Healthy Eating In Tuscany
There’s no debating the fact that the Italians know how to eat, drink and live well. All these things are ingrained in their traditions and way of life. Italians don’t eat to live, they live to eat, and you will quickly notice this when you spend time in Tuscany.
If you expect Italian food in Tuscany to mainly consist of pasta and pizza you will be in for a surprise. Often people visit Italy and discover the ‘traditional dishes’ are not what they might expect, and are very different from the meals served up in ‘Italian’ restaurants in the UK.
Thanks to the variety of landscapes and being on the coast, Tuscany is able to grow and catch all kinds of healthy foods including fish (freshly caught from the sea), meat and vegetables. Wild game is always available thanks to the Tuscan countryside, which is home to animals such as wild boar, rabbit, partridge and pheasants.
Traditional recipes are cherished here and often passed down through many generations. The people here very much believe that excellent food is based on the quality of ingredients that are used.
Fresh local ingredients are key to a delicious Tuscan dish. Elaborate sauces are rare, as the people here feel the mask the taste of the fresh ingredients. Think basic, hearty and wholesome dishes with simple yet tasty ingredients. The food here is consistent with the delights of the Mediterranean diet.
One of the reasons why the food here is so healthy is because no nasty additives are added and you benefit from the vitamins and minerals that are naturally found in locally grown ingredients. Of course a diet that consists of fresh, homegrown and homemade food is going to be extremely healthy. The food in Tuscany is a fine example of the very best of Italy’s home cooking.
Plenty of veg
Over centuries, the people here have learned how to grow their crops in a way that brings out their full flavour. You will have the opportunity eat plenty of fresh, locally grown vegetables in Tuscany.
Another tradition here is to only eat vegetables that are in season, which provides the local people with a healthy variety of different vegetables throughout the year. Plus vegetables that are in season simply taste better. Vegetables in Tuscany are often served raw or steamed and drizzled in a healthy drizzle of olive oil.
Bread and pasta
Bread and pasta are also extremely popular throughout Tuscany. Most dishes are served with some sort of bread. You may think this isn’t that healthy, but the bread doesn’t contain salt, and the pasta is usually always made from scratch.
Although we have been lead to believe that a diet full of carbs is unhealthy, we still need enough carbohydrates in our diet to stay healthy. Freshly baked bread and homemade pasta are far from unhealthy (if consumed in moderation).
One of the main things that Tuscany is famous for is its olive oil. When added to salad and drizzled on dishes, olive oil adds some much needed good fats to your meal. It’s much better than using animal fat for cooking and it has many beneficial properties. For example it is very rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E.