Nothing pairs better with fall and football than comfort foods. And your friends know exactly who to turn to for the best chili to get them through the coldest tailgate. And that’s YOU, of course!
But what if you could transform your famous chili into a superfood simply by adding a “secret” ingredient or two? Would you be up for the challenge?
Superfood tweaks transform chili into a health food
You can convert any classic chili recipe into a hidden health food with one (or more) of these four simple tweaks.
Start with your world class chili, and then add…
1. Black beans:
Sure, the pintos are perfect. So don’t take them out. Simply add a well-rinsed can of black beans, as well.
Why? Because black beans are an undercover superfood. Not only are they nutrient dense, they have specific health benefits, too.
Legumes such as black beans are a key protein source for the MIND diet which protects against Alzheimer’s disease and keeps your brain sharp. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, which can reverse oxidative stress and protect against chronic diseases.
Black beans are good for your heart, digestion, blood sugar and more. And with an incredible 15 to 29 grams of fiber per cup, this humble little bean can reduce your risk for cancer.
2. Brown rice:
Add some brown rice to your chili for a pop of texture and a ton of superfood nutrition. And don’t worry; it won’t change the flavor of your crowd-pleasing recipe a bit.
Brown rice is a healthy whole grain which can help protect you against heart disease, diabetes inflammation and chronic diseases. Plus, it’s an excellent source of some often overlooked nutrients including…
Cook the rice until it’s soft, but not quite done. Then add it to your chili to let it absorb the flavors of the other ingredients as it finishes cooking.
Unless you’re familiar with traditional Mexican mole sauces, the suggestion to add chocolate to your chili might seem shocking at first. But the truth is unsweetened dark chocolate has a rich and savory side that makes it a perfect match for hearty, spicy dishes such as chili.
A couple teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder or two squares of bittersweet chocolate will bring a depth of flavor to your chili that even the most skeptical fan will appreciate.
You don’t have to tell him that he’s also getting two different flavonoids that will help protect his heart, boost his blood flow and ease disease-linked inflammation. And you certainly don’t need to mention that he’s stocking up on important minerals with every single spoonful of this delicious superfood.
Just serve him some seconds, instead.
4. Sweet potato:
The thought of adding sweet potato to your chili might take a little getting used to, but the taste certainly won’t. The mildly sweet flavor of the potatoes is the perfect counter balance for the spiciness of the other seasonings.
High in fiber, this healthy carb supports digestion, balanced blood sugar and heart health. Experts say sweet potatoes can help protect us against cancer. And being high in beta carotene they can also help ward off age-related macular degeneration, or slow its progression.
To get all these benefits and more, chop the sweet potatoes into cubes, lightly sauté them in olive oil, transfer them to the pot of chili and allow them to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
You already make the tastiest chili this side of the Atlantic; why not make it the healthiest too? Transform the next batch of your famous chili into a true superfood with these four ingredients.