• Flavored Vinegars are a Gourmet Ingredient for Healthy Living

    by Guest Author
    on Jun 17th, 2017

At Physicians Weight Loss Centers, we often advise our clients to make sure their taste buds stay happy while they are on a diet program. If you think about it, it makes total sense to turn to low calorie items with alot of flavor so that you miss fatty, salty, sugary foods less and less. One great idea is to use Herbal Teas of all kinds that flood your mouth with lemon or ginger or passionfruit or mint. Another is to use Flavored Vinegars, as discussed in this blog taken from Joy Bauer, of the TODAY show:

 

Balsamic vinegar has always been one of my favorite salad toppers, but now that I’ve discovered the delicious, flavored varieties that keep popping up at stores all over the country, I have found many more creative ways to use it in the kitchen. As a nutritionist, I’m a big fan of balsamic vinegar (and other vinegar varieties) because it has some terrific and surprising health perks. As a foodie, I love it because it makes the perfect finishing touch for so many recipes (sweet and savory alike)…and it adds impressive gourmet flair to everyday meals.

Flavored vinegars are created by infusing or blending plain vinegar with fruit, herbs, spices, chocolate, and other ingredients to give them a rich and unique taste profile. In the case of balsamic varieties (made with dark or white balsamic vinegar), the vinegars are then aged to intensify and round out their flavor.

So how about those health benefits? For starters, these trendy vinegars are a terrific condiment choice for dieters looking to add a pop of flavor to meals for minimal calories (at just 10 to 15 cals per tablespoon, they’re a total steal). If you dress salad with unlimited vinegar and just a drizzle (1 to 2 teaspoons) of olive oil instead of pouring on regular bottled dressing, you can save yourself hundreds of calories (you’ll also be avoiding a whole bunch of preservatives). They’re also a tasty way to dress up “boring” dinnertime staples like grilled chicken or fish.

All vinegars, including extra-yummy flavored versions, are virtually sodium-free, so they’re a great choice for people with high blood pressure and others trying to reduce their salt intake.

Also, consuming a few teaspoons of vinegar at the start of meals has been shown to blunt the rise in blood sugar that occurs after eating. That’s especially valuable info for people with type 2 diabetes, who need to carefully monitor their blood sugar. Starting lunch or dinner with a simple salad of mixed greens liberally dressed with flavored (or regular) vinegar is a simple way to improve blood sugar control.

Below, I’m sharing a few fabulous brands from across the country that produce some truly divine flavored balsamic vinegars, and I’ve linked to their websites if you’re interested in ordering them online. However, there are plenty more on the market, so explore your grocery store and specialty food stores for other interesting flavors.

Vines & Branches, a Hamptons-based company, sells a number of decadently flavored vinegars for about $16 per bottle. Their Cranberry Pear variety is the perfect accompaniment to salads garnished with fresh fruit and nuts, and the Dark Chocolate flavor tastes divine drizzled over sliced strawberries or pears.

Fustini’s, which has several brick-and-mortar locations in Michigan, offers more than 30 scrumptious varieties of balsamic vinegar for $15 to $18 per bottle. Try pouring some of their decadent Espresso Bean Balsamic over vanilla ice cream for a tangy take on the Italian classic “affogato” dessert. YUM!

Temecula Olive Oil Company, which hails from Southern California, sells a handful of premium flavored balsamic vinegars for around $18 per bottle. Their Vanilla & Fig Balsamic, made with fresh California figs and pure Madagascar vanilla paste, then aged for more than two years, pairs wonderfully with cheeses, like parmesan and ricotta, as well as grilled vegetables.

 

Taken from a blog published by Joy Bauer, MS, RDN

Joy Bauer is one of the nation’s leading health authorities. She is the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, the founder of Nourish Snacks, a monthly columnist for Woman’s Day magazine, and the official nutritionist for the New York City Ballet. Joy is also the creator of JoyBauer.com and the author of 12 New York Times best-selling books. Her newest book, From Junk Food to Joy Food, is based on her popular TODAY show series, in which co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb challenge Joy to turn fattening favorites into delicious, diet-friendly fare for the honor of the coveted “two carrots up.” The book is also the inspiration behind Joy’s brand new PBS special, which is currently airing nationwide.

 

Author Guest Author Adapted from a guest author not associated with this weight loss & lifestyle center

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