Tweaking recipes has never been easier. Dietitian Joel Feren gives you a cheat sheet to improve the nutritional content of your favourite foods without skimping on flavour.
- Be a matchmaker: Experiment with herbs and spices and learn flavoursome partnerships. Recreate tried and true winning combinations by adding basil to your tomatoes, cooking dill and salmon, rosemary and beef, thyme and lamb, parsley and chickpeas, as well as garlic with your roast vegies.
- Go with the grain when baking: Plain flour has a high GI, is low in fibre and contains very little nutrition, so test out different flours when baking. Opting for wholemeal, oat, spelt or coconut flour will ensure you maximise the nutritional content. Just be sure to use the right conversions.
- Load up on vegies: Vegetables are the cornerstone of any good diet. It’s also worryingly clear that we don’t eat enough of them. The latest research shows that only 7% of Australians consume their five serves of vegies each day. Adding extra vegies to your soups, stews, casseroles, pasta sauces, stir fries, risottos and frittatas will not only boost the nutritional value of your meal, but can also help you shift the kilos. That’s because you’ll likely be eating less calories for the same volume of food, which is a huge plus in my books!
- Change the way you cook it: Roasting, shallow frying, stir frying, poaching and steaming are much healthier cooking methods than deep frying or cooking in lots of oil. For example, try shallow frying your chicken schnitzel in just a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or even baking it rather than deep-frying it.
- Know your legumes. Try beefing up your stews, casseroles or bolognaise sauce with a variety of legumes. They are cheap and wholesome, and are high in fibre and low in fat, too. You can use them in combination with meat. They will delight your insides and may even help to reduce your waistline. Win-win!
The beauty of recipe modification is that any dish can be made more nutritious, without sacrificing the taste you love. Happy (healthy) cooking!
For some super easy, healthy and quick recipes see here.
Joel Feren is The Nutrition Guy (TNG), an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist. He regularly consults to the food industry and in private practice, helping clients to achieve improved health with good nutrition. Check Joel out on Instagram here or his website here.