Soul Food, Tradition & Healthy Living

Keep the soul in your heart and the health in your life

Soul food is tasty, simple, hearty, and rooted in tradition. Many soul food recipes - succulent fried chicken, sweet potato pie, rich macaroni and cheese, sloppy barbeque ribs and meats, and ham hock collard greens with pork fat -- have been passed down over the generations and include cooking ingredients that we know today are not healthy for us to eat in large quantities. You want to honor tradition yet maintain your health. So what should you do?

An occasional, traditional, soul food meal at holiday gatherings and celebrations is probably not going to hurt you in the long run and that you should live your life in balance. However if you want to eat these foods regularly, here's what we found:

Traditional soul food can cause:
- Obesity
- High Cholesterol
- Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Problems

Problems with traditional soul food:
- High in calories
- Foods cooked with lard & saturated fat
- Recipes heavily seasoned with salt and sugar
- Use of fatty meats
- High in cholesterol

If you choose to eat a traditional soul food meal, try to do the following:
- Exercise
- Make your next meal one filled with fiber
- Drink tea
- Avoid bad foods, fast food, and sodas

Some Traditional soul food can be healthy:
- Collard greens - good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals
- Sweet Potatoes - excellent source of beta-carotene
- Meats -- supply daily protein and B vitamins

Changing & altering recipes while maintaining tradition
- Try new kinds of flours, fats, sugars, and seasonings - check out our healthy alternatives
- Review your cooking methods - for example, fry your foods in healthier oils at a higher temperature so that your foods do not soak up additional fat. Try baking or broiling instead of frying
- Reduce serving size
- Add healthy, fresh salads, veggies, nuts, and fruits to your meals - instead of using mayonnaise try Vegenaise.

Healthy Alternatives
- Replace meats with vegetarian products - have you ever had Follow Your Heart's fake chicken? I recently had it with a tangy BBQ sauce and it was yum.
- Instead of white flour, use whole grain flours. If you are using flour or bread crumbs to coat your meats, add fresh herbs to your mixture instead of salt
- Replace high-fat dairy products with low-or-no-fat alternatives. Experiment with soy and nut milks. Whipping creams can be replaced with evaporated milk and soy products. If you are cooking with cheese, try using veggie cheeses
- If your recipe calls for eggs, substitute 2 egg whites for each egg, or try an egg substitute vegetarians use, which can be found at Krogers, Whole Foods or any health food store. When I bake holiday recipes, I now use egg replacer instead of eggs because I prefer the flavor, texture, and consistency of my baked goods when I do. If you are baking your favorite desserts or cakes, try replacing the eggs with applesauce.
- Instead of ham hocks, try using smoky Fakin' Bacon made out of tempeh, or smoked turkey, or tofu
- Replace lard and butter with canola and olive oils. If you need a butter replacement, try Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
- Try avoid using salt. Instead, try using herbs and spices or try changing the ratio of your secret spices and add less sodium.

Enjoy your family and traditions. Life is about living in balance.

No comments:

Post a Comment