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Adapting Your Favorite Foods to the Nutritarian Diet

Fudgy Black Bean Brownie

In addition to focusing on G-BOMBS, following the high-nutrient nutritarian diet also means avoiding or minimizing the disease-causing foods in your diet: sugars, oils, white flour, animal products. If the Nutritarian eating style is new to you, you may feel a little lost in the kitchen without these familiar ingredients. How do you make salad dressing without oil? Creamy sauces without dairy? Tasty burgers without meat? Brownies without sugar, eggs or butter? Of course, as you begin to eat for optimal health, you will want to experiment and try new foods. However, it can be comforting to enjoy familiar flavors in a new and healthful way; you just have to learn how to replace disease-causing ingredients with healthful, whole food options.

Beans, nuts and mushrooms provide meaty texture and substance
When you begin to reduce the amount of animal products in your diet, building meals out of plant foods will likely feel unfamiliar. You may be tempted to introduce store-bought, processed meat substitutes for meaty flavor and texture; however, these are generally high-sodium foods with little or no nutritional value. Instead, choose plant foods like beans, lentils, eggplant and mushrooms, which provide the same hearty chewiness as meat. Tempeh, which is made from fermented whole soybeans and formed into blocks, also has a meaty texture and can be sliced and prepared similarly to meat. Meats provide some of the savory "umami" flavor, which is produced by certain amino acids and can be replicated with foods like toasted nuts and seeds, mushrooms, nori (seaweed), unsulfured dried tomatoes or tomato paste, and spices such as unfortified nutritional yeast, caraway seeds, smoked paprika and cumin. In addition to flavor and texture, meats are high in protein and fat, making them substantive and filling. The fiber, plant protein and healthy fats in beans and nuts are just as filling and satisfying in a more healthful package.

To experiment with healthful whole food fats, try these recipes:
A New Caesar Dressing
Creamy Kale and Mushroom Casserole
Broccoli, Cauliflower and "Cheddar" Soup

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Use nuts, seeds and avocado to create creamy sauces and dressings
Fat is essential to human nutrition and imparts certain properties that make foods appealing to humans. Fat contributes to flavor and aroma, provides foods with appetizing body and thickness, and enhances satiety. In the Standard American Diet, low-nutrient, high-calorie foods such as butter, oils, cheese, dairy-based cream sauces, and fatty meats serve these functions. However, fats from healthful whole plant foods can provide the same taste properties and effectively satisfy our desire for fat. Use avocado, seeds (hemp seeds, sesame seeds) or nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts) in salad dressings, creamy sauces and soups instead of dairy-based creams or oils. For a cheesy flavor, you can add nutritional yeast.

Try these healthful
sweet treats:

Banana walnut ice cream
Black Bean Brownies
Apple Pie

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Fruits and whole food fats in desserts
Typical desserts are disease-causing, made with white sugar, white flour, butter, eggs, and oil. But many familiar sweets, like chocolate cupcakes and apple pie, can be easily transformed into healthful treats. Dates, apples, bananas or raisins bring a delicious, natural sweetness while providing fiber to slow down the absorption of sugars into the blood. Instead of oils, butter and shortening, Nutritarian desserts utilize whole food fats like raw nuts or nut butters or avocado. For a higher-nutrient alternative to store-bought, whole wheat flour, grind up steel cut oats; you can also add beans to baked desserts in place of some of the flour to reduce glycemic effects and increase nutritional value. Ground flax or chia seeds whisked with water will create the moisture and binding usually achieved with eggs; plus, using whole fruit instead of white sugar adds additional moisture. By blending frozen bananas (with some vanilla) or other frozen fruit in a high-powered blender, you can create tasty sorbets and ice creams. A useful tip: freeze ripe bananas ahead of time so you have them when you need them to sweeten smoothies. Instead of eating chocolate, blend natural cocoa powder into smoothies and ice creams. Chia seeds produce a gel when soaked in water that is useful for thickening puddings. Of course on most days, it is best to have a dessert of simple fresh or defrosted frozen fruit, nature's treat.

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