Recipe Hacks to Make Mealtime Healthier

This time of year families gather,eat a lot of food and shop! The trick is how to indulge without increasing the bulge! Here are some recipe tweaks to make your meals healthier.

Turmeric. A quarter teaspoon of this spice added to your green bean casserole will go virtually unnoticed from a taste perspective, but it adds some anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits. It also reduces the buildup of brain plaque, according to some studies with mice as subjects.

Shiitake mushrooms. Using these mushrooms in your stuffing adds some biologically active compounds that may protect against cancer and inflammation. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that regular consumption of these mushrooms resulted in improved immunity and a reduction in the pro-inflammatory compound C-reactive protein.

Cauliflower. Most people know about making cauliflower mash, as a substitute for higher-carb mashed potatoes. This also prevents a big blood sugar spike! Or try “cauliflower macaroni and cheese,” tasty for both children and adults.

Coconut water. In my cranberry sauce recipe, I always replace the plain water with high-quality coconut water and it doesn’t alter the flavor at all! Coconut water is hydrating and contains compounds that are anti-fungal and antioxidant. It may help those prone to kidney stone formation or people with diabetes. Substitute coconut water in any recipe that calls for water.

Tea seed oil. Tea seed comes from the seeds of Camellia sinensis. That’s the plant that gives us green tea. The tea seed oil is cold-pressed and very popular in other countries. With a mild, neutral flavor this oil is a great substitute for other oils such as vegetable or canola. It has anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Pumpkin seed oil. Add 2 teaspoons to your pumpkin pie filling before cooking for profoundly richer flavor and powerful medicinal benefits. Rich in vitamin E, zinc, omega fatty acids, pumpkin seed oil is well known to support prostate and breast health.

Dried tart cherries. Instead of cranberries (or in addition to), blend some dried tart cherries into your stuffing. Known to contain natural melatonin, which is deeply relaxing, dried cherries have been studied for their ability to suppress gout. Tart cherries reduce muscle breakdown and speed up recovery during fitness, according to several studies. They have virtually no fat or sodium and taste very satisfying, while not too sweet.

Almond flour. To get the pain-relieving benefits of almonds, use ground almond flour instead of all-purpose flour for your gravy. If you want to reduce the sodium content commonly found in traditional gravy that starts with chicken broth, just substitute plain water! To avoid compromising flavor, you’ll want to add spices like onion and garlic powder, smoked paprika and fresh rosemary.

Avocados. Instead of mayo, use crushed avocados as a spread.

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