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Make Your Foods Super!

July 15, 2008

We’re a healthy blog over here, so finding healthy recipes is one of my top priorities. Something that I think is fun to do is to find as many different books/websites as I can get my little paws on and find the healthiest recipes among them. Even from “restrictive” diets, like vegan or fad diets, you can find some decent recipes (note to all vegans: not saying that your diet is at all on par with the fad dieting phenomenon. Just that its very limited in terms of what you can eat). Its the same with trying to eat according to different cultures and religions; you can find all sorts of super recipes from different places even if the values of the diet aren’t necessarily something you agree with.

Rice almost always tops the list. In the past couple days I must have found a dozen Cajun Rice recipes featured as a staple for a ton of different diets. And once you start looking into these kinds of patterns and see the same sorts of recipes cropping up time and time again, we can learn more about a) what kinds of foods we especially adore and therefore try to convert into a healthier meal; and b) which foods are overall considered a health food and important to our way of eating.

Consider the Superfoods. You’ll see them everywhere, in just about every dieting book and in every article trying to explain how you can up the nutrient content of your next meal. Plus, most of them are of the Supertasty variety as well (I’m still in shock from that one time years ago that I found out a friend doesn’t like blueberries. Is that even possible?!).

No one wants to eat stuff they won’t enjoy, and thats part of the real value of Superfoods. They have the appeal of being versatile and easy to incorporate into foods as well as having lots of flavor. And if you still don’t like that SuperFood, there’s the SuperSidekicks you can choose from so you can still get a ton of nutrients out of a food you enjoy. And periodically, it doesn’t hurt to try out a food again, several months or a year after you originally tasted it and disliked it. Our taste buds change over time, and no doubt you’ll discover at least one healthy food that you will fall in love with, even if you disliked it whole-heartedly before (some of mine include tomatoes, salmon, spinach… actually, the list could go on quite extensively. I’m sure I caused my parents many a headache as a picky-eater of a kid. Now they get headaches from me nagging at them for us to eat more healthy foods).

Have your tastes changed drastically of late? My challenge for you today (or tomorrow, if you don’t have time to go to the store today), is to find one healthy food that you’ve tried in the past and disliked. Buy it and find a recipe that sounds like it could be tasty with that food in it, make the meal and see how it goes. You might get a very pleasant surprise!

Also, as an aside: I love almonds but usually don’t buy them because I know I’ll eat handfuls in one sitting. But a little while ago I mustered up the courage to buy a container of almonds to see if I could control myself. I was amazed at how filling they can be and how much energy they give me for my workouts! I still might eat a couple too many, but I try to pay attention to how many of them I’m eating so that I don’t overeat by huge amounts. Anyway, the concluding tip is thus: if you’re looking for a good energizing snack and way to ward off the hunger for a time, munch on some almonds. It really does work!

39 comments

  1. I see your challenge and accept! Although I’m not going shopping until Friday so it will have to wait ’till then…


  2. woo hoo on the almonds!!
    I did have to start by buying the preportioned ones (and throw my money down the drain) as I had no concept of a portion nor any self control.

    now by the time Im done (full) so is a serving or so….

    M.


  3. Charlotte- can’t wait to hear what happens!

    MizFit- I couldn’t quite bring myself to buy the pre-portioned packages but I took your advice and I measured out 15-20 almonds in a baggy and took that to work with me for a snack. Kept doing that for a few days and now I’ve graduated to taking them straight from the container and not needing the ziplock:)


  4. I buy almonds, dried cherries, raisins, soy nuts and make my own little trail mix. Portion it out in a tiny bowl or baggy and it’s my snacky item.

    I used to hate brussel sprouts – but I tried them again recently sauteed with garlic & onions and they were soooo good.


  5. The Bag Lady never met a food she didn’t like 🙂
    Actually, she hated raw tomatoes as a child – didn’t like the texture in her mouth. She has learned to like them now though, but only when they are hers from the garden.
    There are a few foods she can no longer eat because they bother her stomach. One she really, really misses is bananas. Loved to eat them mashed on hot toast. *Sob* Had one bite of one banana (stole it off hubby’s cornflakes) and got the pain immediately. Sigh.


  6. I’m a big almond fan too. The challenge was finding some that weren’t too salty–but not entirely unsalted either, because they’re too boring, and if I try to lightly salt them myself it doesn’t stick.

    The answer, as it often is, was found at Trader Joes, where they have lightly salted roasted almonds. Yum!


  7. Avocado is one of the few “healthy” foods I’ve never really liked, bland and greasy tasting. (I could try again, Sagan, I’m sure I could.)

    One food I have gone off in recent years and am really glad about is: crisps (I think you call them potato chips in the US). As a teenager I loved them wayyyyy too much, but nowadays I just see a boring salty cardboard like snack with not enough taste (other than the salt).


  8. Hint for lightly salting your own almonds – soak them in salt water for 10 – 15 minutes, then spread them on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven.


  9. There are so many things I used to dislike that I have recently (in the past 6 months) learned I DO like now… oatmeal is one of them! And brussles sprouts… now I love them both!


  10. hmmm…me likey this challenge. I’m getting sushi w/friends tonite and usually get the most Americanized rolls there (ie Cali Roll) but maybe I’ll try a piece of tuna sashimi – everyone loves that stuff but I tried it once and was, like, blech. So good for you, tho!


  11. Yeah. No.

    I’ve heard that whole thing about your taste buds changing over the years, but I still dislike all of the stuff I disliked when I was a kid. The difference now is, I am the one in control – buying groceries, doing the cooking – so I have become pretty good at incorporating the healthy foods that I do like.

    Almonds are great. I usually keep a bag in my desk at work, and I’ll count out a serving then put the bag away.


  12. POM- I’ve never been big on the brussel sprouts but maybe I should give them another shot! Your recipe sounds good. And I love the homemade trailmix!

    Bag Lady- no bananas?! That makes me so sad. At least you’ve got all your lovely fresh garden veggies though, right? And thanks for the almond trick! I have a somewhat similar recipe but haven’t made it in ages.

    Crabby- I always get the unsalted ones, but one recipe I LOVE is making Spanish almonds- you roast them in the oven with some spices and oil and my lord are they delicious. But I think if I made those my portion controlling would go out the window!

    Sharon- I could take or leave avocado, myself. I hope you do try t again! And yeah, crisps really ARE just like salty cardboard… I always have popcorn instead. Mmmm.

    Chandra- Major oatmeal love! And with all this brussel sprouts talk you girls have convinced me to try them again:)

    Leslie- ooh, try exotic types of sushi! And be sure to let us know how it works out:)

    Javachick- it IS useful when you’re the one in control. And you’re right that sometimes our tastes just won’t adapt to certain foods- but every so often we get lucky and learn to like something we didn’t like before!


  13. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  14. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  15. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  16. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  17. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  18. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  19. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  20. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  21. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  22. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  23. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  24. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  25. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  26. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  27. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  28. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  29. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  30. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  31. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  32. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  33. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  34. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  35. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  36. I love a few almonds in my oatmeal in the morning. Gives a nice little healthy crunch.


  37. Almonds are my snack of choice…..Cajun Rice recipes. Yum!


  38. Count me among the almond fans! In the last year, I’ve tried a lot of vegetables that I wouldn’t touch as a kid: Yellow squash, zucchini, spinach, cauliflower. I’ve discovered that I really love vegetables.

    However, since I’m generally lazy, I struggle with the fact that the rest of the family won’t eat them; therefore, I’m much less likely to cook them if I’m the only one who’ll eat the finished product.

    I keep waiting for the day when my kids will exit the picky-eater stage…although my husband hasn’t seemed to, either.


  39. Scrumpy's Baker & Mark- almonds are SUCH a great little snack!

    Dara- Its challenging when other people aren't going to eat it, but at least you have been adventurous and tried out all kinds of different veggies in the last year:)



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