Posted on Monday, 5ᵗʰ October, 2020
“Stealth health” is what we call the practice of subtly improving your offerings without alerting your customers. Sometimes, when you tell guests a dish is healthy, they can assume it doesn’t taste good, is less flavourful or not as hearty (and we know that isn’t the case). By making the food you serve healthier, you become a better partner to your guests, your employees, and your entire community. Stealth health is a great place to start.
You can increase the portion size of vegetables on your dishes and even feature them as centre-of-the plate stars. Eggplant, Portobello mushrooms and many root vegetables are hearty enough (and versatile enough) to constitute an entire entrée. Plus, you can reduce red meat portions—which saves you money. Be sure your menu descriptions play up the big, bold flavours.
Creamy & Crisp Boscaiola
Consider reducing the portion size of red meat in your dishes. Not only can it potentially increase your margins, but it will keep you on-trend and can also help to create a more sustainable earth.
Don’t be afraid to “hide” healthy additions such as spinach in your sauces or soups. You can also substitute better-for-you ingredients such as vegetable “noodles” for pasta or lettuce instead of tortillas as wraps. And most guests won’t notice when you use a low-sodium product instead of the traditional counterpart, especially if you use flavour from other sources such as herbs, spices, onion or garlic.
There has been an increase in consumers who want what they perceive to be “super foods”. The term “super foods” is somewhat ambiguous, however between 2011 and 2015 there was a phenomenal 202% increase globally in the number of food and drink products launched containing the terms “superfood”, “super fruit”, or “super grain”. Without encouraging use of ambiguous food claims, you can take advantage of this trend by including more ingredients like quinoa, blueberries, kale, chia seeds, green tea, broccoli and various beans, to make your menu more relevant.
To entice customers, you can add big, indulgent flavours to dishes that may otherwise be thought of as healthy. For example, a small amount of sautéed chopped chorizo will make a kale lover out of anyone.
You can take advantage of recent ethnic trends and use global flavours and traditional techniques to offer intense flavours and veggie-forward dishes.
Think about offering smaller portion sizes and adding larger, healthier sides — make sides the centre. And you can serve them in their own containers on the same plate, as the entrée, as the entrée to alter the perception and make it full.
* Mintel, GNPD
"The content of this article is intended for inspiration purposes only. It is not intended as clinical, medical or nutritional advice."