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Culinary art and nutritional science: can the two live happily ever after?

By Katya Baxter, Nutritionist, MenuMax.com

For many culinary professionals this combo is still an oxymoron. As someone who is trying to find ways to bridge the gap, it is definitely an uphill journey.

The good news is that the marriage of the two is inevitable. The subject of culinary nutrition is gaining ground and we are seeing more culinary schools as well as universities starting to offer courses focusing just on that.

To me, culinary nutrition simply means the art of maximizing the nutritional content of my dishes while maintaining great taste and creative flare.

There are several things that you need to be aware of if you are to incorporate the concept of culinary nutrition into your cooking:

1. The basic nutritional properties of the ingredients used
2. Proper storage techniques to avoid the loss of nutrients
3. Cooking techniques to maximize flavor and nutrition

Add maximum use of real, wholesome ingredients plus proper portion sizing, and there you have it: the gap between chefs and nutritionists just got smaller!

Perhaps, for many it is easier said than done, but I have always been a proponent of breaking things down into small, realistic bites. Pick a few things that you know you can make happen, and focus on those first.

There are also plenty of resources available on the subject. Here are a few for starters: The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, Food & Culinary Professionals (ADA), The Natural Gourmet Institute.

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