some point during the day, there’s definitely a little chocolate consumption going on…

Do you have any favorite superfoods? Ones that you most highly recommend?

If I were to recommend one superfood over any others, it would be leafy greens: they’re inexpensive, local, fresh, and abundant in benefits, and are an ideal everyday superfood. A couple others I love (there are so many to choose from!) would be chia seeds for their ease of use and valuable healthy fats; hemp seeds (or hemp powder) for their exceptional source of plant-based protein; and cacao for it’s tremendous antioxidant content, important minerals, and so much more!

The holidays are on their way! Do you have a recipe from your new book that you can share with our readers?

I love this warming recipe as a replacement for hot chocolate. It is profoundly energizing, and a wonderful way to enjoy maca – an incredible superfood that helps us balance, recharge, and de-stress.

HOT MACA RECIPE {serves 1}

INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon maca powder

1 tablespoon maple syrup, or coconut palm sugar

1¼ cups homemade cashew milk,

or store-bought unsweetened almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the ingredients in a blender for just a moment to incorporate the maca powder thoroughly with the liquid. Pour into a small saucepan and heat over a low stove setting until mixture is warm and has just begun to become frothy.

Reprinted with permission from Superfood Kitchen  © 2012 by Julie Morris, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Julie Morris

Any words of wisdom you would like to share with people who are trying to get on a healthy tract?

I know first hand the terrible amount of confusion regarding what to eat. The good news understanding how to live a naturally energetic, healthy lifestyle can be profoundly simple. I think if there’s one thing that we should focus on, it’s to get away from food dogmas and semantics… and instead simply focus on the overall nutrient density of food (the ratio of micronutrient [vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytocehmicals] per calorie]). What foods are going to give us the most nutritional bang for every caloric buck we “spend?” When you look at food from a nutrient density standpoint, healthy choices become crystal clear. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun…it’s food!

THIS IS SO TRUE!!!!!!!!!! LOVED YOUR EXPLANATION OF IT, JULIE.

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GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!