Health Benefits of a Cajun and Creole Diet

         I know what you’re thinking, how can Cajun and Creole food that tastes as rich and delicious in actually be healthy for you? Surprisingly, there are many healthy ingredients and spices that are staples for almost all Cajun and Creole dishes.

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            First off, onions are a delicious ingredient used in almost every dish. Don’t dismiss them to fight bad breath or watery eyes! Onions actually have been proven to fight diseases such as heart disease and cancer with their anti-inflammatory properties. Not only do they fight disease, onions also have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that prevent colds and infections.

            Next is the almighty power of tomatoes in Creole dishes. Tomatoes are great anti-oxidants since they are filled with Vitamins A and C that also neutralize free radicals in the blood stream. They are also known to help with diabetes and heart problems.  Vitamin A in tomatoes will improve your vision and keep your hair strong and shiny, along with strengthening your teeth, skin and bones!

            Lastly, don’t underestimate the greatness of peppers. All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C and K, but these properties are most prevalent in red peppers. These vitamins prevent cell damage and disease related to aging and support immune function. Cayenne peppers are the star in Cajun cooking, but the wonderful taste comes along with amazing health benefits with some of the highest amounts of vitamins and minerals. Both hot and sweet peppers contain substances that increase body heat production and oxygen consumption after eating them, which means your body is burning extra calories for weight loss!

            So what are you waiting for, get rid of your vitamin supplements and jump start healthy eating with a Cajun and Creole diet full of vitamins and minerals! The bold tastes found in Cajun and Creole cooking are the exact ingredients that help fight against diseases, protect against illness, fight aging and promote weight loss (just don’t add all oil and butter that the recipes call for!). In your next meal, don’t forget to pile on extra tomatoes, peppers and onions!

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Seafood Creole Gumbo!

Today we present you one of the most famous Louisiana dishes: Seafood Gumbo!

Gumbo is typically divided into two types. The combinations traditionally common in New Orleans and southeastern Louisiana are known as “Creole,” named after the Louisianans who are descendants of French and Spanish settlers. (The “Cajun” combinations were common in southwestern Louisiana, which was populated primarily by Cajuns. For a reminder of the difference between Creole and Cajun, click here).

But today, we are going to concentrate on Creole Gumbo:

So what is in Creole Gumbo? A Creole (New Orleans) gumbo is made with medium-brown roux and often has tomatoes and okra. The origin of the French word roux is derived from the French word beurre, which means browned butter. However, the roux used in gumbos is much darker than a typical roux made by the French.

The thick soup also contains a mixture of vegetables referred to as the Holy Trinity (onions, bell peppers and celery). We like to add garlic, green onions and parsley to create the Holier than Thou Trinity. Seafood Gumbo contains any combination of oysters, shrimp, fish, crawfish, and crabs. The Creoles favored okra in their gumbo rather than filé powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves). The word gumbo was derived from a West African word for okra, suggesting that gumbo was originally made with okra… so maybe the Creole’s have it right?

Another main difference from Cajun gumbo is that Creoles always add tomatoes to their gumbo. Tomatoes are used in Creole gumbo due to the influence of Italian immigrants to the city. Creole gumbo is generally not as spicy as Cajun gumbo.

Stay connected to find out about the Cajun Gumbo soon! YUM!

Schedule a cooking class with us here if you want to learn how to cook Gumbo.