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Monday, 20 July 2009

New school soul food has evolved from unhealthy to healthier, thanks to a growing consumer demand. Today's soul food is not your great grandmother's ... or even your grandmothers soul food! Soul food recipes have traditionally lead the way when it came to comfort food. When holidays and other special occasions come you'll find most African Americans enjoying this festive food. But the one drawback to this tasty delight that's' drawn the most attention is the health risks.

With the rising health concerns in the African American community the demand for healthier alternatives to traditional soul food continues to grow. As delightfully satisfying as the meals our grandmothers and great grandmothers used to make, they were often filled with high calorie ingredients such as

1. Cream.
2. Loaded with butter.
3. Dowsed in sugar.
4. Fried in lard.
5. Seasoned with fatback and ham hocks.

These items, as tasty as they are have later proven to cause high blood pressure, diabetes and other health ailments. To combat this problem more soul food recipes continue to lean toward healthier and lighter ingredients - while maintaining the traditional taste and satisfaction. For example, instead of using traditional table salt, many recipes call for healthier alternatives such as salt substitutes, kosher salt or sea salt. All these help to reduce health threatening sodium, which has been linked to high blood pressure and diabetes.

Other alternatives have also proven to reduce the health risk of soul food. For example, flavoring vegetables with smoked turkey helps you avoid using fat-back or ham hocks. Both contain high amounts of salt and fat. Using smoked turkey helps to add the smokey down home flavor in your vegetables without the unhealthy fat and salt contents.

To help reduce the fat content and other health risk associated with deep frying, consider marinating your chicken. Next dredge it in flour or cornmeal and oven fry it instead of deep frying it in fatty oils. This will still give your chicken that flavorful crunch we all love without the health risk of deep fried chicken.

Another suggestion or alternative to deep frying your chicken is to consider pan frying. For example, simply coat your frying pan with cooking spray. Next, place the marinated chicken in pan and cook on both sides until done. This simple recipe can also include chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms and a touch of lemon juice to add extra flair to the dish.

These are a few examples of how you can add a healthy element to your soul food recipes without sacrificing taste and satisfaction. I'll continue to give you more ideas and tips in the future that will not only taste good but be good for you.

See the top 20 soul food recipes chosen by readers this month, plus watch soul food experts cook the most popular soul food dishes and watch the recipes come alive Free Soul Food Recipes

Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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