I often get the question, how do I add flavor and change up my recipe routine without adding sugar, fat and sodium? In honor of National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme of savor the flavor of eating right, its worth to explore culinary options.
If you’re sick of the same old chicken, brown rice and broccoli every night here are a few
suggestions that will reinvent your plate without the added calories.
Turmeric is a herbal remedy with anti-inflammatory benefits useful to aid recovery for athletes. It’s in the ginger family, providing a strong, natural flavor and rich yellow color. You can add it to dressings, soups, and stir-fries. I love it sprinkled on avocado toast!
Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies also show it helps to lower blood glucose, preventing diabetes and helps to reduce blood cholesterol. Instead of cream and sugar, skip the sweetener and opt for cinnamon in coffee and tea. Shake the powdered spice on oats and bananas for a warm breakfast or snack. You can also enjoy it on baked sweet potatoes!
Eden Food’s Seaweed Godasio is an organic sesame seed, seaweed and sea salt blend. Edible sea vegetables (dulse, nori and kombu) are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants and heart healthy fats. Dulse in particular has a mineral rich, sometimes smoky flavor. Added with the nutty flavor of sesame seeds, you’ve got yourself a savory go-to condiment. You can use this like you would table salt; a little sprinkle on salads, soups, baked potatoes, popcorn, vegetables, pasta etc. Here I added it to a homemade roasted red pepper hummus. Nutrition: 1tsp is 15 calories and contains 80mg of sodium, 1.5g of fat, 2% calcium and 2% iron.
Bragg Liquid Aminos is a liquid protein concentrate derived from soybeans. The soy sauce alternative contains 16 essential and non-essential amino acids in naturally occurring amounts. I was first introduced to liquid aminos by my former boss; a wise, health conscious, master baker who loved vegetarian cuisine. His wife always had healthy tricks up her sleeve and this was one that stuck with me. I typically use this in Asian dishes such as infusing tofu or mixing with vegetables.
Both of these products (and many more) can be purchased for discounted prices atThrive Market.
Here you’ll find my veggie stir fry seasoned with both products. It is bursting with flavor!
Ginger has been used to alleviate nausea for years. Studies show 1-2g successfully reduces nausea from seasickness, chemotherapy or morning sickness. It also has anti-inflammatory and pain management properties. Ginger can be found as a whole food, or pre-minced in the produce section of your grocery store. It’s great in stir-frys, soup or even added to green tea.
Lemon, limes, oranges and grapefruit can all add a lot of flavor and nutritional benefit to your dishes! Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that aids in immune function and skin health. Try citrus on fresh fish, squeezed on vegetables or infused in water for a refreshing tonic.
Have you ever stopped what you’re doing when you eat, and truly focus on the food itself? Turn the TV off, pause conversation, and shut the phone down. Take one spoonful or bite, close your eyes and savor the flavor. Think about the texture, temperature, and consistency. Think about the way the food feels in your mouth and how it makes you feel internally. Does it please you, bringing back comforting memories? Is it new and possibly scary?
This is also a helpful skill to try, before eating to identify what you’re truly craving.
Give it a shot, you may find you don’t need more than a piece of chocolate, few spoonful’s of mac and cheese or just a handful from the bag full of whatever it may be. Embrace this year’s National Nutrition Month theme and simply savor the flavor of eating right!