Attempting to eat healthier doesn’t mean bland food is in your future. I hope my recipes on this blog are a testament to that! By using simple healthy ingredients that give your dish a flavor boost, without ruining the nutritional, you have a world of dishes at your fingertips!
With these 5 Healthy Ingredients That Give Your Dish A Flavor Boost, enhance any dish with these nutritional, flavor loaded ingredients.
1. Fresh Cheese
With a simple sprinkle of fresh cheese, pasta, salads, soups, pizza, even avocado toast takes each of these dishes to the next level. I love to keep a variety of cheese in our fridge for this reason and for snacking. Such as, goat cheese, part skim mozzarella, grated parmesan and feta cheeses are all great for topping dishes with.
2. Heart Healthy Oils
Get your healthy, unsaturated fats in by using heart healthy oils in your meals. Not all oils are created equal so choose carefully. For sauteing, I use coconut oil for its high smoke point. Extra-virgin olive oil is terrific in fresh vinaigrettes or other recipes where it will not be heated because of its delicate fresh flavor. While olive oil is perfect for roasting.
To bust the common misconception, eating fat will not make you fat. It actually nourishes your body and is essential for a healthy diet.
Other fats such as avocados are perfect to keep on hand. From adding to salads, fresh guacamole to adding to your breakfast omelet, it is the perfect fat to add a flavor boost.
3. Adding Flavors with Spices
If there was one way to add a new layer of flavor to your dish, it would be to season with salt, pepper and spices! It is as simple as adding a pinch or more of salt and a grind from a pepper mill. I remember in culinary school how many times the chef’s would push the importance of seasoning with salt and pepper. This doesn’t mean going overboard, but to not be scared of it either!
Beyond salt and pepper, many spices are known for carrying health benefits! Such as cinnamon lowering blood sugar and turmeric, which contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that is 50 times more potent than vitamin C or E.
Most spices can lose their lackluster quickly so to get the most of your spices, buy high-quality spices, and if possible, whole spices in bulk and grind or grate them yourselves when you need them. While that is not always the most convenient, I stick with buying herbs from a local shop called Penzy’s that is dedicated to high-quality ingredients. And not to mention the variety they sell!
4. Fresh Herbs
I love fresh herbs! While I am dying to start my own garden, having fresh herbs handy will evaluate your dish with a quick sprinkle towards the end of cooking or before serving.
Top pasta with basil or parsley, add basil at the end of a simmering tomato sauce or Italian soup, sprinkle rosemary over roasted potatoes, garnish tacos with cilantro, add fresh dill to greek yogurt for a quick dip and add mint to lemonade for an unexpected freshness!
Fresh herbs add a layer of complexity and freshness that dried herbs and spices lack. Beyond their nutrition and flavor, they add a touch of beauty to any dish!
5. Adding Flavor with Onions and Garlic
If there is one secret I use when cooking, it is starting with a base of onions and garlic. They are simple, frugal, versatile and a delicious way to add flavor to any dish. Nearly any dish I cook starts with a base of sauteed onions and garlic. Whether that is a chicken dish, my Italian Turkey Saute, salsa, stir fries, pasta or soups, their deliciousness is uncomparable to their raw counterparts. Onions take on a slight sweetness when cooked but are not overpowering. Garlic, whether raw or cooked, is a flavor foundation that most dishes will benefit from.
What are some of the ways you add a flavor boost to your cooking? There are so many more but these have proven to be the ones I count on time and time again!3