Let’s be honest. Mexican food isn’t usually known for its health benefits or as something that is going to provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy weight and limited calorie intake. If you’re scarfing down a plate of hearty beef enchiladas with some rice and beans and a couple of flour tortillas, the last thing going through your head is probably if the plate has less than the five grams of salt recommended per day to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Familia Kitchen and HealthCentral hope to fill in those health gaps that consumers tend to ignore when eating some of their favorite Latino dishes. The popular food blog and the health website are teaming up to create a menu of special recipes that will makeover some favorite dishes like nachos, tacos and flan.
Kim Caviness, Puerto Rican founder and editor of Familia Kitchen, launched the new section of her website this month with “8 New Healthy & Delicioso Latino Dish Makeovers.”
“These healthy food makeovers are authentic, sabrosos and good for you, especially if you are looking for diabetes-friendly [dishes],” Caviness writes. “That doesn’t mean we have to give up food felicidad and say adiós para siempre to our favorite dishes. We just need to give our comidas favoritas Latinas a good-old healthy makeover.”
Caviness cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says Latinos are at higher risk (17%) of having diabetes and diabetes complications than non-Hispanic whites (8%). Latinos who are overweight are also more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
With recipes from Dominican chef Naihomy Jerez, Familia Kitchen and HealthCentral begin a partnership to “flip” Latino food into something that not only tastes great, but is nutritious, too.
Some of the recipes include using fresh orange and lime juice with pulp (to make it rich in fiber) for a margarita, substituting white rice for brown rice and quinoa for arroz con pollo and removing the raw brown sugar you would normally find in a dessert like flan for unsweetened vanilla-flavored almond milk.
Familia Kitchen promises to post new recipes with HealthCentral “on the regular.”