There are two things synonymous with traditional soul food: flavorful and unhealthy. While eating a soul food meal can leave you in a state of immense satisfaction; a daily diet of food high in sodium, sugar, and fat will put you at risk for developing a chronic illness such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
The secret to cooking healthy, soul food is all about using healthy ingredients.
My secrets for cooking healthy, soul food have been tried and tested, on my family, for the last 30 years. I learned to cook traditional soul food from my late mother, but, I’ve taken her recipes and made them healthier, by using alternative ingredients.
This Thanksgiving, you can add more flavor to your dishes, while reducing the added sodium, sugars, and fats, and still have your family and friends begging for more.
Here are some of my secrets for preparing healthy, soul food at Thanksgiving:
- Chicken broth with reduced sodium works wonders for adding flavor to stuffing and canned green beans. You can also find chicken broth that has 1/3 less fat than regular chicken broth.
- Add smoked turkey necks to collard greens and cabbage, instead of pork. Turkey is lower in fat and sodium.
- If you’re making pan gravy, use vegetable oil or margarine, and add low-fat milk or soy milk for creaminess.
- Avoid the carbs of sweet potatoes (although, they are yummy) and replace with a candied carrot casserole, with raisins and pineapples.
- Add low-fat milk or soy milk to mashed potatoes.
- Prepare macaroni and cheese casseroles with low-fat cheeses, low-fat milk or soy milk.
- Use plenty of garlic and other herbs to season meats and vegetables.
- Instead of sweet potato pie, try baking pumpkin or butternut squash, which are lower in calories.
- Sweeten desserts and other dishes with brown sugar, honey, or agave nectar, rather than white sugar.
Now, you have the secrets from a healthy, soul food kitchen to prepare flavorful and healthy dishes for Thanksgiving. As you enjoy the holiday season, remember to “Eat and Live Healthy.”