Eat Well All Day with Brain-Healthy Recipes - Brain and Life Magazine

The World Federation of Neurology—with support from the American Academy of Neurology—has deemed July 22, 2024, World Brain Day. To mark the occasion, eat healthy meals all day long with these recipes for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert.

Whole Wheat Toast with Almond Butter and Berries


Whole Wheat Toast with Almond Butter and Berries

Serves one

  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 2 tbsp. creamy salted almond butter
  • ¼ cup sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup whole blueberries
  • ½ tsp. maple syrup

Toast whole wheat bread. Spread almond butter on toast in even layer. Place strawberries in a row down center of toast. Add blueberries on either side. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve immediately.

Farro Salad with Arugula, Olives, Bell Peppers, and Walnuts


Farro Salad with Arugula, Olives, Bell Peppers, and Walnuts

Serves 4-6

  • 1 ½ cups dry farro
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp. lavender or orange blossom honey
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup minced basil leaves
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 cups packed baby arugula or roughly chopped large leaf arugula
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts pieces
  • 2 tbsp. minced chives

Cook farro according to package instructions. While farro is cooking, make dressing. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, honey, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in small bowl.

Once farro is done, transfer to large bowl. Stir in arugula allowing warm farro to wilt greens slightly. Add bell pepper, olives, walnuts, and chives, and stir to combine. Pour in dressing and stir to coat all ingredients. Serve warm or chilled.

Trail Mix with Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Dried Cranberries


Trail Mix

Makes 6 cups

  • 1 cup raw whole almonds
  • ½ cup raw walnut pieces
  • ½ cup raw cashew pieces
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup raw pecan halves
  • ½ cup roasted and salted pistachios
  • ½ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips or pieces
  • 1 cup naturally sweetened dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup diced candied ginger

Combine all ingredients in large bowl and stir. Transfer mixture to glass jar or plastic bag. Eat when hungry. Mix can be stored at room temperature for up to a month.

Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing


Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with Chickpeas and Tahini Dressing

Serves 4

  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 4 cups packed curly kale leaves, thick stems removed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups broccoli florets cut into medium pieces
  • 1 15.5 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ cup raw carrot rounds
  • ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

Make dressing by adding 2 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and garlic to small bowl. Whisk to combine into thick paste. Add 2 tbsp. water and whisk again until mixture is smooth. If dressing is too thick, add one tbsp. water and whisk again until dressing is pourable.

In medium bowl, combine kale leaves with ½ cup dressing. Toss until kale is evenly coated with dressing or use your hands to massage dressing into kale by scrunching handfuls at a time. Set aside.

Add quinoa to small saucepan with 1¾ cups water. Bring to boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer gently until quinoa has absorbed all water, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

While quinoa cooks, prepare broccoli and garbanzo beans. Pour one tbsp. olive oil in medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add broccoli and cook three minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat to low and carefully add one tbsp. water. Cover with lid and steam broccoli for two minutes. Transfer to small bowl. 

In same skillet, warm two tbsp. olive oil over low heat. Add garbanzo beans, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and salt and stir to combine. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally until garbanzo beans begin to take on color and are warmed through.

When quinoa is done, divide evenly among bowls, top with kale, broccoli, garbanzo beans, and carrots.    Drizzle extra dressing over each bowl. Top with almonds. Serve immediately.

Watermelon Granita


Watermelon Granita

Makes about 4 cups

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1½ tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tsp. thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

Add ingredients to blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth.

Transfer to an 8” or 9” square dish with sides that are least 2” high and freeze for one hour. Using a fork, scrape mixture, breaking up any clumps. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze for an additional 30 minutes. Scrape mixture vigorously with fork again to form icy flakes. If mixture is not completely frozen, put back in freezer and stir again in another 30 minutes. Transfer flakes to small bowl or glass, garnish with mint leaves, and serve immediately. Transfer leftovers to a freezer-proof container with a lid and store for up to a month.

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