Blog: The Senior's Advocate

Flavor Freebies: Eliminating fat and calories, pumping up flavor!

It may be a challenge for most people, but eating healthy doesn’t have to be torture. As we age, it is increasingly important to carefully monitor what is going into the body and how it makes us feel. One of my favorite tricks to eating healthy, without feeling deprived or under nourished is to use “flavor freebies” to add flavor to your dishes with minimal fat and calories.  The best part is they’re easy to incorporate in many foods and reasonably priced- flavor freebies make eating healthy, and oh so satisfying. Here’s my favorites:

Lemon Oh, lovely lemon. This is by far my favorite flavor freebie to work with. Lemon zest and juice can brighten up any dish- whether it’s a simple fruit salad or an elaborate roasted chicken. It adds an acidic kick to dressings, marinades, and more, and is free of fat and calories. Try adding a squeeze of lemon to something you may not have ever thought to try; you’ll be surprised how much the flavor is enhanced.

Garlic This one is not as versatile as lemon, however it packs a punch all the same. Garlic can be added to any protein and make it into something savory and rich. And because it’s virtually free of fat and calories, but contains antioxidants, it’s a great flavoring agent that you don’t have to feel guilty about loading up on. Another bonus: it’s very inexpensive and a little goes a long way! A clove or two of chopped garlic will enhance your next meal greatly.

Olive Oil Although any oil contains fat, olive oil is good fat for your body, adding omega-3s and other nourishing components that help increase the look, feel and overall health of skin, hair, nails, eyes, brain and more. Because of its nourishing qualities, olive oil was named   a super food. So don’t let the word “oil” stop you from using this flavor freebie in marinades, dressings, and more. Everything in moderation!

Fresh Herbs Herbs like basil, mint, thyme and rosemary add immense flavor to anything and they are free of fat and calories completely. They add freshness and earthiness to a variety of dishes- even sweet ones. I am a HUGE mint fan. It’s aromatic, crisp flavor lends itself to savory and sweet dishes with ease. Combine any herbs with garlic, olive oil and lemon, and you will have an amazing sauce, marinade or dressing for pretty much anything.

Hopefully these “flavor freebies” will make their way into your home and into your food! They’re nourishing and healthy, but powerful in flavor. Enjoy!

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