Hacks To Make Any Healthy Food Delicious

April 12, 2017  |  
1 of 21

Bigstockphoto.com/beautiful young african american woman in the kitchen

If one of your biggest joys in life is good food, then going on a diet—even if it’s not to lose weight, but to lower your blood pressure or bad cholesterol—can be a little frightening because you think, “Then what do I have to look forward to each day?” When rich, decadent food is your happy place, and a diet threatens to take that away, you probably won’t succeed on that diet unless you can find a way to enjoy it. Unfortunately, American society has mostly taught us that more butter, more fat, more salt and more sugar equals more flavor and those are the only things that do that. But that simply isn’t true. We just need a little help from professionals. Here are taste hacks, from professional chefs, that can help make any healthy food delicious.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Add lemon to boring or bitter vegetables

If you’re charring things like celery or chard, adding a little lemon juice cancels out the bitterness and brings out the hidden sweetness in these vegetables, making them scrumptious.

 

 

 

 

 

Bigstockphoto.com/Nuts mix in a wooden plate

Add candied nuts to salad

Instead of using bread crumbs, tortilla strips or wonton pieces for crunch, add candied nuts to a salad. They add healthy fats and protein, without the empty calories.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Reduce and simmer everything

Everything is more flavorful when you reduce and simmer it. Most foods have a stronger flavor profile than we realize, but we don’t give them enough time to marinade and release their flavor before we eat them.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Miso, rice vinegar, mirin, and lemon

This combination, whipped together, comes out with a consistency of mayonnaise, but is actually very low in calories and doesn’t contain any egg or dairy. It’s delicious on burgers and with just about any protein.

 

 

 

 

Attractive young woman is eating french fries isolated on white background.

Use tomato paste instead of ketchup

Tomato paste is healthier than ketchup in that it doesn’t contain the long ingredients list and high sugar content, Plus, it’s so concentrated that you only need a little to get plenty of flavor.

Bigstockphoto.com/Anchovies in breadcrumbs and fried in oil. Cooked and ready. Italian culinary specialties.

Add anchovy paste

Anchovy paste is like tomato paste in that a little goes a long way. You can add it to stews, crab cakes, meat loafs and even use it as a tapenade for a burst of flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Use flavored olive oil

Flavored olive oil is a little-known secret among chefs. The additional ingredients—whether they be jalapeno or sundried tomatoes—have sat in the oil for a long time, so there’s no need to add any salt to get a huge taste blast from these products.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Use flavored vinegar

Fig vinegar, apple cider vinegar, peach vinegar—you name it, it’s out there, and it’s salad dressing all in its own right. The darker ones, like fig vinegar, taste delicious on pot roasts and the lighter ones, like peach, bring a lot of flavor to fish.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Use coconut sugar

Coconut sugar is a natural sugar, so it won’t mess with your body the way artificial sweetener does, but it’s naturally lighter than cane sugar, and a little goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Use cashew cream for thickness

If you need to add thickness to mashed potatoes, creamy soup, or even a dairy-free creamy dessert, cashew cream is your ticket. It’s very thick, so you only need a tablespoon or two to make things like cream of broccoli extra thick.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Fish sauce 

The ingredients list on traditional fish sauce is just anchovies and salt, but it manages to pack a lot of flavor. Add it to rice, stir-fries, tofu, noodles and any Asian fusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shutterstock.com/Pesto

Make a lighter pesto

Make pesto at home by crushing pine nuts, fresh basil, roasted garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper together. You can leave out the parmesean cheese, or just put in a tiny amount. It’s a delicious, light pasta sauce or spread for sandwiches.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Warm up to hot sauce

Hot sauce goes with more than just chicken wings. Add it to minestrone, chili, or really any soup to get a lot of flavor without adding tons of salt. If you put a little on fish or chicken, wrap that in foil and grill it, you’ll have all the flavor you need.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

 

Add curry to your vegetables, pork, and chicken

Curry isn’t as intimidating as most people think it is. You should be seasoning your lighter proteins and vegetables with it because it is low in sodium and calories and packed with flavor.

 

 

Bigstockphoto.com/Dried oregano spice in burlap bag with wooden scoop on table. Concept image for cooking with oregano

Rub meat with oregano

Oregano can really heighten the flavor profile of meat. Make a rub with just oregano and olive oil, and smother it all over your next rump roast.

 

 

Shutterstock

Put cumin on your popcorn

If you’re a popcorn addict but need to cut back on butter and salt, try adding cumin to your popcorn. It’s just as if not more delicious than salt.

 

 

 

 

 

Credit: Bigstock

Make ginger marinades

Mix freshly grated ginger with a little teriyaki sauce and have it with chicken or tofu. It’s zesty, sweet and rich and much healthier than things like barbecue sauce.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Sautée with vegetable broth

Sautée your vegetables in vegetable broth instead of oil. Not only is it much lighter, but vegetable broth is also cheaper than olive oil, so you can save your precious oil for your salad dressings.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Sautéed onions and garlic on everything

If your stomach can handle the sulfur in these foods, then you should always have them on hand. Some people would say onions and garlic are the only flavors you need in your kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Add instant coffee to smoothies

Adding just a tablespoon of instant coffee to a rather bland smoothie will give it a unique, sweet and salty flavor without adding tons of sugar or calories.

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Shutterstock

Sprinkle orange juice over fish

Orange juice brightens up the flavor of white fish and is much healthier than things like sweet and sour sauce or cream-based sauces.

Trending on MadameNoire

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN