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“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”

We all have the best intentions to “eat right” but something gets in the way. For some, it is lack of knowledge of how to shop for healthful foods. For others it is a perceived lack of time and dependence on less healthful convenience products that prevents them from embracing better eating. For many, it is making healthful foods taste good (just as good as those prepared foods or take out) that limits their desire to want to eat healthfully.

The theme of National Nutrition Month, which is celebrated annually in March, encourages people to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”. After all, it we aren’t enjoying our foods than we aren’t going to eat them. If you have ever had deliciously prepared Brussels Sprouts then you know what I mean. When healthful foods are prepared well you focus on the taste…not on how good they are for you.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers these tips for boosting both the taste and nutrition of your meals…a “plate lift” as they call it:

  • 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.