Soul food has a a reputation as not particularly healthy, with foods like corn bread, fried chicken, and macaroni and cheese. But soul food also includes nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, beans, and seafood, such as collard and mustard greens, okra, sweet potatoes, melons, black-eyed peas, and shrimp and white fish.
However, many dishes of soul food and the American South combine a lot of vegetables, such as jambalaya, gumbo, and Hoppin’ John. “Trinity” – a mix of onions, celery, and bell pepper – is the base for a lot of these recipes.
Soul food also uses herbs and spices to enhance flavors. Some recipes add thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, and onion and garlic powders. Herbs and spices are great ways to help reduce salt and sodium in a dish.
Food and cooking are not just about getting nutrients into the body. It is also about the experience, such as celebrating and being social with friends and family.
- Jumpin ‘ Jambalaya – https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/jumpin-jambalaya-letter.pdf
- Spicy Okra – https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/spicy-okra-letter.pdf
- Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken – https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/downloads/oven-fried-chicken-letter.pdf
Oldways’ African Heritage Diet: https://oldwayspt.org/traditional-diets/african-heritage-diet
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: https://healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov/