Health Advice

/

Health

Environmental Nutrition: This ins and outs of instant sides

UHN staff, Environmental Nutrition on

Published in Health & Fitness

Instant side dishes might be the best thing since sliced bread. There’s no waiting for water to boil and then for the rice or other grain to cook. Simply give a pouch a little squeeze, pop it in the microwave and 90 seconds later you’ve got a steaming hot side dish to round out your meal.

They’re especially helpful if you’re trying to add more nutrient-dense grains into your life, as they can be time-consuming to make the traditional way. In addition, when these pouches first hit the market, they were heavy in processed ingredients, meaning low in fiber and protein, and high in sodium. Since then, the options have exploded! You can easily find whole grains, seeds and legumes, extra veggies, and little or no added sodium.

While browsing the grain aisle for these quick and easy side dishes, choose those with brown rice as the base ingredient. You’ll get more fiber and other nutrients but without the long cooking time. For even greater nutritional variety, look for those with a variety of grains or other ingredients. You can find brown rice and quinoa blends, multi-colored quinoa blends, and even legumes.

Helpful hints: When you need a quick and healthy side dish, keep these tips in mind.

Season it yourself. To help minimize the added sodium, consider getting unseasoned grain pouches and add your own flavorings with herbs and spices.

 

Veggie boost. Have leftover veggies? Heat them up and stir them in to bump the nutrients up.

Split it up. Many of these pouches list the entire package as an optional serving size. To keep calories, fat, and more in check, aim to stick to about a one-cup serving size.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)

©2024 Belvoir Media Group. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus