Soul food recipes have grown into a vast industry, including food manufacturing companies, restaurants, cookbooks, even TV shows. And to think all this from foods that date back as far as the Pre -Civil war era. Soul food came out of the dark period of slavery. The food given to slaves their masters wouldn’t or couldn’t eat. The meals, often made from the most tasteless, bland or the toughest meats and vegetables slowly evolved.
Over time, the slaves learned to cook, season and prepare the bland meals so they were not only edible, but pleasing. In time the dishes became know as “good times food”. Why? Because after a long week of backbreaking work the slaves looked forward to a day when they could relax. That day, usually Sunday, allowed them to relax with friends, family and most important a tasty meal … seasoned just right.
Today seasonings continue as an integral part of southern cuisine. As the saying goes, “if it don’t have the right taste … it’s a waste.” That statement could never ring more true than when you’re talking about soul food. The one drawback to seasoning comes from health issues of the past. The traditional way to season most dishes came from using pork products. For example, in the past cooks used fatback, ham hocks, bacon and sausage to season vegetables such as collard greens, cabbage, black-eyed peas and beans to name a few.
These flavoring agents later proved to increase the risk of medical ailments such as obesity, high blood pressure and other illnesses. Because of this risk more creative cooking and preparation methods have emerged. One of the biggest changes comes by using more natural seasonings, spices and herbs to flavor traditional soul food recipes. The results continue to improve the health of consumers.
These changes continue to revive the popularity of this cuisine in the eyes of the health conscious community. The people who love the food, but have to watch their diets closer because of health reasons, find the changes refreshing. The “healthier seasonings” trend continues to play a major role in changing the concept to what’s known now as healthy soul food. This idea meets the growing need of consumers who look for the best of both world’s, good taste and healthier eating.
Here’s the top 10 seasonings people include in their soul food recipes for healthier cooking and eating. With the addition of these natural seasonings you’ll discover you don’t have to give up taste to eat healthier.
1. Onion Powder. 2. Garlic Powder. 3. Gumbo File. 4. Cayenne Pepper. 5. Tyme. 6. Bay Leaves. 7. Annato 8. Caraway. 9. Basil. 10. Celery Flakes.