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Create a healthy menu without counting the calories!

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist,

Many restaurants are still quite skeptical about offering healthy options.  And that’s understandable: changing menus and counting calories can be time consuming and onerous tasks.  But if you are already investing in good quality, wholesome ingredients why not simply focus on those specifically?  You can do so by highlighting the many healing properties these nourishing ingredients have to offer.

Here is an example.

There is a great little vegetarian chain in Toronto called Fresh.  Aside from a great tasting menu, their list of beverages is just as impressive.  One of the drinks they offer in the winter is “Flu Fighter,”  made of such ingredients as ginger, garlic, cayenne and lemon.

This is an ideal winter drink for cold, often flu-filled, winter climates!

Now, I don’t intend to suggest that you to start serving raw garlic to your customers. The idea here is to simply highlight the therapeutic properties of real, good quality ingredients.  When you do this, you accomplish two things:

  1. you create the perception you want
  2. you offer your customers a dish that is healthy by default (‘real’ foods are generally curative are as long as you cook them appropriately)

Perhaps, your idea of a flu fighting elixir or an immune-boosting meal might include lightly cooked garlic (less odor but still a powerful antibacterial), or oregano (an antibacterial), or a citrus based salad dressing (vitamin C).  And, perhaps you can give it a slightly different name more in line with your brand.

The bottom line is healthy menus do not have to always come down to calorie count!

In fact, more and more customers today define healthy food by quality rather than by calories.

If you are unsure how to find the healing properties of ingredients, you can run your recipes through a simple nutrient analysis application (just cut and paste your recipe – it takes seconds!) and it will show you what your delicious dish has to offer beyond taste and flavor.  The result: greater value for you and your customer.

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