March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month-an annual month long celebration created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The 2014 theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right."  Research confirms that the main reason why a person purchases one food over another is taste!

The good news is that a flavorful dish doesn't have to be rich in cream, butter, and sugar that will have a negative impact on your weight.  Combine nutrition and flavor by using different herbs, spices, and reduced calorie items in the foods you already prepare or experiment with ones you have not tried before.

Here are some tips to boost the flavor profile of your foods without adding high calorie ingredients:

1.  Boost the flavors of meat, poultry, and fish by cooking with high-heat methods such as  grilling,  broiling, or pan-searing.  By using these techniques, you can add flavor without frying.

2.  Experiment with spices and herbs-basil, cilantro, rosemary, garlic, ginger, cumin, and oregano.  Or, mix different spices together to create your own blend.  Your palate will appreciate these new flavors!

3.  Use citrus juices or grated citrus peels such as those from a lemon, lime, or orange.  The acidity in citrus helps to balance the dish.

4.  Include dried ingredients in your dishes such as dried cranberries, apricots, figs, or plums.  Sun-dried tomatoes also can add a layer of flavor.  This is a great way to get in a serving of fruit in your day as well-just remember 1/4 cup of dried fruit is one serving, compared to 1/2 cup for fresh fruit.  You can also re-hydrate dried foods using fruit juice or cooking wine.

Yesterday, March 12, 2014, was National Registered Dietitian Day.  As the nation's food and nutrition experts, Registered Dietitians are committed to improving the health of their patients and community.  Let a Registered Dietitian teach you how to make healthy foods taste great.  Contact us today!