Food for Thought

While I’m inclined to believe that most recipes and products that tout themselves as being beneficial to brain function are stretching the truth to various degrees, I can’t deny that there are some things edible that truly do boost my ability to do heavy mental lifting. Buzzwords and hype aside, the best brain foods are unarguably straight from nature. My personal favorite happens to be blueberries, which are most often cited for their high levels of antioxidants, but are also widely recognized for actually improving memory- Something I could certainly use some help with!

In that same spirit, I created a recipe for Superfood Pops some time ago that include blueberries and acai juice, not to mention a healthy dose of dark chocolate to sweeten the deal. Now that recipe is available both on the CookThink website as part of their weekly recipe listing, but also in their official cookbook, now available in print! Though not vegan or vegetarian, there are a number of animal product-free recipes, and many others that can be adapted with easy substitutions. If nothing else, these recipes provide wonderful inspiration for some healthy and easy meals, all developed by fellow food bloggers.

Happily, I have an extra copy of this cookbook to share, and I’d love for one of you to have it!  Everyone is eligible, but please only enter once per person.  To enter into the random drawing, leave a comment with your name and email address, and tell me what your favorite study snack or “brain food” is. Recipes are encouraged, but not necessary. The entry period will close September 5th at midnight, EST. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter in this same post, so make sure you remember to check back here!

If you’re all riled about about smart recipes and healthy snacks now, fear not, you don’t need to wait or even buy a new book! Compiled by the brains behind Go Dairy Free, Alisa Fleming has brilliantly assembled a free ebook of back-to-school recipes from her own personal files and many other health-minded bloggers. As the name would imply, all the recipes are dairy-free, but not necessarily vegan; an easy fix for most cases, though. Besides, you have nothing to lose- It’s totally free for download, so hop on over there and check it out!

UPDATE: As chosen by a random number generator, the winner of the ThinkFood cookbook is radioactivegan!  Congratulations!  You’ll be hearing from me shortly via email.

35 thoughts on “Food for Thought

  1. Dark Chocolate is by FAR my favorite brain food because of the lift it also gives, while being just healthy enough for me to feel good nibbling on it! I’m also learning to enjoy seaweed in various forms for the benefits the different types can provide.

  2. love fresh blueberries when they are in season. also chocolate for the energy boost and carrots for their crunch.

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  3. I like to make my own “Trail Mix” with almonds, cashews, raisins or dried cranberries, and dark chocolate M&M’s. Always gives me a good burst of energy so I can focus better and its addictive.

  4. Awesome giveaway! And thanks for reminding me about Alisa’s cookbook…I totally forgot to mention it in my post this morning!

    My favorite brain food is any kind of nut butter. Honey PB is a favorite!

  5. My favorite breakfast brain food recipe;

    egg whites
    peanut butter

    blend all together in a blender, add blueberries, then to the pan for delicious pancakes. Top with unsweetened applesause and strawberries and wala!

  6. I am happy to hear about your recipe being in CookThink’s cookbook! Good Job!
    My favorite brainfood is almonds. I need brainfood while I’m studying. Almonds are a reach away!

  7. Well, I’m sure this isn’t what YOU would call ‘brain food’ but I certainly did throughout many all-nighters in college….Milk Duds.

    Oh, yes I did!!

    But now I have mended my ways and I really love Marcona Almonds. They have a great burst of protein-rich (brain food) yumminess that gives you a little crunch while the sweet meaty nuts kinda melt in your mouth. Loves them!!!!

  8. Speaking of blueberries, my favorite afternoon snack is a small bowl of blueberries, unsweetened choco chunks, and raw cashews!

  9. How cool! Congrats on your recipe getting published!

    My favorite snack food is a date stuffed with an almond, drizzled with honey and rolled in (unsweetened) coconut. It’s heavenly!

    P.S. I made cupcakes with applesauce instead of eggs and thought of you in my latest post :)

  10. Oh heavens, I’m going to be so predictable right now ;) Really dark, 80%+ dark chocolate is my pick. It gives me energy and makes me feel happy, which helps the brain tick, I think!

    Apart from that, a lovely warming bowl of soup, though again, more for the emotional/comforting connotations than any real brain-whizz-bang effect!

  11. A few of my favorite ways to use blueberries are:
    -eating them in my mom’s scones (she doesn’t use a recipe– so I can’t give it to you. Besides, they turn out different very time!)
    -adding a handful to pancakes
    -I recently cooked peach with blueberries. Just cut up a peach, toss it into a small pan with a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries, and but some water in the bottom. Bring it to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes or so. The water condenses to to make yumy syrup that coats all the fruit. Yum!

  12. Brainfood! My fav is some raw almond butter on homemade cinnamon bread, toasted, with insane chia seeds and raisins on top. Insane piece of toast! But more snackable: unsalted roasted peanuts, with some carrots on the side. So yummy!

    PS: want to thank you for your wonderful blog recipes! I just printed loads of ’em and am excited and inspired to try some new dishes, you’re lovely!

  13. I don’t think this food is better for the brain, but finding and digging out the potato chips that are folded in half always makes me think harder. And, because their addictive, I suspect that they contain some kind of stimulant.

  14. I always turn to strawberries when doing homework. Sweet but I don’t feel too guilty about eating a whole bowl of them, plus finger foods are always good in any situation!

  15. I love cashews and grapes (fructose goes straight to my brain), or my special mix containing spelt pops (puffed spelt), dried mango, papaya and apple.
    (Sorry for mistakes, I’m from Germany… 0:)

  16. fruit always picks me up- berries (grapes, strawberries, and blueberries are my favorites!) and watermelon especially :)
    Green smoothies are also great, one of my faves is:
    1 banana
    1 quart (or more) spinach and/or kale
    2-4 oz of berries (I prefer strawberries or blueberries over anything else)
    3-5 coconut ice cubes (just frozen coconut water, normal ice cubes work too)
    And I like to add in some nuts, ground flaxseed, ground ginger, spirulina, or coconut meat- adding supplements that can be ground up is also great for adding in! :)

  17. I’m a big fan of chocolate-peanut butter smoothies. Just soy milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, a little bit of agave nectar, a banana, and ice. Sometimes I put blueberries in too, but I just really like blueberries.
    A classic fruit smoothie can be delicious, too, but there’s just something about chocolate and peanut butter for a late night study session!

  18. Peanuts indeed are brain-boosters but too much of it could result to lots of pimples. So might as well just eat what’s enough.
    Anyways I would prefer chocolates than peanuts.

  19. My favourite snack right now is natural soya yoghurt mixed with fresh fruit (preferably berries or stone fruit, but their season is over here so new-season apples are stepping in to fill the void) and oats. Spelt oats are my favourite because they stay crispy in the yoghurt-fruit mix. Sometimes I add a drizzle of maple syrup for some extra sweetness.
    It’s healthy, delicious, and incredibly easy – plus it covers lots of food groups!

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