When we think of items that delight the the foodie palate, things like cheese, wine, chocolate and pastries are often first to come to mind. These decidedly high calorie items must be enjoyed in moderation to maintain a good health, but there are a number of exotic tastes that are also very healthy. Assembled below is a list of epicurean delights that are also nutritionally sound.
1. Expeller Pressed Olive Oil. An expeller press mechanically extracts the oil from seeds or fruits like olives. This traditional method doesn’t require chemicals and produces a better product. “When the first press happens, all the nutrients come out in the oil and that’s the highest quality,” says Chef Marcus Guiliano, owner of Aroma Thyme Bistro.
2. Bulgur Wheat. This nutritious wheat has a low glycemic index and is high in fiber. Made from a pre-cooked wheat berry, serve it as you would cous cous or rice.
3. Coconut Milk. Gaining recent traction as a dairy substitute, coconut milk adds a sweet note to all kinds of recipes. Although it’s high in fat, it’s also a good source of lutien, a key nutrient for eye health.
4. Quinoa. Another great grain, this one is a complete protein, which means it has all the essential amino acids needed for muscle and bone growth.
5. Turmeric. This spice can reduce inflammation and heart disease, thanks to curcumin the natural phenols responsible for turmeric’s bright color. Use in sauces or to flavor vegetables.
6. Bison Meat. If you’re ready to try a wilder meat, consider bison, which has less fat and more iron than conventional beef. It’s best to choose grass fed organic meat, to ensure it’s free from antibiotics.
7. Black Rice. This sticky rice has the same healthy antioxidant found in blueberries and blackberries, in addition to amino acids and minerals. Sometimes called “forbidden rice,” it cooks in half the time as brown rice varieties.
8. Chia Seeds. Chia is a member of the mint family, but its seeds are similar to sesame seeds. Chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds, and can be sprinkled onto salads or yogurt.
January 26th, 2012