Nutrition Articles

Secret Weapon Ingredients

Healthy Foods That Go With Almost Anything


Ahem. . . allow us to introduce to you several Secret Weapon Ingredients. And what, you might ask, are Secret Weapon Ingredients? They are versatile foods that are perfect for mixing into many recipes and dishes and provide a nutritional punch to any meal. They are easy and convenient, and their nutritional benefits are numerous. Do you have trouble making your kids eat healthy foods? Sneak these into their meals and their bodies will be grateful.

These little guys are a major source of soluble fiber, which keeps the digestive tract moving efficiently and therefore allowing it to absorb nutrients more effectively. Fiber also lowers bad cholesterol levels in the blood. How can you use beans? Replace fatty meat with low-fat beans in some of your recipes. They will make you feel full, so you’re less likely to overeat. Add them to salad or soups. For a simple dinner idea, mix beans with brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

Since there are so many varieties, chances are you can find one that tickles your taste buds. Powerful antioxidants, berries help combat heart disease and cancer. Berries are filled with vitamin C, a nutrient that wards off illness and helps build up the body. And, just like beans, berries are a good source of fiber. Between strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, you’ll be doing your body a favor by tossing these into meals. Try them with your morning oatmeal, mixed into yogurt or smoothies, or as a low-fat ice cream topping. Feeling adventurous? Try sliced strawberries and raspberries topped with balsamic vinegar and powdered sugar.

This amazing fruit, which we commonly call a vegetable, is easy to add to meals. No matter its classification, the fact of the matter is that tomatoes are proven to reduce the risk of certain cancers, especially those in the digestive tract, by absorbing free radicals. They provide great antioxidant protection for your body. As a bonus, they are probably one of the easiest Secret Weapon Ingredients to include in your cooking. Add to an omelet, top your salad, or toss into spaghetti sauce. Want more? Make your own homemade salsa, mixing chopped tomatoes, onions and chili peppers.

Did your mother ever nag you about eating your peas? Turns out she was right! Peas have a wealth of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. That should be enough motivation to eat more than just a mouthful. Sauté with other vegetables (including tomatoes) and eat over brown rice. Add peas to your chicken casseroles, soups, salads, even lasagna. Try them with or without the pods and be creative.

Yet another choice that’s packed with antioxidants. Specifically, carrots contain beta-carotene, which helps promote good eye health. Of course, you can enjoy these veggies raw, and they make convenient snacks just about anywhere you go. Carrots have a pretty mild flavor, so they can also easily be incorporated into a variety of recipes; they will enhance tastes without being too overwhelming. Heat them up in your stew or soup for tonight’s dinner. Use them to top your pizza (seriously, a little shredded carrot can give pizza some extra vegetable health) or cook some carrots in with your stuffing.

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Member Comments

  • I Love fresh fruits & veggies !!!
  • Carrots are great as "dip sticks" for peanut butter or hummus. I love either as a before or after workout carb/protein punch.
  • Never knew about northern beans in my sauce. Great idea, I always used can of baked beans to my sloppy joes.
  • STEVIE0018
    Good article! Can't wait to use beans in my dinners now! Thanks!
    I love those berries, I take a cup of blue berries, about 6-7 strawberries, and a mango, 1 cup of water and run it through the blender and drink as is or refrigerate over night and add it to vanilla yogurt in the morning. Yum!
  • Oh and add those northern beans to your spaghetti. It will stretch that out too. For a family of four, you can cut back meat by 1/2 lb if you add beans and a can of diced tomatoes to the spaghetti sauce.
  • I make tacos or quesadillas - I always add beans. It stretches the meat for servings and we get the nutrition. Sometimes I'll add a can of diced tomatoes to the taco meat... that's really good. We are going to start canning our own tomatoes this summer so we can keep the pesticides low :) Totally excited!
    Love those berries!! I buy green tea with berries, Kashi stuff with berries, healthy nut mixes with berries, but berries in my oatmeal, etc. Since starting SP, I've craved berries!! My body must be needing to do some major repairs with those berries. Glad to give it all the berries it needs!
  • I have primarily been eating blackberries and blueberries since finding out they are very HIGH IN FIBER. I love to add BLUEBERRIES to my salad; not only because of the added color but it imho adds something to the taste of the salad.
  • I loooooove northern white beans.
  • I loooooove northern white beans.
    Great article. I love to eat greek yogurt with at least two types of berries (usually strawberries and blueberries) and a little sweetener, maybe I'll try them with my morning oatmeal now.
  • Love this article.

    For anyone who's stomach is sensitive to fresh tomatoes, cooked tomatoes also offer health benefits and usually without as much stomach upset. http://curezone.c
  • I have started paying more attention to what I am eating. I look forward to eating more berries, but i will have to figure out more ideas for peas and beans!
  • Great article but I have trouble with fresh tomatoes - can't do it unless it is chopped up small in salsa or soup or sauces.