When compared to the tantalizing flavors and instant gratification of junk food, healthy foods like oatmeal, broccoli, spinach, fish, liver and bland chicken breasts often end up on the losing side.
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It is a bit of an unfair competition, as processed junk foods are often produced in labs where they figure out exactly how to enhance the flavor and make it more addictive and appealing to the senses.
How will we ever be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle if we have to choose the blander, healthier option every time while the delicious flavorful junk foods are always available to seduce us? Luckily there are a couple of tricks to make healthy food tastier and more appealing!
Drizzle With Oil
We have been living with fat phobia for many years, shunning all kinds of fats and oils in our plight to live healthier lives, but research has proven that certain fat is good for us.
Using heart-healthy fats such as olive oil, combined with spices and seasonings judiciously can transform any otherwise bland meal into something delicious. This is especially true for vegetables and salads. Try drizzling olive oil, pepper and salt over some broccoli before baking it in the oven and you won’t understand why you ever despised this delicious green.
Add Flavor Texture And Color
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but spices and seasonings can really make a world of a difference in making otherwise dull foods more palatable.
Cinnamon and ginger are delicious with sweet-tasting dishes and the ingredients of a good curry are known to create a “happy feeling” by stimulating the body to release endorphins.
Instead of cooking only with salt and pepper and adding a dash of ketchup, add spices like thyme, oregano, paprika to your repertoire. Make your meals more colorful by opting for bright color combinations such as orange carrots and green peas. Use healthy, colorful garnishes such as lemon wedges, orange slices, parsley and lettuce to add both color and a crispy texture to your dishes.
When you feel like a snack, raw veggies like carrots, cucumber, fresh broccoli and celery sticks may not be the first on your mind. However, when you dip them in a low-fat dip, flavored cottage cheese, hummus or even a tasty salad dressing, they can be great to munch on while relaxing on the couch.
Try A Different Version
Many people don’t like the taste of some of the more pungent foods out there. Fish, for instance, should be our staple protein instead of red meat because of the beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids and other minerals that you don’t find in non-marine foods, but it has a very strong “fishy” taste. Try grilling a meatier game fish like halibut or tuna steaks on the barbeque and see if you like it this way.
With vegetables, the mature plant often has a stronger, more intense and bitter taste, but the “baby” version is usually sweeter and tastier. Try buying the “baby” versions, such as baby carrots, squashes, turnips and artichokes, which are usually more tender and cook faster, preserving more of the essential nutrients.
Tomatoes should be vine ripened and bought ripe if you want them to taste better, so instead of settling for the pale, hothouse tomatoes, buy them at the farmer’s market in season.
Try A Different Cooking Method
The way you cook food plays a huge role in its taste, which is why it is time to start experimenting with various cooking methods instead of chucking everything in the microwave. Both broccoli and spinach taste great in a salad. Beetroot doesn’t need to be eaten soggy from a jar, but turn out to be very tasty when roasted whole in the oven with a dash of olive oil and cut into a salad with roasted pumpkin seeds.
The Chinese long ago discovered the secret to making vegetables tastier: blanching. Try steaming your veggies for 60 seconds then drop them in cold water to stop the strong, bitter flavors from developing. Another age-old Asian secret to success is stir-frying the food, which preserves flavor by cooking it quickly. If you are not a fan of Brussel Sprouts, try stir-frying them very quickly with a little bit of olive oil, water and a handful of caraway seeds until just done.