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One Mom's Moxie: 5 Health Foods That Actually Taste Good - Guest Post

Friday, June 29, 2012

5 Health Foods That Actually Taste Good - Guest Post

Like most people, when I think of health food I generally think of stuff that’s bland, boring, and kinda tasteless.  Or I think of the food at those vegetarian places that look more like Chia pets than anything I’d want to eat.  Unfortunately, these preconceived notions surrounding health food actually cover the fact that a lot of it is pretty tasty.  And it makes sense when you think about it:  Health food is packed full of nutrients which give it a fuller and more natural flavor.  We think of it as bland because our bodies are so used to processed junk and we can no longer tell which flavors are good and which ones are just too much.

Anyways, in an effort to get myself off of processed food, I decided to eat healthier and to experiment with more natural food.  I also got suggestions and recommendations from friends who are either into organic eating or healthy living and none of them eat what I like to call “rabbit food”.  I’m also pretty sure you’re going to like my suggestions because I’m all about fat and sugar and these recommendations totally satisfy my cravings.  So if you’re looking for something that’s tasty but won’t expand your waistline, try checking out these delicious yet nutritious foods.


Avocados
I never knew how good avocados were until I started eating them on a regular basis.  Before I started eating healthily, I basically looked at them as the base for making guacamole.  And even when I did eat guacamole, I was usually dipping deep fried nachos into it.  When avocados are prepared properly, they can actually substitute a lot of things that are high-fat and creamy.  They can be spread on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and used for veggie dips and marinades.  While they are high in calories, they also speed up your metabolism and they’re a source of healthy unsaturated fats.


Couscous
Couscous is a high fiber grain that’s full of nutrients and minerals and it’s got a subtly sweet flavor that goes really nicely with curries and stews.  At first I was pretty skeptical when it came to couscous since I thought it was only something that ageing hippies and hipsters liked to eat.  But once I tried it I actually got kind of hooked.  It’s got this great, almost crunchy texture that makes it really interesting to eat and I find it’s a lot more exciting than rice.  There are times I’ll even eat it when I’m craving salty chips or French fries since it’s got a nice savory and salty taste to it.


Green Tea
Before I started drinking green tea regularly, I had only drunk the stuff that they give you in Japanese restaurants.  I was pretty turned off by it because the flavor was so bitter and the tea didn’t go down smoothly.  But a friend of mine recommended that I try this specialty tea place that had over 50 different varieties of green teas.   I learned that there were smoother and sweeter types of green teas, like Jasmine and Matcha and Sencha.  Green tea is also great for your health because it speeds up your metabolism and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.


Wild Rice
Although plain white rice isn’t the most exciting food in the world, there are literally a hundred different types of wild rice and they all have their own unique flavors.  I started eating wild rice after another friend of mine introduced me to bulk food stores.  Wild rice is really amazing because there’s so much variation when it comes to flavor and texture.  Some of them are really nutty tasting while others are kind of smoky.  I usually like to pair wild rice up with roast chicken or beef but this stuff is tasty enough that you can actually eat it on its own.  Because the husks are kept on the grains, it’s also high in fiber and packed full of minerals.


Kale
Kale is delicious as long as you know how to prepare it properly.  If you just boil it and eat it raw, of course it’s going to taste pretty gross.  But kale is really something that adds a hint of flavor to a dish but it shouldn’t be the star of the show.  For example, blending a bit of kale into a smoothie is one way to take advantage of all of its anti-oxidants without having to deal with the bitter aftertaste.  Kale can also be baked in the oven and then salted to make delicious and healthy chips.  It’s a nutrient-rich dark green that can be tasty as long as you know how to prepare it.

After six months of eating healthily, these are my top picks for nutrient-rich foods that I actually love.  I never thought I’d say this, but I’m not starting to like healthy food a lot more than the junk I used to eat on a daily basis.  Sure, I cheat once in a while but I’m finding that my cravings are subsiding in favor of really good, nutritious food.  If you’re really pressed for ideas and are starting to go crazy from eating the same things over and over, check out allthingsrice.com for great recipe ideas that are healthy and yummy too.