The Mediterranean coast’s beautiful vistas, architecture, and dining have inspired many to adopt a simpler, happier way of life. Many of those who live on the Mediterranean have a more active, healthy lifestyle that has become the inspiration for a number of diets and programs designed to lose weight and adopt a healthier, more natural diet. With the number of processed foods on the market increasing every year, people of all backgrounds are switching to a healthier diet that integrates fresh vegetables and fruits with Mediterranean staples like hummus, yogurt, pita, and falafel. Here are some tips on how to get started on Mediterranean living.
Chickpeas were first discovered around 3,000 B.C. and are believed to be one of the earliest cultivated vegetables. Hummus spread is traditionally made from chickpeas, tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of garlic to taste. An alternative dish, baba ghanoush, is made from eggplant instead of chickpeas. Hummus dips are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as people are discovering the spread’s versatility when preparing recipes with hummus, as well as the spread’s health benefits. Just two spoonfuls of hummus per day will fulfill your bean recommendation for the week. In addition to being delicious with pita bread, those who eat hummus have a significantly higher HEI (Health Eating Index) and a lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than those who did not regularly eat hummus.
Unlike traditional yogurt that most Americans are used to, Greek yogurt has been strained to produce a thicker product that has the sour character of yogurt that many people crave. While good enough on its own, there are many Greek yogurt dip recipes that taste great and are actually good for you. Tzatziki dip, also known as gyro or cucumber sauce, is an example of one of those Greek yogurt dip recipes that can easily be prepared at home with some lemon juice, garlic, cucumber, and dill. On average, all-natural Greek yogurt veggie dips have 67% fewer calories and 88% less fat than leading sour cream dips. Try out some of these dips and recipes to get started on living your Mediterranean life.