Seafood Boil: Making a Delicious Tradition Nutritious
By Rouses Dietitian April Sins, MS, RDN, LDN
A seafood boil with family and friends is a yearly tradition in many households, especially in the Gulf Coast where access to fresh seafood is abundant. However, as with most traditional meals, it can be high in sodium and low in other essential nutrients. However, with a few modifications, it is possible to enjoy a delicious and better for you seafood boil that provides lots of nutrition.
One of the first things to consider when making a seafood boil healthier is the amount of salt used. While salt is essential for bringing out the flavors of seafood and vegetables, excessive amounts can have negative effects on your health. To reduce the sodium content, start by using half the amount of salt you normally would, or consider skipping the salt altogether. Additionally, rinsing off any salt added to purge crawfish or other seafood prior to cooking can also help reduce the sodium content.
Another option is to use a liquid crab boil instead of a traditional seafood boil seasoning. Liquid crab boil contains fewer preservatives and less sodium than traditional seafood boil seasonings. Additionally, you can also opt for seasonings that are low in sodium or free of salt altogether.
When it comes to seafood accompaniments, it is important to be mindful of the ingredients used. Traditional dips and cocktail sauces can be high in sugar, calories, and preservatives. To make a healthier option, try making your own dip using fresh ingredients like lemon, garlic, and herbs. Alternatively, you can opt for a low-fat mayo-based sauce or a spicy sauce made from fresh ingredients like chili, lime, and cilantro.
Another great way to enjoy a healthy seafood boil is by using foil boil packets. This method of cooking allows you to customize your boil with the ingredients and seasonings of your choice. Simply place your seafood and vegetables in a foil packet, add your desired seasonings and spices, and grill or bake in the oven. This method of cooking not only reduces the sodium content but also locks in the flavors, making for a delicious and healthy seafood boil.
A seafood boil is a delicious family meal that can easily be more nutritious with a few simple modifications. By reducing the amount of salt used, opting for low-sodium seasonings, and making healthier accompaniments, you can enjoy a seafood boil that not only tastes great but also better for you. So, next time you have a seafood boil, consider these modifications for a healthier and more delicious meal.