The Planet Friendly Diet is all about adding spice to your life, using natural seasoning options, for healthy, low fat kick to your dishes. Simply by exchanging high fat, high calorie sauces for the natural taste of herbs and spices, you’ll be quickly on your way to losing 10lbs and more. Cooking with herbs and spices is easy to learn. Your best body is made in the kitchen!!
Curries: This popular dish can get pretty high in calories if you mix the traditional way with full fat coconut milk. Use low-fat curry paste and mix it with soy milk. Adding a spoonful of shredded coconut over the dish is an easy, light way to stay low fat without compromising flavour. You can also use curry powder, but most beginners find low-fat curry paste the easiest way to start.
Jalapeño pepper has thermogenic properties that increase your fat-burning ability and metabolism. It’s hot and spicy, but that’s why we love it. Build your tolerance up gradually! The red peppers that you’ll use in the salsa tend to be sweet – choose brightly coloured peppers and store unwrapped in the fridge.
Paprika spice is made from ground chilli peppers – a sweeter, milder version of the jalapeño pepper. It is high in vitamin C and a great used with hotter spices, like cayenne pepper. Taste a little bit on your tongue first before adding to the pan. Even people that don’t like their food very spicy enjoy the kick from a pinch of paprika. Lots get addicted!
Turmeric is one of the most powerful spices, best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The Chinese use it to treat depression. It is an earthly, gingery taste – almost bitter – with a definite medicinal aftertaste if you use too much. Start with half a teaspoon.
Chilli spice is much hotter than paprika. It is definitely an acquired taste, but, like paprika, is bursting with nutritional benefits. Your metabolism is boosted for about twenty minutes after eating spicy food – the body is burning calories to produce heat! Use in low dosages to start.
Cumin is a pungent curry spice (pronounced like “I’m comin!”) available as a ground powder or dried seed. It goes great with fresh cilantro and is best lightly roasted. Cumin is renowned as a powerful digestive aid, often regarded in as a ‘cleansing spice’ for its diuretic properties.
Cilantro (coriander) is a great way to cool down your hot spices! It goes perfectly with jalapeño and paprika. Daily use promotes clear, radiant skin and reduced risk of skin cancer due to its ability to trap the free radicals caused by exposure to the sun. It also helps weight loss as it has been known to reduce the body’s absorption of saturated fat. Fresh cilantro lasts a week: when you come home from the market choose the best leaves, wash, and cut ends off the stem. Arrange in cool water (change the water every few days) and keep in the fridge.
- (C) Cat Smiley, 2012