If you want your meals brimming with flavour, don’t grab the salt shaker or sauce bottle. Try these healthy alternatives!
This yellow spice is a natural anti-inflammatory and is rich in protective antioxidants. Add ground turmeric to curries or other savoury dishes for great flavour, or use the pulp from the fresh root in smoothies.
Cut down on salt by adding vitamin C-rich lemon juice to your cooking to enhance the flavours. Add it at the end of cooking time to minimise the loss of vitamin C. Or use the zest as a refreshing garnish.
3. Wholegrain mustard
Add a teaspoon or two of tasty mustard to accompany your roast meat, chicken or fish. It’s low in kilojoules and you don’t get the added sugar and salt found in most store-bought bottles of sauce.
4. Woody herbs
Herbs add loads of earthy, salt-free flavour to winter soups and stews. Those with woody stems, such as rosemary, sage and thyme, last much longer than their leafy cousins.
5. Balsamic vinegar
A splash of balsamic vinegar added when roasting root vegies gives a delicious natural sweetness. And the acidity of the vinegar helps to slow the digestion process and lower the glycaemic index of a meal. This means it keeps you feeling full for longer.
Did you know that chillies are high in vitamin C? You may not want to take a bite of one just for that, but try using fresh or dried chillies for a flavour punch rather than pouring on sugary sweet chilli sauce.
Pack a punch…
Herbs and spices do more than add exotic flavour to meals — in fact, they’ve been used over many centuries for their strong medicinal purposes.
A 2010 study found that herbs and spices have the highest antioxidant content of all fresh foods — about 300 per cent higher than berries, and 3600 per cent higher than vegetables!
Antioxidants help fight the damage that stress, pollution and an unhealthy diet puts on our bodies.
Of course, we can’t eat huge amounts of spices in one go, but they’re a superb way to improve the health and flavour of ordinary meals, without adding salt, sugar or fat.