Italians are known all over the globe as the creators and masters of cooking delectable dishes like pasta and pizza. It is the home of meals that food lovers and enthusiasts absolutely love. There are even various gastronomic guides posted on the web that can be used by tourists to figure out the best restaurants to visit.
It is undeniable that Italian meals are superb, but some are not the best food you should take if you want to be healthier. Nowadays, a lot of people are investing a lot of money, time, and effort to have a more nutritious diet. Various diet trends, like intermittent fasting and keto diet, have now surfaced and the demand for healthier food and recipes has increased.
If you have decided to recreate and make Italian dishes at home, there are recipes online, like A Guide For Your 20s, that you can follow. Most of these recipes include traditional cooking and recipes. If you want to make it more nutritious, there are ways to accomplish that.
Here are 4 ways to make Italian recipes healthier:
Add High-Protein and High-Fiber Food
Instead of adding meat to your sauce and pasta, you can use beans and legumes which are rich in protein. By adding lentils, chickpeas, and peas, your Italian dish can be cooked with more nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Also, when making pasta bolognese, you can use beans as a meat-alternative.
Adding more fiber-enriched food into your recipe can also help make your dish healthier. Fiber is a healthy carbohydrate that can reduce the chances of colon cancer and improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. It is also an excellent nutrient that can aid you in losing fat and weight. If you’re into Italian salads, you can put spinach, beets, almonds, or sunflower seeds to create a high-fiber meal.
Use Gluten-Free Ingredients
Italians are world-renowned for their pasta dishes. They have carbonara, lasagna, puttanesca, and more pasta recipes that are also served in Italian-inspired restaurants all over the globe. This food is indeed delicious and versatile, though, pasta is high in carbohydrates that are more difficult to be digested by the body and also results in high blood sugar.
Fortunately, you can stop eating regular pasta and munch on gluten-free pasta instead. These are often made of chickpea, quinoa, corn, and lentils. You can purchase these organic and healthier kinds of pasta in the market. If these are not available in stores near you, you can also choose to make your own homemade pasta, which is indeed healthier than instant pasta or noodles.
Chicken Over Pork and Beef Meat
To create a delicious, healthy, and meaty Italian recipe, it is better to use white meat than dark meat. Instead of using pork to create meatballs, you can choose to add chicken or turkey. While it is true that dark meat contains tons of nutrients like Vitamin B12, white meat is healthier as it contains less saturated fat and it is an excellent source of protein.
It is also best to broil meat instead of frying it. The process of frying includes the use of cooking oil, which contains a considerable amount of fats and calories that can be unhealthy for the body. This is not only applicable to meat but vegetables and pasta as well. Choose to include broiling and baking in your recipes to create a more nutritious meal.
Use Honey and Fruits For Desserts
Have you ever heard of tiramisu, panna cotta, and semifreddo? These are just a few of the famous desserts the Italians have created and mastered. However, everyone knows desserts and sweets are the enemies when you’re trying to be more conscious about your health and fitness. They contain high contents of sugar that are indeed unhealthy, particularly if you have medical conditions like diabetes.
As an alternative for sugar, you can opt to use honey as a sweetener for your desserts. Because it contains antioxidants, honey is great for improving cardiovascular and digestive health. In addition to that, you can also use fruits to make your Italian dessert more scrumptious and nutritious at the same time. Incorporating ingredients that are good for one’s health in your recipes, such as greek yogurt and dark chocolate, is another great way to make your body nourished while consuming sweets.
These ways to make Italian recipes healthier are also applicable to other types of dishes. Instead of dining in restaurants and fast food establishments, you can easily recreate Italian meals with a more nutritious twist in your home.