5 Simple Ingredients That Will Take Your Healthy Cooking To The Next Level

It's a challenge to cook food that's both healthy and flavorful.

I’ve found that by having a few (or all!) of these ingredients on hand, I’ve been able to take many of my dishes to the next level.

If you’re just beginning your healthy cooking journey or you’ve been trying to prepare healthier meals but feel something is missing, you may find help with these simple yet effective additions.

1. Toasted Spices

If you have a few extra minutes when cooking, dry toasting spices can be a great way to kick up flavor. When pressed for time, it’s great to have a selection of store bought toasted spices on hand for convenience sake. Cumin, Cinnamon and Coriander are all commonly found in stores and called for in many recipes.

2. Raw nuts

You may have nuts around the house to snack on, but are you using them to their full potential? With a high powered blender, it’s easy to create a variety of foods from just a few simple ingredients. Milks, cheeses and heavy creams can all be made from raw nuts, and having them on hand can very convenient in a pinch. Try experimenting with different varieties such as cashew, macadamia and almond.

3. Tahini

Tahini (ground sesame seed), is incredibly creamy and has a myriad of uses. It adds a one-of-a-kind, earthy flavor to your dish and can be used to achieve a certain level of creaminess uncommonly found without the use of diary.

4. Nutritional yeast

Commonly known as “Nooch,” this ingredient is a godsend in healthy kitchens worldwide. As the name implies, it’s highly nutritious and lends a nutty, cheesy flavor. It can be used dry as a topping for popcorn or toast, as well as added to saucy dishes such as marinara and chowder. It’s especially desired among vegans because of its high B-12 content and its unique profile as a complete protein.

5. Tamari

You can think of Tamari as the food critic's version of soy sauce. It has a rich, smooth taste that adds a depth of flavor to just about anything. From soups and pasta sauces to gravy and salad dressing, Tamari will be your secret weapon that will effortlessly cure you “it’s missing something” blues.

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