Committing to a healthier year is much more than just piling kale onto your plate. If you really want to create good food habits that stick, you have to add an element of fun and deliciousness.
There are three main components that will ensure that a meal is satisfying—in both flavor and substance—and good for your body. Before you force down another salad you might not want, consider these elements of a healthy and delicious meal:
1. Make plants crave-worthy
There’s no way you’re going to make a healthy eating habit go the distance if the food (especially the plant foods) doesn’t taste good. By using ingredients and techniques like roasting, seasoning, and sautéing in high quality oil, you can get the best flavor out of the fresh produce you’re working with. Dive into your spice cabinet and try a new seasoning each week—and don’t forget the salt! Make an addictive dressing or sauce at the beginning of the week to top your vegetables with. Find culinary oils to work with that add to the richness and flavor of your dishes.
2. Use a good quality, organic culinary oil
Being choosy about the oil you use to cook with is important for the health factor and flavor of your food. High-quality, expertly crafted oils provide a wide range of uses to complement your all-purpose cooking, baking, sautéing or dressing for your favorite salad.
The beauty about organic culinary oils are the choices and the health benefits they bring as well as added flair to your recipes. Going beyond the staple of extra virgin olive oil, try incorporating these culinary oils into your recipes:
Walnut Oil: Heart protecting walnut oil is loaded with EPA, AHA, and DHA. It’s great as a finishing oil over roasted vegetables and salad dressing anywhere you want a luscious yet subtle nutty flavor.
Coconut Oil: A staple in many kitchens, coconut oil is a healthier alternative for sautéing thanks to it being heat stable even in high heat. Great in curries and as a butter replacement in baking, this immune-boosting oil fits in with sweet and savory recipes.
Avocado Oil: A great healthy option in the kitchen for those going after a rich buttery taste, avocado oil is a great vegan alternative. Use it in homemade mayonnaise and aioli, drizzled over toast, or as part of a marinade for grilling meat and vegetables, avocado oil is rich in flavor and waist-trimming healthy fats.
Grapeseed Oil: Thanks to its high smokepoint, grapeseed oil is a healthy alternative for highly processed vegetable oil. Grapeseed oil has a very mild neutral flavor so it’s ideal for sautéing where you would like other flavors to shine, such as spices and herbs.
3. Add in more protein
Protein, in tandem with fat, helps us stay full for longer and keeps our energy levels up. Whether it’s a plant-based protein like sautéed chickpeas, coconut oil fried eggs, or olive oil roasted chicken, it’s an important component to making a meal filling and satisfying. If you’re adding protein to an already plant-focused meal, along with extra flavor from quality culinary oils and seasoning, you’re on the right track to creating a healthy habit that’s easy to get on board with.