All trend reports suggests Americans are eager to satisfy their international cravings and taste food inspired from all parts of the world. Global flavors from Greece, Cuba, Morocco, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Peru, Spain, etc. are showing up on tables, restaurant menus and food trucks all across the U.S.
Want to be part of this movement, but don't have a super adventurous palate or don't have the time to learn how to make a Moroccan tagine or a Korean bibimbap? Here are some quick and "Americanized" ways to enjoy some healthy world flavors today:
World Flavor: India
What: Mango Lassi
Recipe: available on mango.org here.
Why: A lassi is a sweet and spicy yogurt-based drink that is perfect for anyone who is smoothie-obsessed. Using mango as the prime flavor is key since "Mangos are packed with antioxidants and contain over 20 different vitamins and minerals such as immune-boosting vitamin C and vitamin A, which supports healthy vision and bones," says registered dietitian Tara Gidus.
World Flavor: Korea
What: Kimchi Tuna Salad Sandwich
Recipe: Mix drained/water-packed tuna, canola oil mayo and chopped kimchi. (PS., Kimchi also tastes great added to chicken or egg salad.)
Why: Kimchi is a fermented-vegetable condiment that contains good bacteria for healthy digestion. A 2011 study in Nutrition Research suggests fermented kimchi may support healthy weight loss and management of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
World Flavor: Thailand
What: Sriracha Ketchup and Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe: Mix three tablespoons ketchup with one tablespoon sriracha.
Why: Sriracha's spice balances the sweetness of ketchup -- making a classic kid condiment more adult. When purchasing ketchup, choose brands with tomatoes listed as the first ingredient.
World Flavor: Greece
What: Tzatziki and Whole-Grain Pita Chips
Recipe: Mix 2 percent plain Greek yogurt (six ounces), shredded cucumber (half a cup), dried dill (one-quarter teaspoon), lemon juice (one tablespoon), and sea salt (to taste).
Why: Tzatziki is a healthy yogurt and cucumber dip great for vegetables or whole-grain pita chips.
World Flavor: Italy
What: Nutella and Pear Slices
Recipe: Warm nutella in the microwave and drizzle on pear (or apple) slices.
Why: Nutella is a hazelnut and cocoa-based spread that can make fresh fruit slices fancy enough for dessert. Since the first ingredient is sugar, look for healthier versions of this classic (such as Justin's brand), where hazelnuts are the first ingredient.
For more by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, LDN, click here.
For more on diet and nutrition, click here.