Making the Healthy Choice the Tasty Choice

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roasted head of garlic
Roasted head of garlic: one of our “chef secrets” for a flavorful AND healthy meal.

Whether you’re a professional chef or just a busy professional or parent, it can seem like a real challenge to come up with meals that are both palate-pleasing and healthy. How can you help “tasty” and “healthy” get along better in your kitchen?

Last week during our Twitter chat, a variety of culinary and nutrition pros shared their ideas. We talked about how to use less sugar in desserts, how to add creamy mouth-feel in healthier ways (besides smothering in butter!) and alternatives to salt for flavor.

Here are some “chef secrets” shared during our chat:

Make it creamy without all the (saturated) fat:

  • Puréed or blended veggie-based soups provide a comfortingly creamy texture, and low-cost canned beans add a satisfyingly creamy texture when puréed while also offering fiber, protein and nutrients.
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    Culinary Nutrition: Shedding Light on Flavor and Health

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    From top chefs to parents, it’s a question on everyone’s mind these days: how do we bring together flavor and healthfulness? fruit in fridge

    Food scientists are already hard at work on this. Last week a study out of the University of Florida shed light – literally – on how much flavor matters to us. Researchers used light treatments to enhance the taste and aroma of tomatoes and berries – a technology that could one day make its way into your home refrigerator.

    Now the culinary world is getting in on the action. A hot field of study known as culinary nutrition merges the art of cooking with the science of nutrition – in other words, how to make healthful food taste delicious.

    Let’s face it: no one wants to eat a tasteless tomato or bland meal, no matter how healthy. Yet the impact of what we eat on our risk of chronic disease cannot be put by the wayside. AICR’s report and its continuous updates link a diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables and fiber with a lower risk of many cancers. Read more… “Culinary Nutrition: Shedding Light on Flavor and Health”

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      Testing the (cooking) Water

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      Cooking can save you money and help you and your family eat healthier, which will lower your risk of getting cancer. (It’s also really helpful when you’re trying to lose weight, which is why it’s a part of the New American Plate Challenge.) canstockphoto4003655

      However, if you don’t cook a lot, getting started in the kitchen can be daunting. I know when I started cooking, even basic meals seemed overwhelming. It might be that you don’t have a lot of time, the right tools in the kitchen, or you’ve just never really tried.

      But cooking can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are some tips to make it easier.

      Get your kitchen essentials:

      • 3 quart (or larger) sauce pan or stockpot
      • 10-12 inch frying pan
      • Large chopping knife
      • Cutting board
      • Glass or ceramic baking dish
      • Spatula and wooden spoon
      • Measuring cups
      • Set of mixing bowls

      Spice it up with herbs
      Make sure to also stock up on a few basic herbs and spices – these can help flavor food without adding a lot of salt. I recommend a basic Italian herb mix or any other salt-free blends, like those by Mrs. Dash. Read more… “Testing the (cooking) Water”

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