3 Easy Ways to “Health-ify” Meals

Abigail Blank - The Upside Blog | Vitacost.com/blog

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Recipe books by the dozens have been written about how to sneak healthy ingredients into your recipes ““ undetected. I prefer a slightly different approach, in that I get true joy out of watching my kids’ faces turn purple when I tell them I put kale in their smoothie AFTER they have already finished it. Good times.

Anyway, if you’re not so concerned on the “sneaky” element, but looking more for “ridiculously easy” ingredients to make your meals healthier, give these a go.

Mmmmm…homemade soup! Sprinkle in some ground flaxseed for an instant nutrition boost. Click to buy organic.

1.  Ground Flaxseed

You can add this stuff to everything! OK, not quite everything; I don’t recommend carrots, per se, but as far as breakfast foods and baked goods go, ground flaxseed is awesome. It’s rich in healthy fats (especially good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids), plus it provides protein and fiber. I always add some when I make banana bread or pumpkin muffins. I also add it to my pancake mix, to our oatmeal bakes, and even sprinkle it on my cold cereal. It has a nice, nutty flavor that doesn’t overpower but enhances your favorite recipes.

2.  Coconut Oil

This gift from the tropics is so multi-functional, I’m surprised it hasn’t been outlawed yet! We’re just going to focus on food today, though. Coconut oil is cholesterol free, and it supplies certain types of fatty acids that contribute to health.It’s great for cooking stir fry or grilling veggies, and I’m a local celebrity for my coconut brownies (I melt it down and use it in place of regular vegetable oil. It gives the brownies a slight coconut flavor without changing the consistency). You can also add a teaspoon to your smoothies. You can even put it on your toast.

3.  Be the Queen of Quinoa

It’s fiber. It’s protein. It’s all around good for you. Additionally, it’s embarassingly easy to incorporate quinoa into almost every meal. Make the kids homemade chicken strips with quinoa flour, they’ll never know. Or make soup in your crock pot and add quinoa along with your other grains like barley for great flavor and nutrition. Or go for the good old standby: substitute your favorite foods with the healthier version, like Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta, which is crazy delicious and easy to cook, too.