It’s not surprising that Tuscan cuisine is one of the healthiest, most diet-friendly cooking in the world. Tuscan cuisine utilizes the best meats, vegetables, and fruits. Combined with cooking techniques passed down from generation to generation, Tuscan foods offer complex flavors and depth that are truly unique in every way!
But what makes classic Tuscan dishes so healthy and flavorful? How come it’s one of the most diet-friendly cooking there is? In today’s post we are listing down reasons why Tuscan cuisine is one of the lowest-calorie in the world:
1. Lean Protein
Tuscany’s Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean coast. This is the country’s central supply of seafood. Most Tuscan dishes feature local seafood such as sea bass, calamari, clams, octopus, and mussels. Seafood is the healthiest source of protein.
Italians love their meats, but they only use lean red meats, not fatty meats. Through proper cooking and braising, the meats come out juicy and tender without the added fat. Unfortunately, Tuscany is known for its cured meats. However, as long as consumed sparingly, cured meats are not that bad at all. Especially if the products are processed free from chemical-based preservatives.
2. Fresh Vegetables
Combined with rolling hills, mineral-rich soil, and balmy weather, Tuscany is renowned for its fresh produce! And this translates to very healthy, vegetable-based dishes. Tuscan households prep vegetables many ways, including braising, blanching and steaming. Grilled vegetables are also a mainstay in most Tuscan dishes.
While Italians love their desserts, traditional Tuscans prefer fresh fruits over tiramisu to finish a sumptuous meal. Typically, some fruits are grilled to enhance the flavor, giving sweet fruits a hint of smokiness.
3. Olive Oil
In Italian cooking, a dish is not considered authentic without olive oil. Olive oil is so revered in Italy that the country is the world’s major consumer of this oil. Italians use olive oil as cooking oil, as dressing to salads and even as seasoning to bread. Olive oil is used as flavorings to meat and fish dishes, even as dips.
Tuscans pride themselves for their Tuscan extra virgin olive oil. Unlike store-bought EVOO, Tuscan extra virgin olive oil is bitter, fruitier, and more aromatic. It’s made from hand-picked olives cold-pressed to perfection. The oil is popular because of its quality, health benefits, and geological specifications. Authentic Tuscan extra virgin olive oil should be traced to its geographic origins.
Tuscany is known for a specific variety of kale, called dinosaur kale. Unlike kale from other regions, dinosaur kale is glossier, more crinkly. The vegetable is usually violet to green in color and is extremely crispy.
Dinosaur kale happens to be one of the most nutritious of all green, leafy vegetables. A cup of dinosaur kale contains: 684% of the daily value of vitamin K, 206% RDA of vitamin A, and 134% RDA of vitamin C. Dinosaur kale also protects from cancer by promoting DNA cell repair. Clinical tests show that kale inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells and shrinks malignant tumors. Even better, dinosaur kale is packed with fiber. It promotes better digestion while stimulating weight loss.
Tuscans dislike preservatives. They use natural preservatives like sugar, salt, vinegar, and rosemary extracts rather than chemical-based additives to prolong shelf-life. Tuscans also favor unprocessed flours and grains over processed flours. So local bread is often healthier, more flavorful than your average white bread.