The hype around alkaline food and drink (like those $5 waters you see at health food stores) is based around the idea that an alkaline diet can help your body maintain its pH, which leads to overall better health and wellness.
Foods that are high on the alkaline scale have been shown to help with everything from regulating weight, to promoting longevity, helping with digestion and even preventing disease through their immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
On the opposite end, when our bodies become too acidic, we're more likely to carry extra weight, have skin problems and be at risk for a number of various inflammatory-induced illnesses.
At the very least, alkaline foods — like fresh fruits and vegetables — are real, whole and definitely good for you.
Here are our top 15 alkaline foods:
And here's how we're eating them:
1. Caramelized Cauliflower + Crispy Coconut Quinoa
For the Coconut Quinoa
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
- ½ cup roughly crushed walnuts
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- handful of arugula
- olive oil
- salt + pepper
For the Yogurt Tahini Dressing
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 3 heaping tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- pinch of cumin
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt + pepper
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Tear the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and place on the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a heaping tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and shake the pan to move the cauliflower around for even cooking. Place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is slightly browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
3. Place a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the coconut oil and let it melt. Add the quinoa and cook for about 3-4 minutes until fragrant and toasted.
4. Make the dressing: Place all ingredients aside from olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix together. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Place the cauliflower, quinoa, walnuts and pomegranate seeds in a large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over top and mix to coat. Plate and top with arugula to your liking.
2. Super Green Bomb With Broccoli Pesto + Roasted Beet Hummus
For the salad
- 1 cup lacinato kale, de-stemmed and sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- handful of cilantro + parlsey, chopped
- handful of roasted sunflower seeds
For the Broccoli Pesto
- 1 cup raw broccoli, broken into small florets
- handful of fresh basil
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- salt + pepper
For the Roasted Beet Hummus
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted beets
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt + pepper
- 2 whole wheat wraps
1. Make the pesto: Put 2 cups of water into saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then add the broccoli. Turn heat down to medium to get a simmer and cook for the broccoli until fork tender, about 3-4 minutes. Drain. Place all the other pesto ingredients aside from the olive oil and salt and pepper in a food processor. Add the broccoli. Start bending on a low speed while slowly adding in the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Make the hummus: Place all ingredients aside from olive oil and salt and pepper in a food processor. Start bending on a low speed while slowly adding in the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place all salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour broccoli pesto over top and toss to combine. If serving as a salad, plate the salad with the Roasted Beet Hummus and wrap on the side. If serving as a wrap, spread about a tablespoon of hummus over the wrap and place about a half a cup of the salad in the middle. Wrap it up and serve.
3. Loaded Vegan Sweet Potato
- 2 sweet potatoes
- ½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 avocados, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 lime
- handful of cilantro, minced
- pinch of dried red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- olive oil
- salt + pepper
1. Make the sweet potatoes: Heat oven to 400°F. Using a fork, pierce each sweet potato all around. Place the sweet potatoes on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 50 minutes, until tender. Let cool.
2. Meanwhile, place a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for a minute until fragrant. Turn down the heat to a medium low and cook for about 15 minutes until soft and caramelized. Add the black beans and spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about a minute until the spinach is slightly wilted and the beans are warm.
3. To make the guacamole: Place the shallot, chili flakes, cilantro and avocado in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of half a lime. (Save the other half to serve). Mash with a fork until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bring it all together: Place a slit through the top of the sweet potatoes and push them down so a bit of the meat is exposed. Season flesh with salt and pepper and half a tablespoon of coconut oil on each. Top with the black bean spinach mixture and the guacamole.
4. Shaved Brussels Sprout, Carrot + Cabbage Soba Noodles
For the soba salad
- ¼ head green cabbage
- ¼ head red cabbage
- about 8 Brussels sprouts, bruised, outer layers removed
- 1 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks
- 8 oz buckwheat soba noodles
- 1 scallion, sliced
- handful sesame seeds, toasted
For the dressing
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and very finely minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- pinch of red pepper flakes
1. Using a mandolin (if you have one) slice the cabbages and Brussels sprouts thin (or do it manually). Place in a large mixing bowl, add carrots and set aside.
2. To make the dressing: Add all the ingredients aside from the oils and mix to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oils until incorporated.
3. To make the soba: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt and place soba in the water. Cook for 4-6 minutes (or according to package instructions) until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.
4. Bring it all together: Place the noodles in the bowl with the veggies, pour the dressing over and mix to combine. Season with sea salt if needed and top with scallions and sesame seeds.
5. Charred Asparagus + Lentil Pilaf With Black Sesame Dressing
For the Pilaf
- 4-5 asparagus stalks, chopped into 1-inch pieced
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- ½ cup wild rice
- 1 cup vegetable broth (chicken works fine here too)
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt + pepper
For the Black Sesame Dressing
- ½ cup sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh wasabi (if you have it)
- ½ cup tamari
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
1. If you have the time, soak rice in cold water for a few hours before cooking. Otherwise, just give it a good rinse.
2. Coat a large pot with olive oil and place over medium high heat. Add shallots and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook until translucent, about one minute. Add garlic and cook for another minute, until soft.
3. Add rice and let cook for about a minute, stirring to coat the rice. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the broth is absorbed. Remove from heat. Cover for about three minutes.
4. To char the asparagus: Place asparagus pieces on a foil-line baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Place under the broiler, checking on them and shaking the pan every minute or so. Remove when browning on all sides, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
5. To make the dressing: Place all ingredients besides oil in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in oils to combine.
6. Uncover rice and fluff with fork. Add lentils, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Plate the rice and lentil pilaf and top with asparagus and as much dressing as you like.
Photography by Vanessa Ress
Recipes + Styling by Christina Liva