There are plenty of ways to add flavor to food that don’t add extra fat and are actually pretty healthy! We all know the ingredients and cooking methods we use are super important when considering the nutritional content of our food. Check out these seven healthy ways to add flavor to food. These ingredients will not only lower the calorie content of your meal but could also help with detoxing, boosting immunity, and more!
Garlic is one of the easiest ways to add flavor to food without sacrificing fat or taste. I don’t know about you, but there’s almost no smell more comforting than some freshly minced garlic roasting in a pan of olive oil. Studies have linked garlic to heart health and better immunity from chronic illnesses like the common cold and flu. Add garlic to a hot pan for hearty flavor in a variety of meat and vegetable dishes.
Lemons (and limes) add a unique burst of citrus and flavor to any dish that just screams fresh and tangy. Lemon is also a detoxifying agent, aiding in cleansing the liver of toxins that have built up over time from years of poor eating and pesticide exposure. I personally love using citrus in chicken and seafood dishes. Even the blandest piece of boiled or poached chicken tastes divine with a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
It’s sad that parsley is usually treated as a garnish in American cuisine when it could be so much more! Parsley has a fresh and vibrant taste that will instantly wake up your taste buds without adding fat or calories. Mix freshly chopped parsley into your favorite tomato dishes to perk things up. I like to add it to salads as a way to jazz up a boring bed of greens.
4. Herbes De Provence
Herbes de Provence is a staple in French cuisine, and for good reason! It’s a unique blend of rosemary, thyme, lavender, and savory, although mixtures vary by brand and region. You don’t even need to buy Herbes de Provence, you can make it on your own if you’d like. Herbes de Provence pairs well with chicken, seafood, and tomato dishes, not to mention it totally shines in veggie-based dishes like ratatouille!
5. Chilies and Other Forms of Heat
Adding spice and heat is a great way to up the flavor of any dish. From salsa to cayenne pepper to fresh chilies, there are a variety of fresh and dried ways to add heat to a dish. Cuisines like Indian and Latin love to make use of heat! Dabbling into these two types of food is a great way to learn more about adding spice to your favorite dishes.
6. Chicken, Beef, or Vegetable Broth
Have you been boiling rice or quinoa in plain old water? Try using broths instead. Chicken, beef, or vegetable broth will add a robust and home-cooked flavor to a variety of dishes. Use it for steaming veggies or as a cooking liquid for braising meats. Opt for a low-sodium option to reduce water retention and avoid excess salt consumption.
7. Green Onions/Chives
Green onions and chives might seem tiny or even trivial, but don’t let their size fool you! A lot of times all it takes is adding a handful of these wonderful herbs to take a dish from good to great. Chives and green onions don’t take to heat very well, so sprinkle them on food at the end to preserve their nutritional value and flavor. You can use green onions and chives on everything from tacos made with turkey meat to curries and other stews.
There are plenty of healthy ways to add flavor to food that minimize fat intake and aren’t super difficult. All it takes is a little creativity and a handful of fresh ingredients for some flavorful food. What are your tips for adding flavor without fat and extra calories?