Salba: Another superfood for the cupboard

When whole wheat flour, line-caught salmon, blueberries and flax just won't do, there's another super-duper food for the most healthy of the healthy: Salba Smarts has been selling its line of products containing salba since 2006, and I've been munching my way through them.

This superfood appears to be pretty super, indeed. Its nutritional quality dwarfs that of many other healthy items: more omega-3s than salmon, more potassium than a banana, and a lot more calcium than milk. Sprinkle the ground version of this stuff on almost anything to make it magically good for you.

Salba Smart sells chips, pretzels, a powdered version and whole salba, among other items. The tortilla chips are totally passable: crunchy, salty and without that strange sort of dusty aftertaste that a lot of health foods have.

Which says a lot, and will be important for salba's acceptance in the mainstream market. If I sample another vegan bar that tastes like compost with almonds, I will stop defending health foods to my skeptical college friends. But Salba Smart nails it with snacks that taste good regardless of what's in them.

As Rally Ralston, managing partner at Salba Smart, explains, "Colorado residents are some of the most health-conscious people in the U.S. Adding one tablespoon of whole salba to any meal of the day will increase the nutrition of that meal, keep you feeling fuller for longer, and give you the energy to enjoy springtime or any season in the Rockies."

Salba is no native grain, though; it's an ancient variety originally cultivated in Peru. Like quinoa or amaranth, it brings much more to the table than the grains traditionally used in processed American foods. Don't miss this comparison of salba to chia (which salba is, only made with two specific strains of chia that are controlled and -- well, just click over there). Salba Smart's salba is sold at most grocery stores, with the powdered version going for around twelve dollars a pound.

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