We all know we need our healthy fats, right? Thankfully, plant-based foods are full of ’em! Fats keep our brain healthy and help our bodies produce adequate hormones, but the key is to choose the right ones. Processed foods contain a lot of trans fats and inflammatory omega-6 fats, while whole foods contain better fats such as monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.
Even some plant-based sources of saturated fats can be good for you (coconut, for example) when eaten in moderate amounts. But when it comes to fighting inflammation and disease, possibly no other types of fats can do what omega-3 fats can. These fats have been shown to reduce pain, improve heart health, increase brain health, and neurological longevity, and can even help prevent disease! We all know many types of fish contain omega-3 fats, but if you’re cutting back on fish, what can you do?
Lucky for us, plant-based foods are packed with omega-3 fats, so eat up as many of them as you can so you can get the benefits. Here are 10 recipes to get you started, all fish-free and 100 percent delicious!
Quite possibly one of the most overlooked sources of healthy omega-3 fats out there is acai berry. The whole fruit frozen packs provide the most omega-3’s (compared to the powder) but even freeze-dried powders may provide some benefits. Acai smoothie bowls are all the rage these days and are a great way to increase the antioxidants and omega-3’s in your diet. Try this Blueberry Acai Super Smoothie as a great way to start off your day!
Satisfy those burger cravings with these Black Bean and Hemo Burgrs and you might never need another recipe. Packed with not just healthy ingredients, but also a smoky, hearty flavor, this recipe is one you’ll want to add to your regular menu. Hemp seeds make a great burger ingredient since they add a dense and flavorful texture; they’re also a top source of plant-based protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3’s.
Pesto is a fun sauce to make all year round, but especially in the spring when greener foods are enjoyed a bit more often. Pesto, like the one in this recipe for Spring Greens With Walnut Pesto and Sprouts Over Pasta, is also easy to make healthier by using only the best fats, such as walnuts, in place of inflammatory options you might find in those at the store. Try blending up walnuts in this creamy pesto sauce for a nice dose of omega-3 fats and especially satisfying flavor!
Truffles can make excellent snacks or desserts, but for those that don’t tolerate chocolate or prefer not to use it for whatever reason, carob pod powder makes a nice, similar ingredient to to use instead. Try it out in these Raw Truffles With Chia, Carob, and Coconut, which feature healthy fats from omega-3 rich chia seeds, coconut, and more plant-based goodies. If you love chocolate like many of us, then just sub in cacao or cocoa powder in place of the carob!
5. One-Bowl Oil-Free Flax Pizza Crust
Flax is one of the best alternatives to flour because it’s a natural binding ingredient, has a hearty flavor, and makes almost any baked good or cooked dish more hearty and flavorful (not to mention give you a nice dose of fiber!). Skip those pizza crusts at the store by making this One-Bowl Oil-Free Flax Pizza Crust. This gluten-free crust is rich, chewy, and can be mixed up all in one bowl before baking. No kneading, rolling, and you’re getting a huge dose of omega-3’s from the flax with each bite. Pizza perfection at its best!
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Walnuts contain more omega-3’s than any other nut and are one of the most anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They’re also great for using in place of meat in dishes like pasta, meat sauce, pizza, and even tacos due to their crumbly texture once mixed up with other ingredients. Try them paired with naturally hearty lentils in this Homemade “Meaty” Lentil Tomato Sauce that’s perfect for your next batch of spaghetti or even a plant-based lasagna!
One look at this Sunny Hemp Cheeze and you’d never guess it could be made without any dairy whatsoever. It’s rich, creamy, and totally divine, but filled with healthy ingredients for you. Featuring the omega-3 star, hemp seeds, it also includes cashews for a creamier flavor and even more beneficial fats. Blend up some of this “cheezy” spread to serve at your next party or to enjoy at home!
Call on this Ultra Queen K Performance Blend when you need some serious nourishment! Packed with omega-3’s from hemp, chia, flax, and blue green algae (also a great source of omega-3’s), it’s a powerhouse that will support your muscles, alkalize your body to reduce inflammation, and make you feel energized and renewed. Drink up to this each day and you’ll be on your way to a healthy brain (and body) in no time!
Containing both walnuts and chia seeds, this Basil and Walnut Quiche will kill those morning sugar cravings, power up your brain, and satisfy that hearty appetite that’s raring each morning. It’s also a great way to sneak in some veggies and can be made ahead for meals all week. Can’t beat that!
Featuring chia, pumpkin seeds, and avocados, this Super Protein Kale Salad is just packed with good fats for your body. All three of these ingredients are a great source of omega-3 fats, so pairing them together is a great way to pack in an extra punch!
See more about plant-based omega-3 fats here and let us know which one is your favorite!
Lead image source: Spring Greens With Walnut Pesto and Sprouts Over Pasta