"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Top Ten Ways to Enhance a Meal!

We certainly don't enhance every meal, as you can see from the picture above. :) But when I can, I try to boost the nutritional value of a meal. Enhancing a meal is EASY! Here is a list of some simple ways you can enhance a meal:

1. Add chopped kale, spinach, peppers, onion, or whatever veggies you have on hand to spaghetti sauce, hamburger meat, meatloaves, taco meat, meat balls, etc. The key is to chop the veggies up small. It enhances the flavor and nutritional value.

2. Add sweet potato or pumpkin puree to pancakes or waffle recipes.

3. Add chopped up onion and homemade chicken stock to rice.

4. Add zucchini or squash purees to mac and cheese.

5.Smoothies are an excellent way to squeeze in a few extra vegetables. We use frozen strawberries, spinach or kale, one carrot, kifer, coconut oil, honey, and water. It sounds like an odd combo but if you can get the consistency how you like it, it is a yummy drink. I usually add their cod liver oil and probiotic to this drink as well. It is a great way to start their day. You can play with different fruits and veggies, but be careful to not use too much fruit. It will go from a healthy drink to a high sugared beverage. If you are really brave, and have a vitamix, you can add root vegetables, seeds, nuts, etc. Smoothies are all about experimentation.

6. When making oatmeal/brown rice cereal add coconut oil, cinnamon, chopped walnuts or almonds, and apple slices.

7. When making eggs, use cultured butter, Celtic sea salt and organic/cage free brown eggs and you have an amazingly healthy dish. Of course adding chopped veggies and raw cheeses is also a great addition.

8. Spice it up! I add Turmeric, garlic, Celtic sea salt and onion to everything. Turmeric is a wonder spice. I give it to the kids with coconut oil and honey when they are coming down with a cold. I especially like adding it to taco meat and spaghetti sauce. I am not a huge fan of the flavor, but mixed in with other foods, you can't even taste it. Here are just a few reasons you should have Turmeric in your diet:

"1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice."

9.When making pancakes, consider adding ground flax or wheat germ. I personally like wheat germ because it is easier. When we went on our shopping tour, Angelle said that Flax goes bad if you don't use it immediately. Basically, you should grind it every time you use it. Wheat germ sits in your fridge and you can just scoop it out and add it to your food. We get our DHA/EPA's from taking cod liver oil and eating salmon, walnuts, etc., so I don't worry about the flax.

10. Add to the basics: fruit/veggie puree, cinnamon, wheat germ, flax seed, probiotic, etc, can all be added to yogurt or applesauce.

We are setting up a life time of healthy eating habits by prioritizing our child's health in these formative years. When I talk about enhancing/hiding vegetables in food, I would like to suggest introducing vegetables and fruits to your child at every meal. I'd like to second Jessica Seinfeld's, author of Deceptively Delicious, views on serving vegetables with a meal as well as hiding them in a dish. The goal is to have your child enjoy eating healthy foods, but if one night is a total fail, at least you have insurance. :)

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