Chicken seasoning is becoming a hot topic once again now that the holiday season is fast approaching. After all, everyone is looking for the perfect combination of herbs and spices to make their proteins sing. However, are traditional seasonings healthy? Find out below.
Chicken Seasoning: Is It Healthy or Not?
What Is Chicken Seasoning?
Chicken isn’t exactly the most flavorful meat out there. Instead, it’s more of a blank canvas that lets the flavors added to it shine. That’s why a lot of people rub chicken seasoning onto their meat before cooking. This process ensures that the flavors will seep into the meat and make it tasty all the way through. Chicken is very adaptable to all styles of cooking, so it’s a great protein to try new seasonings on.
Chicken Seasoning Rub Examples
While you can never go wrong with salt and pepper, if you want to really spice up your meals you can also try being more adventurous. Adding dried basil, garlic powder, dried marjoram, oregano, rosemary, red pepper flakes and thyme to your next chicken dinner can really give it a boost. For an Indian flavor, try cayenne pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala, garlic powder, ground ginger, and ground turmeric.
If you’re having trouble deciding what flavors to use and just want to keep it basic, you can buy a case of poultry seasoning. These mixes usually have black pepper, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, sage, and thyme. You can also add some lemon or lime juice for a refreshing kick.
How Spices Can Sabotage Your Fitness Goals
Seasoning and spices are generally not bad for you. In fact, spices actually stimulate your digestive system, relieve digestive disorders, and act as antiseptics. Spices are also great anti-oxidants.
However, what is bad for you is an excess amount of sodium. Don’t take in more than 2,000 mg of sodium a day, or you’ll retain more water and thus gain more weight. That means in your spice mixes, you should be sensitive to the amount of salt that’s in them. Additionally, at least as much as possible, stay away from canned food. For example, if you’re making a nice chicken parmigiana, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. Canned food only has a long shelf life because it’s chock-full of excess sugar and sodium.
Healthy Ways to Prepare Chicken
Chicken is low in fat and high in protein, but not all preparations are equally healthy. Sometimes, chicken can become full of calories and fat from all the stuff we add to it. To avoid that trap, here’s a quick list of the healthiest ways to cook your chicken:
1. Poached — Submerge your chicken in a flavorful liquid and cook it at a low heat. This will let all the goodness seep in and turn it into a tender and tasty cut of meat. We suggest putting in some carrots, celery, parsley, peppercorns, and thyme for extra vitamins and flavor.
2. Grilled — Grilling is great! It’s easy and very healthy. For extreme fitness buffs, we suggest taking the skin off the chicken and rubbing oregano, rosemary, and thyme on the meat. You can also add a couple squirts of lemon for a refreshing citrus flavor.
3. Stir-Fry — Despite what many people think, you don’t need a lot of oil for a stir-fry. Instead, use small amounts of healthy oils like canola and extra virgin olive oil. Then, add in some thinly sliced vegetables along with black pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce, and sugar to make a stellar meal.
Chef Robert Irvine makes three easy, flavorful, and nutritious chicken meals:
In conclusion, chicken seasoning doesn’t have to be unhealthy. As long as you stay away from too much sodium, you should be fine. Try cooking with fresh herbs and spices for a healthy and delicious twist.
What is in your favorite chicken seasoning rub? Share your secret recipe with us in the comments section below!
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