Did you know traditional, everyday soul food dishes could be heart healthy? Before processed ingredients defined modern soul food, traditional soul food used fresh, seasonal vegetables, such as beans, tomatoes, summer and winter squashes, collard greens, turnips, beets and sweet potatoes. And meat was served mainly for special occasions, or a small amount was used for flavoring.
If your family meals typically include mostly processed ingredients, your family is missing out on the true taste of soul food cooking. Changing your family’s diet to fresher options is a process involving patience, strategic planning and some education.
Start an herb and vegetable garden. Buy lean and extra lean meat, remembering the three ounce per serving rule. Eat more greens and learn to use the whole vegetable. Make your own spice mixes, thus reducing the amount of salt found in most pre-mixed spices. Also, sweet potatoes and yams are the glory of modern day soul food. They can be healthy if they are prepared without a lot of extra fat and salt.