Spice It Up

Many times, when dining with other people, I have been asked the provocative question: “How come you don’t season your tomatoes? They don’t taste like anything!”

My answer is always the same: “That’s wrong. They taste exactly what they are supposed to taste like: tomatoes!”

Of course, I know a drizzle of Balsamico and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and oregano will enhance their flavor and make their taste more vibrant. I am all about that.

But what I don’t like is the pressing need to soak lettuce in those nasty store-bought salad dressings.

To season dishes with loads of sugary sauces.

To cover the original flavors of whatever food we are eating with pre-made seasonings that in most cases are just a jumble of artificial flavorings.
If you knew that you could recreate the intensity of certain flavors simply by using what Mother Nature has to offer… wouldn’t you be up for that?

That’s why I created my 4 simple TIPS to adding flavor naturally!!

While Stir Frying:

When you want to pan fry your veggies, try mixing oil (my favorite are Coconut, Olive and Grape Seed) with water in a non-stick pan. If you keep the heat on a medium temperature, this mix does a good job in preventing the food from sticking to the pan.

When your chopped onions and other veggies start sizzling, stir in a splash of home made vegetable broth. You’ll add flavor without adding any calories.

To add natural sweetness to your baked goods, use all natural applesauce, mashed bananas, fruit butters (banana & prune are my favorite – just be sure they don’t have added sugar) or pumpkin puree to your batters. Not only do they add great flavor to your cakes, they also keep them moist and act as a great egg replacer!

Another great way to add natural sweetness to your cakes and pies is to add fruit juices, coconut water, or home made syrups made with dates and other fruits.

To see how I put all these tricks into practice you can check out the recipes on my EBook “How To Indulge While Eating Clean.”

While Seasoning:

The perfect way to boost your salad with flavors while keeping the calorie intake low is to go create dressing with tasty ingredients that are naturally low in fat and sugar.

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A splash of vinegar, a squeeze of lime o lemon juice, a handful of chopped fresh basil or thyme will upgrade your raw salad to an explosion of flavor!

If you are missing is that Mayo kind of consistency, create your own sauce by using silken tofu or soaked and puréed cashews. They add the perfect richness to all of your dips while providing you with lots of proteins and healthy fats.

While Cooking:

When preparing savory dishes, the best way to add flavors that are naturally low in calories is to use a generous amount of spices.

Think about Indian or Thai cuisine. With their ability in selecting and mixing together a vast array of different seasonings, they create incredibly tasty food.

These are some of my favorite ways to create distinguishable flavors in my dishes:

1. A splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar is perfect to add intensity to your caramelized onions.

2. Ginger powder and chopped garlic are the best foundation to a delicious Asian style stir-fried dish.

3. Dried and fresh chili peppers, peppercorn and chilly powder are wonderful to stimulate the palate with a spicy kick.

4. Mustard, curry and other spices like cumin, cardamom or coriander will give your dish an exotic twist and are perfect for seasoning all those comfort foods for a cold, rainy day.

5. Aromatic herbs, such as rosemary, marjoram, sage or bay leaves, help add personality to your dish. Don’t use the same mix every time. Select one or two different seasonal herbs, according to the structure of your dish. This way, you will be able to give life to a wide rainbow of flavors that is unique every time… and you’ll never get bored of eating tasty, healthy food!

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