The compliment I like best after hosting a meal is when my guests leave satisfied, exclaiming that the food was delicious as well as healthy.
It’s not really hard to serve delicious and healthy meals when you know which tweaks to make. These are some easy suggestions that will add some wonderful health benefits to your Purim Seudah.
These are 5 easy changes you can make:
- Cut back on unnecessary sugar and white sugar in particular.
- Use evaporated cane juice, demarara sugar, or honey as sweeteners when necessary.
- Reduce somewhat the amount of sugar in cake recipes. Other types of foods may not even need any sugar altogether and you can just forgo it.
- Offer beverages other than soda and sweetened fruit juices. Diet soda is just as bad if not worse than regular soda.
- Leave the icing off your cake (sacrilegious, I know).
- Check labels when shopping. Products with unnecessary ingredients and additives give you a cheaper product and enrich the manufacturer – hardly a fair deal. For example – tomato paste should not have sugar in it, coconut milk shouldn’t have more than coconut and water in the ingredients, and cheeses should generally not have more than milk, rennet, salt, and lactobacillus (or other probiotics). (BTW, If you can find canned coconut milk in Israel without water so much the better – and please let me know!)
- Use healthy oils such as cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil (look for Israeli olive oils with a tear drop shaped “Tav Aichut” – Seal of Quality – on the label), cold pressed virgin coconut oil, and cold pressed avocado, walnut, and peanut oils.
- Healthy animal fats are also good to cook with so feel free to sauté your veggies with the fat from your chicken or meat dishes. If you are having a dairy meal then butter is great to use.
- Avoid canola, soy, cottonseed, rice bran, and grapeseed oils.
- Use whole wheat, sourdough, or sprouted grain breads. Doing your own baking? Use whole wheat, whole spelt, or whole rye flours; sprouted grain flours are even better. Do not use white breads or puff pastry.
- Have a healthy dessert. Skip or limit the cake and forgo all soy or chemical based pareve ice creams. Fruits and nuts are your best bet.
For shopping resources and where to find sourdough and sprouted breads in Israel click here.