Healthy food can get a bad rap for being bland and boring. But there are plenty of things you can do with simple ingredients like olive oil, fresh herbs, and spices to enhance any healthy dish and satisfy your taste buds.
Want to make healthy food that tastes good for a change? Read here for tips and tricks to spice up your diet and your healthy lifestyle.
Make Lectin-Free Meals That Tastes Great: Delicious Spices That Are Lectin-Free And Low In Calories
Believe it or not, there are delicious spices that can change the way your most basic foods taste. So, which spices are the healthiest and pack the most powerful and flavorful punches when making a healthy meal?
Almost all spices and herbs are on Gundry MD’s “Yes” list. In fact, the only spices you need to avoid are chili pepper flakes. That means all of the following are up for grabs —
Enhance The Flavor Of Proteins And Vegetables With Garlic And Onion
Garlic and onions are heroes when it comes to adding flavor to healthy dishes. And you don’t need to do much to them to unlock their delicious power. In fact, just toss some garlic, onion, and olive oil in a pan to get things going. It smells great, and the combo compliments almost every protein you can name.
Onions are supremely healthy, and they’re excellent sources of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C. Not only that, but onions also contain sulphuric compounds, flavonoids, and phytochemicals. Another added bonus of cooking with onions — they add tons of flavor without the use of salt and sugar. Plus, onions are super-low in calories. (about 45 calories in one medium-sized onion). Also, onions don’t contain fat or cholesterol.1 Try adding thinly sliced red onions to your dish for a bit of zing. Or for more sweetness in your dish, cook them down until they’re sweet and caramelized.
Garlic, on the other hand, is known for its ability to support a healthy heart and cholesterol levels.2 Garlic has a strong, spicy flavor, but when combined with onion and olive oil, something magical happens. It’s as if the ingredients were made to go together.
Other Flavorful Tips And Tricks: Pesto, Vinegar, And More
One of the greatest tricks you can use when it comes to deliciously flavoring your healthy diet recipes is pesto. Why is pesto so great? It’s a delicious combo of the healthiest foods on the planet, including garlic. What else is in pesto?
- Pine nuts — Pine nuts are so yummy (especially when they’re roasted). They’re also extremely low in cholesterol and sodium and are a great source of manganese.3
- Basil — Basil is used in many different cuisines and can have the taste of lightly sweet licorice. Researchers recently compiled 24 human studies on basil and discovered that it might help support healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and even help with stress.4
- Olive oil — Olive oil has been called the most heart-healthy oil. Why? Because it contains massive amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (otherwise known as MUFAs). MUFAs include essential fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3 acids. They’re known to help support your heart health and assist in balancing your cholesterol levels.5,6
But pesto is so much more than a sauce. You can use it to dress salads, flavor omelets, or even bake it into Gundry-approved baked goods.
Vinegar Is Great For Sauces And Sauteing
Vinegar is a great way to trick your taste buds if you find you’re craving something salty and savory. You can really add a zing to almost anything with vinegar.
Vinegar has been around for centuries as a flavor-booster, but research is showing vinegar’s new promise when it comes to supporting healthy blood sugar and cholesterol. These benefits are mostly due to the polyphenols and acetic acid in vinegar. Try balsamic vinegar drizzled over broccoli or other lectin-free veggies.
Similarly, fermented vegetables — like kimchi or sauerkraut — are great choices. You can even try pickling your favorite lectin-free vegetables like asparagus or fennel in vinegar. And try balsamic vinegar drizzled over broccoli or other lectin-free veggies.
Put Your Favorite (Natural) Ingredients To Work
One of the most useful tips when it comes to eating better-tasting healthy foods is to cook from scratch. That means you should try to avoid processed foods and “light” or “diet” products.
The “health food” industry does too good of a job marketing products that aren’t actually good for you by labeling them in the following ways:
You’re likely are better off avoiding food products labeled this way. Processed foods just don’t work. Try buying one-ingredient foods such as broccoli, avocados, or olive oil, and stay away from ready-to-eat grains and junk cereals.
You should also try sticking to fresh, in-season ingredients. Look to pesto as an example: you only need 3 or 4 actually natural, whole ingredients to make your meal taste delicious — and you’ll know it’s healthy because you know exactly what you put in the dish to make it.
And don’t shy away from healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, walnuts, and avocados.
Also, if you find you just have to have a bite of something sweet — break off a piece of dark chocolate. Make sure the dark chocolate is 72% cocoa or greater, and eat no more than 1 oz. a day. You may find dark chocolate can help curb your cravings for junk food.
How To Cook Healthy Food That Tastes Good: Recap
When you’re looking for a flavorful, healthy snack, remember these things:
- Go for one-ingredient, whole foods.
- Boost flavor with almost ANY spice.
- PESTO for the win. Pesto is great on eggs, in a salad, or even over a stir fry.
- Stay away from processed foods and so-called “diet” products.
In the end, a healthy dinner that tastes great isn’t hard to make. Have fun experimenting with new flavors. Before you know it, you’ll have an entire kitchen filled with great new ingredients, smells, and recipes.