Accessorize Your Plate

Accessorize your plate

No, I’m not talking about jewelry or purses. However, you can’t go wrong with the right accessories! I’m talking about accessorizing your plate! There are many ways to elevate the style of your plate. You can use herbs, healthy fats, or really anything that will help you enjoy the foods. The key here is to add things to foods so you will eat them! You may not like some plain, raw veggies, but if you add herbs and oil to them, you may find that you like them!

Herbs

Herbs are a great way to add a lot of flavor without having to add salt. Fresh herbs contain large amounts of vitamins and polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds that have antioxidants and help with anti-inflammation. It has been shown that the polyphenols found in herbs can reduce chronic inflammation. There are a variety of herbs to choose from, so if you don’t like the smell or flavor of one, try another one! I’m sure you will find some that you would love to add to your meals!

Here’s a great way to eat cauliflower! You cut them like a steak. Don’t break off the florets. You make a sauce like this chimichurri sauce using herbs like cilantro and parsely. And then you have a great dipping sauce for your cauliflower! Lots of great flavor in this recipe!

For more recipes like this one and for for meal plans that promote anti-inflammation, click here.

Don’t like the taste of plain water? Well, then add some herbs! Make your water serve a function! Herbs are loaded with antioxidants that have many health benefits for your body. Accessorize your water and I promise, it will get you drinking more! For more information on water, please see my post on hydration here. One of my favorite herbs to add to my water is mint! But you can very easily add fresh basil with some lemon for a nice refreshing treat!

Spices

Spices are another way to spice up your plate! Spices are the perfect way to accessorize your veggies, entree, or really any item you need to add flavor to! From carroway seeds to spicy red pepper flakes, you just can’t go wrong with spices! Did you know that spices also serve a function? Many spices like tumeric, cinnamon, and cayenne all provide health benefits.

Tumeric contains curcumin which is a super antioxidant. It helps fight oxidation and supports your immunity. Tumeric gives curry the yellow color. Studies suggest it even improves brain health, can reduce risk of heart disease and cancer and can help with arthritis.

Cinnamon is a very common spice that is found in all sorts of recipes! It contains cinnamaldehyde which gives the medicinal properties to cinnamon. It is another antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Cinnamon has also been found to help lower blood sugar. I love sprinkling cinnamon in my morning coffee… Another great way to accessorize your drinks!

Cayenne is often used to prepare those spicy recipes. Capsaicin is the active ingredient found in peppers. It has been shown to reduce appetite and may increase your metabolism. So, if you like spice, add it to your veggies so you would for sure eat them! Here’s a great recipe to try that I’m sure you will love! Cayenne is a great accessory for veggies, especially butternut squash.

Oils

Don’t like raw veggies? Not a problem. Roast, sautee or bake them using oil! I know a lot of people shy away from using oils, but if that is what helps you to eat more healthy foods, then do it! The most popular oil is Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). It’s loaded with antioxidants. However, it has a low smoke point of 357°F – this is when the oil begins to degrade and releases damaging free radicals. This oil should be used for colder dishes like dips, salads and dressing. Light olive oil has a higher smoke point (470°F) and is great for roasting veggies! I put my olive oil in a spray bottle like this one from Amazon (this link is an affiliated link – I will get commission when you purchase using this link). Just lightly spray the veggies on a pan and add whatever spices you want. I always add garlic, pepper and red pepper flakes to everything I roast! But feel free to experiment with it!

Want an Asian inspiration? Try toasted sesame oil! I use it when I’m cutting back on carbs, but want some Asian Fried Rice! Click the picture below to get the recipe for fried rice using cauliflower. I promise you will hardly know that it isn’t rice!

Bottom Line

If using oil, herbs, spices or dipping sauces help you to eat healthy food, do it. Just be mindful of the amounts you use. A little bit goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. You never know when you find the perfect combo that gives you the flavor you have been looking for!

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