March means many things…. the celebration of St. Patrick’s day, the end of winter and National Nutrition Month. Annually, we dietitians choose March as the month to encourage individuals to reach a new nutrition goal or reframe the way they think about healthful eating. This year’s theme, “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right,” couldn’t be easier to celebrate.
On the heels of our recent Guiding Stars webinar, Healthier Home Cooking, which was on trend with celebrating the taste of healthful food, the idea of encouraging individuals to meet their nutritional goals by focusing not just on healthful eating but on delicious healthful eating is a natural fit. After all, taste, above anything else, drives our food preferences.
“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” reminds us that it isn’t enough to just know what we should eat but that we need to be excited about food so that we want to eat more healthfully. This theme recognizes that we can’t endure a lifetime of better-for-us eating if we don’t like the food on our plate.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics refers to this necessary enhancement of our eating as a giving our plate a “taste lift” and offers these suggestions for boosting the flavor of our meals in the most healthful way:
- Intensify the flavors of meat, poultry and fish with high-heat cooking techniques such as pan-searing, grilling or broiling.
- Pep it up with peppers. Use red, green and yellow peppers of all varieties—sweet, hot and dried. Or add a dash of hot pepper sauce.
- Try grilling or roasting veggies in a very hot (450°F) oven or grill for a sweet, smoky flavor. Brush or spray them lightly with oil so they don’t dry out. Sprinkle with herbs.
- Caramelize sliced onions to bring out their natural sugar flavor by cooking them slowly over low heat in a small amount of oil. Use them to make a rich, dark sauce for meat or poultry.
- Simmer juices to make reduction sauces. Concentrate the flavors of meat, poultry and fish stocks. Reduce the juices by heating them—don’t boil. Then use them as a flavorful glaze or gravy.
- For fuller flavors, incorporate more whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa, or experiment with amaranth and wild rice.
- Add small amounts of ingredients with bold flavors like pomegranate seeds, chipotle pepper or cilantro.
- Add a tangy taste with citrus juice or grated citrus peel: lemon, lime or orange. Acidic ingredients help lift and balance flavor.
- Enhance sauces, soups and salads with a splash of flavored balsamic or rice vinegar.
- Give a flavor burst with good-quality condiments such as horseradish, flavored mustard, chutney, wasabi, bean purees, tapenade and salsas of all kinds.
With Guiding Stars as your shopping partner you can ensure that you are getting full flavor, healthful foods into your shopping cart and onto your plate and savory Guiding Stars recipes such a Peanut-Lime Pasta or Spicy Stuffed Avocados ensure that you will “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”.
Let’s Talk Labels!
Join Dietitian Allison Stowell, MS, RD, CDN on Wednesday, March 5 at 2PM ET for a live Twitter chat about the FDA’s proposed changes to the nutrition facts label. Use #nutritionlabels to join the conversation.
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