The charm of Mexican food is in the variety of flavors in each dish. Many think it is unhealthy because of the creaminess associated with it – generous cheese and loads of meat with hefty doses of sour cream. And of course, you can’t forget the classic fried tortillas and chips.
Don’t let your calorie counter stop you from experiencing the authentic taste of Mexican food. There are ways to get healthy Mexican meals without sacrificing taste. The trick is to know what to put on your plate so you can enjoy the great tasting Mexican meals. Do not limit your tastebuds to tortillas, enchiladas, and pozole.
Let’s get cooking!
Indulge in deliciously healthy Mexican food by using these tips and tricks:
- Add colors to your greens
A healthy lifestyle equates to eating lots of fruits and vegetables. There’s no shortage of vegetables and herbs in Mexico. That’s why they can have fresh green salad anytime. But why not make your meals more colorful?
It’s recommended to eat plant-based food in an assortment of 30 colors per week. Do it by adding bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, squash, papaya, and potatoes to your usual green vegetables. Then have a ripe Champagne mango for dessert (a distinctively Mexican mango variety).
- Lavish with salsa
Top your salad with salsa instead of the usual dressing. If you crave that creamy taste, mix your salsa with reduced-fat ranch dressing. You can also use salsa as a spread. Have all the salsa you want. It’s low calorie, low sugar, and low calcium, plus you get the benefit of lycopene in your diet.
For more flavor, dry roast the tomatoes and other ingredients to make the perfect salsa. Willing to try something different? Use salsa instead of your usual sandwich spread.
- Chile all you can
When we talk about Mexican chile (not the same chili from the US and Canada), you might be thinking of jalapenos or habanero. The truth is there are more than 150 varieties of chile across Mexico? That’s a lot of heat! There are limitless ways to prepare Mexican dishes using your choice of chile.
It not only adds flavor, but it also gets your digestive system working at a faster rate, burning off unwanted calories. You can use chipotle powder or chile powder if you do not want to use whole chiles for seasoning.
- Just beans
Beans are low in fat and can supplement your protein requirement. You can have them baked, boiled, or pureed. If you can’t stay away from meat, mix your beans with meat. But avoid combining beans with rice if you’re on a low-carb diet.
- Spices! Spices!
Mexican cuisine teems with flavor due to the abundance of spices they use. Sprinkle your dishes with cinnamon, garlic, cloves, cumin, anise. Spice up with oregano or cilantro according to your taste. Eating healthy food does not mean having bland, tasteless food that leaves you craving for snacks afterward.
To get more flavor, try grinding your spices instead of buying from the stores.
- Garnish with seeds
Sprinkle your salads with amaranth and pumpkin seeds. They are filled with essential minerals and healthy oils. Instead of having fried tacos for a snack, just munch on roasted pepita seeds high on magnesium and minerals.
Pepitas can be added to soups or stews for more crunch. They’re also a good source of antioxidants.
- Satisfy the sweet tooth
Use agave syrup instead of sugar to sweeten your coffee. For chocolate lovers, try the darker cacao chocolates instead of your usual milk chocolates.
- Don’t forget the avocado
Guacamole is fun and healthy to eat. It is rich in good fat, which can minimize the risk of heart diseases. Use it as a dip, mix it with your salads, or just eat the whole avocado fruit.
Avocados can also be used for making refreshing shakes, but skip the milk and sugar if you can.
- Homemade tortillas
If you are used to buying your tortillas in large packages from the store, you are more than likely consuming a lot more sugar and preservatives than you should.
Making your own tortillas can drastically cut the amount of sugar and preservatives you are ingesting when eating your favorite tacos. Get a tortilla press like the ones at unocasa.com and you can turn out plenty of homemade tortillas in no time at all!
The secret is in the substitution
Being fit and healthy does not mean depriving yourself. You can have the pleasure of eating delicious food without feeling guilty. The trick is to substitute unhealthy ingredients and seasonings with healthier options. With the right tools, there isn’t anything you can’t do from the comforts of your own home.
Whether you prepare your own Mexican meals at home or order from your favorite Mexican restaurant, you choose what goes into your body.
Vamos a comer!