Free soul food recipes continue to go through major changes. In response to growing consumer demand and to maintain market share, more book, website and recipe publishers are slimming down their recipes. How? By cutting the high calorie fats, sodium and creams in their recipes. Making the ingredients leaner and meaner comes as a result of consumer demand.
Southern recipes have come under the gun by many health experts and medical professionals for the large quantities of fat and sodium they contain. As tasty as these southern inspired dishes have been. Many health experts complained about the ingredients and cooking methods which can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity as well as other health threatening ailments.
In response to these concerns, the industry is starting to respond by reducing these health threatening ingredients. "The trick has always been to reduce the bad-for-your-health stuff without reducing the taste. We are getting better at it," admits Don Griffith, Executive Chef from Atlanta Georgia, known as the Mecca of southern dining by many.
More and more soul food restaurants are starting to cater to the health conscious crowd by offering salads on their menus. A few years ago most would laugh at the thought of salad or any kind of fresh vegetable at a soul food establishment, they just didn't go together. Now, more owners are adding salad bars and even offering vegetarian menus to their customers.
The response has been overwhelming. In fact, one owner plans to open a separate Vegetarian Soul Food Restaurant next year because of the growing demand.
Soul food cooking techniques are also adapting to the slimmer, leaner consumer demand. Techniques not normally associated with southern cooking is joining this movement. For example, stir frying - this quick cooking method that helps to preserve nutrients and vitamins is being used in more soul food recipes. You'll also notice more steaming, baking and roasting used and less deep fat frying.