The traditional Greek diet is both flavorful and healthy.
What’s more, it’s rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s also been linked to many favorable health outcomes.
Born and raised in Greece, I've learned all about the Greek cuisine and its recipes from my mother and grandmother.
Helping in their kitchen since very young age, I was initiated in the secrets and benefits of Greek food, so cooking became a very important part of of life and a hobby that finally was extended as an employment at the Shakti Summer School of Dance, in Crete, where I spend my summers, cooking delicious as well as nutritious meals to my fellow dance student of the SSS and my beloved teacher Colleena Shakti.
Here are 5 of my favorite and Super healthy Greek dishes but don't think are the only ones! Greek cuisine is full of healthy recipes and a visit to Greece will prove you only this! Kali orexi! (Bon appetite!)
Originally from Crete, this delicious "brouschetta" is now days widely known throughout Greece as it's the ideal light meal for a Greek hot summer day or a healthy starter to accompany your main meal! Made with soften barley rusk, topped with chopped fresh tomatoes and feta cheese or cretan myzithra and olive oil, this scrumptious dish is reach in fiber, protein and healthy fats to boost your energy and keep you full for hours.
Green, black, brown, soft, firm, small, big, or giant, the variety of Greek olives is really great and they are all delicious and super healthy! Almost every place you visit in Greece has it's own local olive variety and there is no doubt of their mouth-watering taste and their health benefits. Excellent appetizer and side dish, olives will fill you with nature's goodness. Very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants, they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the incredibly healthy Mediterranean diet.
3. Gigantes Plaki:
Gigantes Plaki is a classic Greek recipe, consisting of ‘giant’ beans baked in a tomato sauce along with plenty of fresh herbs, which give a really unique taste.
These creamy-textured beans with their buttery flavor are also packed with nutrients providing us with so many health benefits.
They are rich in high-quality protein as well as soluble fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol. They also contain insoluble fiber, which helps to prevent constipation and digestive disorders. Excellent source of iron and many antioxidants, it is either an appetizer or a complete scrumptious vegan meal.
4. Grilled or baked sardines:
Sardines are small oily fish packed with nutrients and can be easily found in the Mediterranean seas. They feed on plankton only, which means they don’t contain the high levels of mercury that other oily fish do.
Sardines tend to have a negative reputation in the United States. But after you take a look at the nutritional benefits, you may be running out to get some for dinner. Sardines are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, help prevent heart disease due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Also, are an excellent source of vitamin B-12 which helps your cardiovascular system and gives you energy. In addition, they contain a healthy amount of vitamin D. Along with B-12, D is necessary for good bone health throughout your life. They contain a great amount of calcium, that makes them a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or need more calcium in their diet. Plus, sardines contain a number of beneficial minerals like niacin, iron, potassium, magnesium, zing and phosphorus. And of course are high in protein which is essential for the body to build healthy bones and muscles and create antibodies that keep our immune systems strong.
5. Horta vrasta:
Horta vrasta basically translates to boiled greens in English and is a common meal in Greek households. This delicacy is usually dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and is one of the most prominent examples of a vegetarian dish which has been commonly eaten in Greece for several thousand years, also known as the humble ”Radikia” salad.
Radikia salad or Horta vrasta (boiled greens) is made with delicious dandelion greens, or other variety of greens, traditionally harvested from the backyard with a simple kitchen knife.
Rich in vitamin C, these humble greens can also protect our immune system, reduce the levels of toxins in our bodies and help us obtain a balance in hydration and electrolyte levels.
Also, rich in calcium, it can help strengthen bones, reducing the chances of arthritis.
So, in conclusion, Greece offers a great variety of super healthy dishes which are not only beneficial to your well-being but also with scrumptious flavors.
Did I open your appetite? Great! Visit Greece for more deliciousness!!