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Whether you’re Latino or not, chances are you have a special place in your heart (and stomach!) for the delicious foods of the culture. From hearty stews, to savory rice-and-beans dishes, to creamy guacamole, these familiar flavors signify comfort, tradition, and time shared with loved ones. But if you have diabetes, you may think you have to avoid these traditional comfort foods. Not true, says celebrity chef Ingrid Hoffmann—and to prove it, she has partnered with the American Diabetes Association to write a new cookbook full of healthier (and deliciously simple) versions of beloved Latin dishes.
“Traditionally prepared Latin foods tend to be carb heavy, deep fried, and full of salt and fat,” says Hoffmann, cooking personality and author of the completely bilingualLatin Comfort Foods Made Healthy: More Than 100 Diabetes-Friendly Latin Favorites/Clásicos Latinos a lo Saludable (American Diabetes Association, October 2018, ISBN: 978-1-580-40681-9, $21.95). “This is a major concern for people with diabetes or prediabetes. But you don’t have to say goodbye to your favorite flavors and cherished dishes. Just try their lighter, healthier, and easy-to-prepare versions instead!”
Diabetes is an urgent problem in the Hispanic/Latin communities. In fact, 12.8 percent of Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States live with diabetes. That’s why the Latina Telemundo and Cooking Channel star is so excited to participate in this project. With a focus on pure and clean ingredients and staying within the guidelines of the ADA, Hoffmann has transformed traditional Latin favorites into nutritious, diabetes-friendly meals that feature protein, whole grains, and fresh vegetables.
“The best part is, you get to enjoy the foods you crave without having to spend all day in the kitchen preparing them,” adds Hoffmann.
Not only has Hoffmann developed healthful and delicious versions of traditional Latin comfort foods, she really practices what she preaches. A self-described “Lupus warrior,” Hoffmann has experienced firsthand the healing power of food. Her research led her to embrace an alkaline diet that allowed her to get off her medications and live a happy, active, and deliciosolife. The recipes in Latin Comfort Foods Made Healthydemonstrate Hoffmann’s philosophy of easy, simple recipes with a healthy twist.
In the book, you’ll find a variety of popular Latin dishes, including:
- Energizing breakfasts like oatmeal arepas breakfast bread, a tropical punch breakfast smoothie, and salsa verde-drowned eggs
- Exciting appetizers such as corn and cheese phyllo empanadas, cucumber guacamole, and yucca buns
- Filling soups including Colombian chicken ajiaco, green chile pork posole, and beef sancocho
- Hearty entrees like Latin zucchini lasagna, chicken tinga poblana, and carnitas baked chimichangas
- Seafood favorites like quinoa seafood paella, chipotle fish tacos, and cod cakes with black bean and papaya salsa
- Savory side dishes such as veggie-stuffed poblanos, healthy refried beans, and oven-baked maduros
- Sweet treats like Mexican chocolate cookies, mojito crema, and cinnamon flan
- and much, much more!
The book also contains nutritional guidance, cultural tidbits about the recipes, and Hoffmann’s signature “Chica Tips” that offer tricks of the trade to help you learn multiple uses for an ingredient, storage ideas, or how to get more out of one recipe.
At a time when people are becoming much more “food aware,” Hoffmann’s message about the healing power of food is more relevant than ever. But keep in mind that Latin Comfort Foods Made Healthyis not a diet book. It’s a tool to teach you to “eat yourself healthy” without sacrificing flavor or taking the fun out of the kitchen.
“It’s important to enjoy the comfort foods that Latinos were raised with and continue to crave,” concludes Hoffmann. “And now with a few tricks and tips, you can enjoy simple-to-prepare versions of these traditional dishes in less time and with healthier ingredients. Soon you will learn just how healing food can be! Life should be fun and joyful, and cooking and eating deliciosofoods is a big part of making it that way.”