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How to add flavour without the added KJs or fat

How to add flavour, without adding fat or KJs

Excerpt from Bronwen King's article from the Healthy Food Guide.

No matter how 'good for us' a food may be, we won't eat it if it doesn't taste good.

Some people think food that's healthy can't possibly be tasty enough to satisfy them. They think healthy eating means bland and boring - nothing could be further from the truth.

This doesn't mean we need to cut all the fat, sugar and salt out of recipes. Instead, it means using less of these 'traditional' flavour-enhancers and adding other tasty yet nutritious ingredients to boost flavour.

Here are some great heatlth and flavour boosting ideas to make meals taste delicious without adding to the fat content.

Clever flavour-boosting habits:

Grated cheese
Swap a cup of grated cheddar for three-quarter cup grated edam cheese and two tablespoons grated parmesan. Edam cheese has less fat (and less flavour) than traditional cheddar, but parmesan's intense flavour makes up for this.

Cheese sauce
Use trim milk and thicken with flour or cornflour. Use edam and parmesan instead of traditional cheddar. To further boost flavour, add some mustard and nutmeg.

Roasting vegetables
Instead of roasting vegetables around the meat, cook them in a separate dish. Make up the following mixture to toss through vegetables before roasting. These quantities are enough for about six cups of chopped vegetables (for four people):
- 2 tablespoons each balsamic, olive oil, honey
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- herbs, fresh or dried of your choice

Mashed potato
Instead of adding butter, add flavour to potato by cooking in stock or vegetable broth. Mash with trim milk, a little light sour cream, a little salt, and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Marinate meat
Before stir-frying or barbecuing, marinade meat. This tenderises as well as adding flavour. Oil isn't necessary in a marinade. Use non-oil highly flavoured alternatives instead, such as lemon juice, soy sauce, chilli sauce or balsamic vinegar.

Add a handful of rocket to salad greens. The intense peppery flavour adds zip to any salad.

Salad dressing
Instead of the usual three parts oil to one part vinegar, make a tasty dressing by reversing the proportions: three parts vinegar to one part oil. Use a well-flavoured vinegar, tarragon-flavoured or balsamic for example, and further boost flavour by adding garlic and mustard.

To make a richly flavoured gravy without fat, drain all the fat from the meat juices, then add chicken or beef stock. Boost the flavour even more with other ingredients to enhance the meat: for beef, add red wine, mustard or horseradish; for lamb, add mint jelly or rosemary.

Instead of butter, choose a low-fat tasty spread such as hummus, mustard, horseradish, light mayonnaise, chutney or extra-light cream cheese. Your sandwich will be just as tasty with much less fat.

Use nuts or seeds to add flavour and texture
Adding nuts to everything from salads to cereal to baked goods is a great way to add flavour and nutrition. Also by toasting nuts briefly it adds heaps more flavour. Remember that nuts are still high in fat, but it's a healthy type.

Toast your spices
Get the most from dried spices by making sure they are cooked. Add spices with onion and garlic at the beginning of cooking and stir this mix over heat.