Spice It Up

Posted on February 15, 2017

I grew up enjoying the delicious foods of the south. Unfortunately delicious in my family is the opposite of nutritious.  I still love the food that my family makes but I try to keep greasy, fried, canned or smothered in sugar and butter out of my diet. Because of this, a comment that I continually hear is “If it’s healthy it doesn’t taste good”. I would like to think that what I cook for myself and my loved ones tastes great, so this is a personal blow for me.

The idea that healthy food does not taste good is a common misconception and I think this issue stems from people not knowing how to use the right ingredients to spice up their meals or make them healthy. Here are some ways that I enjoy my food without all the unhealthy extras.

Baking Alternatives

Instead of Butter:

  • Cooking Oils – High in healthy fats and low in unhealthy saturated fats.
  • Ghee – Ghee is clarified butter that is very nutrient rich. It has a great flavor and it is safe for people that have lactose or casein-sensitivities
  • Almond Butter – High in vitamin E and Magnesium. This can be used in some recipes as a substitute when you are baking.

Instead of Sugar:

  • Maple Syrup- This is possibly the best substitute. Maple syrup is high in minerals and vitamins and it is low in calories.
  • Honey –Honey has been known to reduce allergies, help with a cough or a sore throat, improve sleep and boost energy (just to name a few). This is a great tasting substitute and it has amazing health benefits.
  • Coconut Sugar – Unlike regular sugar, coconut sugar does have some nutritional value. It is high in minerals like Iron, Zinc, Potassium and Calcium.

Regular Flour: Depending on the recipe, your goals and dietary preferences you have tons of options! Listed below are just a few.

  • Coconut Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Chia Seed Flour
  • Brown Rice Flour
  • Quinoa Flour
  • Oat Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
Great Cookie Recipe! This recipe from Texanerin Baking is one that I make weekly. It is a great example of how deserts can be tasty and nutritious.

Cooking Alternatives

Cooking Alternatives

Regular Table Salt:

  • Pink Himalayan Salt – NOT THE SAME THING AS SALT! Regular table salt is refined and because of that, it has fewer minerals than natural salts. This makes regular table salt hard on your body. Pink Himalayan Salt is great for detoxifying your body, balancing PH, promoting hydration and balancing blood sugar. I encourage you to learn about how important natural salts are for your body!

Garlic, Onion & Peppers

  • Adding these veggies to any meal will spice it up! They can be sautéed with cooked dishes or added into cold dishes raw and finely chopped.

Try New Things

There are always ways to spice up your everyday dishes. Something as simple as adding a new spice or herb to your dish can completely change the way that it tastes. The way that you cook your food also plays a huge part in the texture and taste.

Personally, I hate steamed veggies, I think they taste watered down and boring. When I started baking and sautéing I really expanded the variety of vegetables that I had in my diet. Currently, my favorite way to cook vegetables is baking them on a high heat.

Depending on the vegetable I am cooking I will heat the oven to 400-425. Drizzle the veggies with oil and sprinkle a little bit of Pink Himalayan Salt and Lemon Pepper over them. Wait until they get a little crispy before removing them from the oven.

Super simple, super easy.

I am always looking for ways to make an ordinary dish a little bit better. If you have any great ideas please send them my way!

The Appalachian Daughter


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