We all want our meals to taste great. It’s the reason why we spend a lot of time finding the right recipes and putting our hearts and souls into the meals that we make. But, you may realize that some of the things you make just aren’t as healthy as they could be.
Does this mean you should stop cooking in the first place? Definitely not! Instead, to make sure that you’re making tastier meals that are still good for you, here are a few health conscious swaps that you may want to make when you prepare your next meal.
The Right Oil
We all have our preferences when it comes to the oils we use in cooking. However, did you know what some of them are not that great for you? There are bad monounsaturated fats in things like vegetable oil that can get worse when the oil is heated. Also, since Canola oil is made from modified rape seed, it can cause an allergic reaction — much like seasonal allergies — for some people. Therefore, you may want to think about swapping vegetable and sunflower oils in your cooking for something like olive oil or even nut oils.
Oils I like to use include olive oil, coconut oil, and sesame seed oil. Depending on which oil you use, how much you use and how you use it, these oils can add to the taste of your meals, as well. I like using a less expensive, light colored olive oil for basic cooking. The lighter the olive oil, the less strong the flavor. Coconut oil is also really good for basic cooking but can add a faint coconut flavor to the meal. Sesame seed oil is great for high-heat cooking as it can withstand the temperature well and is often used in wok cooking.
Next up, let’s take a look at the water you’re using. You may find that your home water system is quite hard or even highly chemically treated. Both factors are going to affect the taste of your food. Therefore, you may want to look into the specialist treatment options available like those that Quality Water of the Carolinas provides for softening water and removing chemicals. This can also be important if you drink a lot of water from the tap.
I’ve also heard that alkaline water can make a difference in the taste of your food, as well as being more healthful for your body in general. A woman I met who sells chocolate covered strawberries swears it is the alkaline water she washes the berries in that makes her treats taste so much better!
A Lighter Carb Alternative
As much as we all love carbs, you’ve got to admit that sometimes they can be far too much for some meals. If you want to take care of your health and make sure that your food is super yummy, then you may want to use lower carb alternatives. Things like zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice are incredible replacements for pasta and rice. (I’m a recent convert to cauliflower rice — it tastes great!) But there are definitely a ton more creative options for you to try out with your cooking.
Lower Fat Meat
If you’re a meat eater, then you may be aware that certain meats are a lot fattier than others. When you do eat meat, you’d probably agree that beef is one of the tastiest kinds around. But, it isn’t that great for your heart. So, you may want to eat it in moderation and try to switch it out of some of your recipes and use turkey instead. (I know this is sacrilege for the true beef-lover, but with a little creativity you can convert the staunch steak eater to a lighter meal.)
Store Bought for Homemade
Sometimes, you head to the store to pick up things like sauces or even ready meals without a moment’s thought. But, they can often be stuffed full of different additives and preservatives, and may be high is salt, too. It may not seem like it, but it’s often easier to make your own sauces and meals, especially if you prepare them in large batches and freeze what you don’t use. So, why not try your hand at whipping up homemade versions of some of your store-bought favorites and enjoy the knowledge that they’re not only tastier but better for you too.
One last idea — add more superfoods to your diet, using them instead of less nutritious options. For example, use purple potatoes instead of regular potatoes in your roasted potatoe side dish. Does your recipe call for honey? Here’s an easy swap: Use raw honey! Garlic is a superfood, too, so use as much as you like. For a list of other superfoods you can use, grab your copy of “Top 10 Power-Packed Foods” below.