I often hear people joke, “If it tastes good, it’s not good for you.” Have you ever felt that way? Many of my clients do. Many think that healthy and tasty don’t go together. But this isn’t true!
March is National Nutrition Month, sponsored by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), and this year’s theme is, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”
Taste rules when it comes to food choices. If it doesn’t taste good, you won’t eat it, even if it’s nutritious. So, making healthy foods in ways that promote their best flavor is of the utmost importance. Some tips to help maximize both flavor and nutrition include:
1. Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Produce purchased in season is less expensive and more flavorful. Visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org for a list of what’s in season.
2. Roast vegetables. Roasting brings out the sweet and smoky flavors of vegetables. Toss in a very small amount of olive oil and roast in a 350-450 degree F oven for 20-45 minutes.
3. Season foods with fresh herbs to add maximum fresh flavor. Start now to plan your herb garden. There’s nothing like picking fresh herbs straight from your own garden. If you don’t have garden space, that’s no problem. Fresh herbs are easily grown in containers. And most grocery stores now sell fresh herbs in the produce section.
4. Experiment with spices, such as fresh ginger, for lively sauces. And expand your taste palate by adding healthy curry powder to poultry and soups.
5. Finish off a dish with freshly-squeezed citrus, such as lemon, lime and orange. Grate fresh citrus peel to add vitality and flavor. A microplane is a handy tool for easily grating citrus peels.
6. Experiment with different vinegars, such as balsamic, rice and raspberry. These add flavor without a lot of calories.
7. When roasting or cooking meat in a crock pot, sear on all sides in a skillet first to intensify flavors.
There are many ways to bring out the best flavors of fresh, healthy foods. For more information, including recipes and videos, visit www.eatright.org/public. For more about National Nutrition Month, visit www.eatright.org/nnm.