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Simple Ways to Add Flavor, Not Calories to Your Meals 

Most people love restaurant dishes because of their rich spice flavor and deliciousness. Unfortunately, they pack a ton of calories, salt, butter, and hidden sugars. Ditch the takeaway and cook your favorite foods the healthy way! From using herbs and spices to swapping mayo for mustard, there are plenty of tricks you can use to liven up the flavors in your meals. It’s no need to break your diet or worry about extra calories. Food can be delicious and healthy too! 

Use Herbs 

Go to any grocery store and you’ll find aisles of fresh herbs and spices. Mint, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, and chives can turn any meal into a feast. Fresh parsley goes well with salad, soup, and eggs. Cilantro is perfect for steak and tomatoes. Pasta and sauces will taste better if you add basil. 

Fresh herbs can be used in your cooking early on so they release their flavors into your dish. If you are concerned with fresh herbs going bad before you can use them all, you can freeze them in with a bit of water or a bit of butter in an ice cube container to save for a later date.  companies such as Tupperware and Pampered Chef also make herb keepers keep your fresh herbs lasting longer in the refrigerator.


Add Spices 

Spices can add flavor to your favorite meals without increasing their calorie content. Ginger, turmeric, garlic powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper should be a staple in your kitchen. Hot spices, such as chili powder, will rev up your metabolism and help you burn more calories. Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels and promotes weight loss. 

Taking an assortment of spices and creating combinations of dry Rubs and spice packages such as Taco Seasoning, a Rib rub or a hamburger pattie seasoning is a fantastic way to avoid the prepackaged season mixes, create a lot more mix for your money.  Dry spices also have a shelf life for 1-3 years depending on how they are stored. 



Swap Mayo for Mustard 

Mayonnaise is a huge industry, It has about $2 Billion dollars worth of sales in North American per year. The Health concern with Mayonnaise is that it is high in fat, calories and salt. Mustard is an excellent substitute for mayo and has fewer calories, no fat at all and lots of flavor. It blends perfectly with egg dishes, potato salad, homemade sandwiches, and meat specialties. Just make sure you choose low-sugar & low sodium varieties. Tarragon mustard, Dijon mustard, and other special blends can elevate a home-cooked meal to restaurant level. You can also try mustard seed spice as well.

Depending on the dish you are making, mustard might not be the right flavor your looking for, Keep in mind that Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese could also be used as a substitute.


Cook with Celery

The humble celery can boost food flavor and crunchiness. Low in calories, it will rev up your meals without adding inches to your waistline. It’s a perfect addition to stews, soups, casseroles, pasta, and homemade snacks. You can even use it in fish dishes, hummus, and nut butter. Add the leaves to pesto sauce and salads.  excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6. A trip to your local farmers market in the fall can prove to be good inspiration.


Try Nutritional Yeast 

With its cheesy, nutty flavor, this delicious ingredient can replace eggs and cheese in most recipes. One serving has just 30 calories and boasts large doses of B vitamins, protein, and fiber. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein, meaning that among the 18 amino acids it contains, nine are essential ones that your body cannot produce.Sprinkle it over roasted veggies, salads, popcorn, crunchy treats, and pasta. It also goes well with scrambled eggs, giving them that cheesy flavor you love so much. Nutritional Yeast is also perfect for anyone who follows a Paleo or vegans lifestyle.



Increase your sense of smell:

Your sense of smell will also play a role in your sense of taste. If your dish includes Onions, Shallots, Green onions, Ginger, or Garlic try caramelizing those ingredients beforehand in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Caramelizing can easily be done over a very low heat on the stove. The starches will turn into a natural sugar and in turn add a bit of sweetness to your dish you are preparing.




A little bit of acid in a dish can go a long way. Think of fresh lemons or limes.  They add a freshness and a bit of a bite to a dish. Perfect with Chicken or seafood. Even vinegar could be added as an acid. Have you ever ate a meal and there is something missing but you just can’t put your finger on it? usually its the acid. when you put a splash of lemon juice in a dish it gives it a balance in flavors when it hits your tongue that is pleasing to the palate. 



I’d love to hear some of your tips and tricks in the kitchen for boosting the flavor of your meals without the additional calories.  Share some of your pantry staples and your go-to recipes. Cooking healthy and adding flavor doesn’t have to be stressful, It can be a creative process!

If you have questions about this blog or have suggestions for topics we would love to hear from you.



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Information provided on this Web site and on all publications, packaging, and labels is for general purposes only and designed to help you make informed decisions about your health. It is not intended to substitute advice from your physician or health-care professional.