Many of us have grown up with the notion that the healthier a food is, the less tasty it is.
The good news is that this is a huge misconception! There are so many foods that are full of nutrition and taste. And when nutritious foods become something we genuinely want to eat, there’s a good chance that we’re going to ultimately eat more of them.
Below are just some examples of delicious, nutrient-rich, versatile foods that can be eaten on their own or used in other recipes. Read through and see what gets inspired for your next meal!
- The Nutritious: The humble chickpea has a lot going for it! Chickpeas are rich in protein and contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals like magnesium and potassium, and polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant.
- The Delicious: Chickpeas have a mild nutty flavor and a mealy consistency, not dissimilar to lima beans. In the food world, they are also a jack of all trades; mash them up with some garlic for a tasty hummus, add them to soups or salads, or roast them with a little olive oil for a crunchy, savory snack.
- The Nutritious: Mangoes pack as much of a punch with nutrition as they do with flavor. Just one cup of chopped mango contains nearly 3 grams of fiber, 10% of your recommended intake of vitamin A, and much more.
- The Delicious: When these sweet, tropical fruits are ripe, they become juicy and nearly syrupy, while the flesh is buttery smooth. Mangoes are used in a ton of cooking methods, from desserts to salsas to salads! One particularly popular snack is to sprinkle slices with chili powder, a little salt, and a spritz of lime. Yum!
- The Nutritious: Spinach is basically the Superman of foods. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, iron, and calcium, and it’s got loads of fiber.
- The Delicious: This stuff is for more than just salads (though how tasty is a spinach salad with fresh strawberries, almond slices, and poppyseed dressing??). When it’s raw, it’s slightly bitter with a soft crunch, and can be used in smoothies or pesto. Cooking it makes it more robust and bitter, which lends well to other more vibrant flavors like a creamy spinach and chicken curry.
- The Nutritious: While nuts are generally very calorie-dense, pistachios are among the least calorie-dense. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and more! They’re also rich in fiber and antioxidants.
- The Delicious: Whether you’re cracking one out of its shell for a snack or using it to make a delicious pistachio-crusted salmon, anything with pistachios feels like a treat! Smooth in texture, these nuts have a slightly sweet flavor that lends well to both sweet and savory dishes.
- The Nutritious: While the health benefits of eggs have been debated in the past, recent research has found that eggs provide many health benefits as part of a balanced diet. One large egg has 6 grams of protein–12% of the recommended daily intake! Eggs are also one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D.
- The Delicious: Is there really nothing the egg can’t do? From zucchini egg skillets to the tomato-y savory deliciousness that is shakshuka, eggs truly are a force to be reckoned with in the realm of taste.
- The Nutritious: Packed with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidants, and more, sweet potatoes are an awesome choice for any meal.
- The Delicious: Is there really anything more comforting than piping hot sweet potato casserole sprinkled with cinnamon? Not really, no, but did you know that the classic Thanksgiving side is just one of many ways to enjoy sweet potatoes? They pair well with savory dishes like curries and can even be used in a salad alongside feta, cranberries, and red onion.
In terms of delicious, nutritious foods, this list only captures an iota of what’s out there. Get creative with your favorite whole foods and see how you can use them in ways you’ve never tried before!
If you need some inspiration for your next healthy meal, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered!