Soul food cooking has become increasingly healthier over the past decade. Thanks to changes in the health industry and changes in cooking recipes, it’s now possible to enjoy soul food at home without having to sacrifice taste and health. Many people wrongly assume that you have to give up eating southern cuisine completely to reap the benefits. The fact is that there are plenty of delicious choices for healthy soul food recipes that will delight your family and save them time and money at the same time.
You may be wondering what types of foods are considered soul food. It’s a family tradition that dates back many years and continues to be enhanced by the different variations of the southern cuisine that is made by African, Caribbean, Italian, Japanese and other ethnic groups. With more people becoming interested in eating healthy these days, this type of cooking is enjoying a big boost in interest.
Because of these growing changes, it is important to take a closer look at what foods are considered soul food. There has been some talk about healthier eating among African-Americans but what you eat is the most important part. This southern cuisine has always used high levels of fat and calories, so this is not a diet in the way that some people perceive it to be. Instead, it is a way for people to enjoy the great taste and variety of traditional dishes. And by cooking your own meals, you can be sure that they are as fresh as the day they were prepared.
Many people wrongly assume that because they eat more of this type of cuisine at every meal that they will be consuming less fat. But this isn’t really true. In fact, soul food contains a lot of calories and fats as well as sodium, which is found in table salt. By cooking your own soul food meals at home and choosing lower-sodium options you can enjoy tasty, nutritious foods while still maintaining your ideal weight.
There have long been rumors that spicy dishes like gumbo, jambalaya and most vegetable dishes, such as rice and beans, should be avoided at all costs, and many people have their own opinions on this topic. However, when it comes to soul food, there are no rules. If you want to include them in your diet and keep it healthy, you can; just make them on your own and choose lower-sodium versions or skip them all together.
Fried chicken and other deep-fried items are popular favorites and are a staple of soul food. However, to get a healthier version, cook your own chicken using healthier ingredients and reduce the amount of oil you use. Extra virgin olive oil is a healthier alternative to regular vegetable oil. Extra virgin oil also maintains a healthy lard texture and flavor, which makes fried chicken a healthier choice than most chicken recipes.
Chicken’s favorite comfort food, sweet potato pie, has also seen a change in the past couple of decades. Many southern cuisine lovers avoid white sugar due to its high calorie and refined carbohydrates. However, they have also come to appreciate the rich, sweet potato pie that they once had as part of their southern cuisine. For both of these dishes, using less white sugar and substituting for regular sugar is a good way to keep your diet soul food inspired without sacrificing taste.
What foods are considered soul food are as controversial an subject as they are plentiful. But one thing that continues to change is the healthy options being offered by manufacturers. It has become increasingly clear to cooks and consumers alike that health is more important than taste. Soul food recipes continue to evolve to meet the needs of a healthier more balanced diet, but you can often times find ways to make them easier and more delicious by doing some of the following: