As a dietitian and self-proclaimed foodie, I take eating very seriously. While it is important that I serve my family a variety of healthy foods, it is equally important that they enjoy those foods. Otherwise, all of that nutrition goes straight into the garbage and I end up with very healthy trash! Not good.
Over the years, I have developed a few tried and true tricks that amp up the flavor of my cooking while keeping an eye on fat and salt.
1.) Always keep citrus fruit on hand.
Citrus fruit, especially lemons and limes, add an instant flavor boost and freshness to most dishes. Zesting the fruit adds an even more potent flavor. In my kitchen, citrus fruits find their way into most salad dressings, marinades and sauces.
2.) Buy produce that is in season (and local, when possible!)
Freshly picked produce tastes much better than produce that was picked before its peak. Now that it’s summer in New England, I take full advantage of local, fresh fruits and vegetables. They taste great, offer fabulous nutrition and can be enjoyed without added salt and fat.
3.) Use plenty of herbs and spices.
In addition to wonderful flavor and freshness, herbs- both fresh and dried-offer delicious health benefits. Herbs and spices are particularly high in polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds that can protect us from a variety of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. And, there is evidence that dried herbs are even more potent protectors because they contain higher concentrations of polyphenols.
Gerbs offers a wide variety of allergy-friendly herbs, spices, chili powders and seasoning blends. We use Gerbs herbs and spices to make a homemade taco seasoning. My family absolutely LOVES tacos so they are a regular on our dinner table. I make a double batch of this seasoning and store it in an empty spice jar, that way we always have it on-hand for taco night.
Homemade taco seasoning is a great idea for families that may need to avoid gluten. Prepared taco seasonings often have hidden gluten (used to keep the spice blend from sticking together.) Making your own gives you control over all the ingredients so you can be sure it’s safe for the whole family.