Wheatgrass, maca and coconut oil for your 4th of July picnic? Why, yes! We asked super-foodie Julie Morris (author of Superfood Kitchen) to share a few of her favorite recipes to sneak into the Independence Day line up. Both of these crowd-pleasing recipes include their fair share of superpowers with little sacrifice involved for tastebuds…

Coconut oil and sweet potatoes are a match made in foodie heaven. Upgrade your plain potato to something sweeter and add this special homemade spice blend that sneaks in a little nutritious cayenne and maca powder. Expect the general consensus to be nothing short of “wow.”  The peel on root vegetables is where the most nutrition is, and sweet potatoes are no exception. Be sure to roast these fries unpeeled to lock in more flavor and squeeze in those extra minerals!

This quinoa dish is an easy sell for big crowds too. Almost everyone has given this tiny grain a try by now, and it’s nutty taste makes it a perfect match for my drool-worthy pesto, a tasty sauce with some very nutritious secrets!

Dig in – and enjoy a happy and healthy Fourth of July!

Makes 4–6 servings


1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, tightly packed
2 cups chopped fresh basil, tightly packed
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1⁄3 cup EFA oil (a blend of omega fatty acid-rich oils)
1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp freeze-dried wheatgrass powder
1 tsp nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups baby spinach, tightly packed and cut chiffonade-style (a.k.a. extra thin)


Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 30 minutes or until soft. Slice thinly.

Use a food processor to blend the basil, hemp seeds, both oils, wheatgrass powder, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and garlic into a pesto sauce.

In a large bowl, toss some of the pesto (use as much as desired) with the quinoa, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach. Serve cold, or gently heat.

1 part dry quinoa : scant 2 parts water
1 cup dry quinoa = 3 cups cooked quinoa

Rinse the quinoa (some quinoa is sold pre-rinsed) using a fine mesh sieve or strainer.

Combine the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the quinoa is slightly translucent and tender.

Makes 4–6 servings


2 lbs sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp mesquite powder
1/2 tsp maca powder
1⁄8 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coconut sugar


Preheat the oven to 450˚ F.

Cut the sweet potatoes into long fries, about 1/2-inch thick. Toss with melted coconut oil and spread out flat onto two baking sheets. Place in the oven and roast for about 15–25 minutes, until fries are cooked through and begin to brown. (Cook for an additional 5–10 minutes for crispier fries.)

While the fries are cooking, mix together all the spice powders and remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl.

When the fries have finished roasting, remove the pans from the oven and immediately sprinkle some of the spice mixture on top (use amount to taste), tossing the fries around with a spatula to ensure even coating. Serve warm, with organic ketchup if desired.

Reprinted with permission from Superfood Kitchen.

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