Health

Skip the Salt and Mayo: 6 Healthy Flavor Boosters

| by Mitzi Dulan

It’s a real shame that a lot of people think that eating healthy has to taste bland, especially since there’s so many ways you can enhance the natural flavors of real food! Sometimes all it takes is adding that little extra ingredient to an otherwise “boring” salad for it to become extraordinary.  Instead of adding high calorie condiments like mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing, and full-fat cheese, look for healthier alternatives.

Try mixing together a new marinade, salad dressing or even just a dip to have with your fruits and vegetables.  With a little bit of extra work, you can make healthy food exciting!

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  • Lemons.  Perhaps the easiest flavor enhancer, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice breathes new life into steamed or grilled veggies.  Try mixing it with olive oil and dried herbs for a quick salad dressing!
  • Parmesan cheeseAs I’ve mentioned before, grating parmesan cheese over your meals instead of using other cheeses can save you quite a few calories.  It’s stronger flavor means you can use less while still enjoying the great taste.  Sprinkle it over grilled asparagus or even into your morning omelet!
  • Roasted red peppers. These peppers can sure pack a flavor punch!  Cut up some strips and mix it with plain Greek yogurt and spices for a quick veggie dip, or mix some with hummus for a new flavor combination!
  • Dijon mustard.  Remember that salad dressing I mentioned earlier?  Add some Dijon mustard for a nice tangy kick to it.  Or mix it with honey and use it for a marinade for grilling your lean meats!
  • Pesto. Basil is the most popular flavor, but you can also find other versions as well – dill, cilantro, even sundried tomato!  Adding pesto to sandwiches, quesadillas, or dips can give a nice rich flavor to the dish.  Try using basil pesto with whole grains like pasta, quinoa, or bulgur to pump up the taste!
  • Spice it up.  It might sound silly, but simply remembering to season your food can make a big difference in the way it tastes.  Check out my spice blog post on adding flavor and good nutrition without the calories.

What’s your favorite way to make the typical ‘healthy’ food more exciting?  I love adding a tablespoon of nut butter to my oats or even using it to dip carrots into – it’s always a delicious topping!

Assistance provided by Megan Skinner