By Kirsten Serrano
If you want to subscribe to a particular way of eating, let it be nutritvorism. Nutrivores follow the nutrients, not the fads. When you are cooking for yourself or others, take the nutrivore challenge and crank up the nutrients, not the dogma.
Over the years, I have developed some tips and tricks to add more nutrients to meals I am already preparing. Try these:
- Meals and entrees that start with ground meat are an excellent place to add in lots of bonus produce. I add items like riced cauliflower, shredded carrot, minced mushrooms (the mushrooms I practically turn into a paste in my food processor before adding to hide them from my daughter) and chopped parsley – to name a few.
- Soup can be a nutrient gold mine. Start with really good purchased or homemade bone broth. Add as many vegetables as you can think of and let it simmer with some kombu seaweed in the broth. If you have picky eaters or vegetables you would like to hide, use your stick blender to puree the broth and vegetables and then add the protein (if using one.)
- Frozen produce is an easy last-minute addition. Frozen greens are my favorite kitchen hack. Frozen spinach, kale and the like can be added to almost anything. Frozen produce can also become a quick side in a pinch. Look for frozen riced broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potato which can be tossed into a million things as well. The fact that it is in small pieces means it almost melts into the dish. Frozen mushrooms, peppers and even onions are versatile and nutrient dense. Adding nutrients is easier when they are convenient.
- Small produce is magic. I love produce that is in small pieces. It cooks quickly and that means it can be added to many dishes to add nutrients. Some of my favorites to have on hand are chopped onions, shredded carrots and shaved Brussels sprouts. Carrots have a neutral enough flavor that they do not drastically change a recipe, they just up the nutrition. Shredded carrots seem to melt into tomato sauces. Shaved Brussels sprouts turn into an instant side with a quick sauté.
- Replace ground beef or chicken with liver for part of your ground meat. This is a great way to start eating some organ meat without sitting down to a plate of liver and onions.
- Embrace fermented foods. Adding fermented veggies to a taco or salad is a zing of flavor while increasing your produce and your probiotic exposure. It may sound weird, but I love sauerkraut in the morning with eggs.
- Nuts and seeds are a quick way to add nutrients. Add nuts and seeds to raw salads. I keep an array of nuts and seeds in my freezer in canning jars to keep them fresh and add them whenever possible. Everything Bagel Seasoning adds great flavor to skillets and casseroles.
- Herbs and spices are the original superfoods. Adding herbs (especially fresh) wakes up flavors while adding nutrient density. Using fresh garlic matters. You can buy it already peeled (but not pre-chopped to keep more nutrients intact) to make it faster to work with. Crush or chop it each time you need it and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before adding. This allows an enzyme reaction to take place that makes it a bigger health boost.
- Nutrition boosters to have next to the stove. Keep these next to your stove and sprinkle into everything: seaweed flakes, nutritional yeast and Himalayan or Real Salt.
Nutrivorism is a mind shift you can make gradually as you collect information and hacks to increase nutrients in small ways. These small changes add up and make a real difference. Go forth and eat your nutrients.