big life goals are often conquered by beginning with the tiniest of life hacks. Small, conscious changes can have major impact. We love these tips from Healthier Together, a new cookbook all about cooking well with a partner — be it a roommate, a best friend or a bae.
Liz Moody is a writer and the author of the newly released cookbook Healthier Together: Recipes for Two — Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships, which is already a #1 best-seller. The book features gut-healing, inflammation-fighting, hormone-balancing recipes for two people that still prioritize drool-worthy flavors (think Salted Caramel Crack Popcorn, the viral #besthealthycookies and General Tso’s Cauliflower). Here, Liz shares five secrets to make everything you cook a little bit healthier…
5 Effortless Hacks For Healthier MealsAdd all the spices | Spices are the original superfoods. Before we loaded up on adaptogenic powders and potions, we used spices for their incredible healing benefits and flavors. I love to add turmeric and ginger to smoothies and stir-fries, a pinch of cinnamon or smoked paprika to red pasta sauce and fenugreek to add gut-soothing nutty sweetness to curries and roasted vegetables.
Swap bone broth for vegetable broth | Bone broth is a wonderful staple for fighting inflammation, aiding joint health and helping to seal the gut lining. While I love sipping it straight from a mug on cold mornings, I regularly sneak it into my diet by subbing it for vegetable or chicken broth in recipes. I store Bonafide Provisions broth in my freezer, then use it to deglaze vegetables or to make bolognese. In Healthier Together, it becomes the base for an easy Ginger-Basil Bone Broth Ramen, which tastes better than takeout. Amazing for digestion and inflammation, bone broth also helps build healthy skin, hair and nails.
Let garlic breathe | Many recipes call for garlic to be added at the beginning, which not only makes it prone to burning and ruining its delicate flavor, this also eliminate its health benefits. Garlic is one of the most potent antiviral, antibacterial and antibacterial foods around, but in order to activate its magic, you need to chop or mince it it then let it sit for 20 minutes. This activates a compound called allicin, which is responsible for the many healing properties of the pungent food. In the Immune-Boosting Daal recipe from my book, I do exactly this, then cook the garlic just enough at the end to take away its sharp flavor, while preserving all of its health benefits.
Use citrus zest, liberally | I’m a huge fan of citrus juice in recipes — the acid in a squeeze of lime or lemon will often bring the whole dish to life — but many people forget about the zest, which has a sweeter more concentrated flavor and tons of health benefits. It’s been linked to killing cancer cells and helping with any other oxidative-related diseases, including skin problems and neurodegenerative disorders. I use lime zest in the crispy tortilla crumble of the Enchilada Lasagna and lemon zest is the secret, flavor-popping ingredient in my World’s Best Simple Salad. I also love to use citrus zest in my daily green smoothies — it adds a bright, bold flavor that makes the smoothie taste amazing.
Add fermented foods, strategically | I love the slightly sour, umami-rich flavor that fermented foods like sauerkraut, beets and kimchi give my food, but the probiotics in the ferments are sensitive to heat, so it’s important to add them at the very end of a dish. I’ll finish off a grain bowl with a heaping spoonful of whatever fermented vegetable I have around, use fermented blueberries and their juices to glaze vegetables (a trick I learned from Noma chef Rene Redzepi) or even replace the vinegar in salad dressing with kombucha.