When It Has to Taste Good - Tips on Making Healthy Recipes Taste Good

We all want food that tastes good. In fact we tend to choose foods based on their taste. If it doesn't taste good, why do we bother eating it?

People tend to fit into two groups, one says "if this is healthy, this is what I have to eat", with no consideration to the taste. The other group says, "if a food doesn't taste good I'm not going to eat it", irrespective of whether its healthy for them or not.

But what if you didn't have to choose, what if you could make your food taste great even when it is "healthy"? I suspect most of us would agree, that this would certainly be the way to go.

So, here are some tips to help make your food taste good, even if it is healthy.

Firstly, know what role the higher calorie nutrients (like fat or sugar) have in the dish. Simply knowing the role they have in the dish helps you to identify if it is something you can reduce, replace or omit altogether. For example, if the fat is oil and its used to fry in and the frying is shallow frying, you may find that you can easy reduce the amount of fat used in the cooking by switching to non-stick cookware and using a small fraction of the oil suggested in the recipe. If it is sugar in a muffin, you may find that you can use apple puree as a replacement (allowing for a little less moisture in the rest of the ingredients) or simply add more fruit to the recipe.

When using lower fat products, its helpful to know if other products can produce a similar effect in the dish. For example, you can use low fat evaporated milk with a dash of coconut essence to replace coconut milk. But you can also use this combination with gelatine to produce a tasty pannacotta treat without the cream.

Knowing your cuts of meat and poultry can help with this too. If you have a cut of meat like for example gravy beef and trim all the fat from it you will probably notice that you can still use it in a casserole or slow cooked meal as this type of meat is used in slower cooked dishes anyway and removing all the fat won't impact very much on the ability for the meat to cook the way it should. Whereas is you used the same cut of meat and trim it of all the fat and then tried to use it in a stir fry you would find that it gives a very tough product.

Try using herbs and spices. Fat is an item that provides taste as well as mouth feel to a dish. If the fat in the dish contributes to taste, try experimenting with herbs and spices to get great flavours. Some herbs and spices go better with particular dishes and ingredients. For example rosemary goes very well with potato and lamb and basil goes very well with tomato.

If you have a sweet tooth and really feel as though you need a sweet fix, try fruit. If you vary your fruits, you can experiences many different flavours in your "desserts" as well as help contribute to your fruit intake for the day. Not to mention the fibre you will also gain from the fruit.

Using fruit and vegetables in season means that they are richer in flavour and colour which not only improves the look of your dish but it also enhances the flavour and the nutrient profile of the dish. Buying fruit and vegetables in season also tends to be a much more cost effective way of doing your shopping and they also tend to make you feel more like being experimental in your cooking.

When you combine all of these ideas together and experiment with flavours, you will find that you will be able to create masterpieces with your cooking that will ensure that you not only meet the criteria of keeping your dishes lower in the high calorie ingredients (such as fat and sugar) but also make them even more enticing to eat.