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Food for Brains Recipes designed to promote brain function, cognition and memory.

Black bean and kale salad with spiced cashew dressing

I have been having rather a lot of small gatherings recently, and for these, I love making a large, filling, full of flavour salad, with ample crunch. It converts a simple side salad into a main, complementing any meal or feast. The fact that it is always eaten up so quickly is as much to do with the yummy dressing (and lots of it!) as it is to do with the contrasts of textures. The best part of a salad like this is that you can add whichever leaves you happen to have or love.




For the dressing

5 tablespoons cashews, 70g, to soak in water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
30ml water
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon peanut butter
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon red chilli
1 lime

For the salad

1 bunch kale, around 100g, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 bunch lettuce, around 200g, chopped
small bulb fennel, optional, chopped
1 tin black pinto beans
1 pack of nachos (I prefer using the rice works brand)

1-2 tablespoons of sesame seeds




Start by soaking the cashews in water for a couple of hours or overnight. If you have less time, soak in hot water so they soften quicker. When making the dressing, add together all the ingredients for the dressing with the soaked cashews and blend in a high speed blender. Taste for the balance of salt, lime, chilli and add more of either of them if you wish.

For the salad, chop all the ingredients in small pieces and then add the pinto beans, mix together. When serving, mix in the dressing, then crush the nachos into the salad at the last possible moment so it remains crunchy and leave a bowl of nachos on the side when serving so everyone can add more. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve.


Brain Energy


Kale is considered as one of the ultimate Brain Foods. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, kale has at least 45 different flavonoids. As well as being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, kale is rich in iron, folate, and vitamin B6, all essential for a happy healthy brain.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and can be used whole but is most commonly sold as a ground spice which resembles a fine mustard powder.

This antioxidant and powerful anti-inflammatory is used regularly to season food in India where researchers found that the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is 25 percent lower than in the U.S. In lab studies, mice that were fed curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) developed fewer amyloid plaques, associated with Alzheimer’s, than rats that weren’t.

More recent research published in Stem Cell Research and Therapy suggests it may boost your brain proliferation or its power to repair itself!

We all know the ginger root for its capacity to reduce nausea and pain reducing properties. However, recent research continues to demonstrate it’s brain boosting properties and potential to protect against cognitive disease. Ginger also has a sialagogue action, stimulating the production of saliva, which makes swallowing easier.

Carrots are known to be the go-to food for good eye sight. However, they provide great benefits for the brain too. According to a study published in 2010 in the journal Nutrition the high levels of luteolin found in carrots could reduce age-related memory impairment and inflammation in the brain.

Pinto beans and black beans are high sources of folate. Korean researchers have found a link between low folate levels and dementia and other markers of declining neurological health. Once again, elevated homocysteine levels are believed to be responsible with more folate found to be the remedy. Vitamin B9, along with other B vitamins, is involved in the creation and proper function of neurotransmitters within your brain and many people report folate to be beneficial for reducing brain fog. Source: Health Ambition

If you would like to find out more about how various foods contribute to a healthy brain, get in touch with us at Cubex.



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