Most people think of clam chowder as a heavy and unhealthy soup, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are many ways to make clam chowder healthy, so you don’t have to avoid it entirely. It’s also one of the easiest soups to make at home because most clam chowder recipes are fairly straightforward and require few ingredients. Even though there are many different variations on clam chowder, all of them follow the same basic principle. Usually, these recipes include potatoes, clams, onion, and spices. Some versions might also add milk or cream, but you can leave that out if you prefer a lighter soup. With some smart choices regarding what type of potato you use and which ingredients go into your soup, you can easily create a healthier version of this classic dish at home. Keep reading for more information about how to eat clam chowder healthily in order to enjoy this favorite soup without any guilt!
Is Clam Chowder Healthy?
Yes, clam chowder is a healthy dish. Clams are a low-calorie food that are rich in vitamins and minerals. They contain high amounts of protein, iron, and calcium. Clams are also a good source of potassium and magnesium. Additionally, they contain trace amounts of vitamin C and E.
Why Is Clam Chowder Healthy?
1. Clams are low in calories and high in fiber.
Clams contain only 40 calories per cup, but they also have 8 grams of fiber, which is almost as much as an apple.
2. Clams are rich in iron and protein.
Clams provide 24% of the daily recommended amount of iron, which is a great source of the mineral for growing children and teens. In addition to iron, clams also provide 11% of the daily recommended amount of protein, which can be used to build muscles and provide energy for your body throughout the day.
3. Clams are a good source of potassium and magnesium.
Potassium is a mineral that helps reduce blood pressure and maintain normal heart function. Potassium also plays a role in maintaining proper muscle function throughout the body. Additionally, potassium has been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms associated with kidney stones such as pain or burning when urinating or stomach pain or cramps. It’s also a great source of magnesium which is important for the body’s nervous system. Magnesium is also an essential trace mineral that helps to regulate blood sugar and maintain normal muscle and nerve function.
4. Clams are a good source of vitamin C and E.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage by free radicals, which are harmful molecules produced by the body in response to stress or toxins. Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that helps to protect cells in your body from damage by free radicals. Additionally, vitamin C and E have been shown to be effective at reducing symptoms associated with heart disease such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, or atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
How To Make Healthy Clam Chowder
Use lean ingredients
The first step to making healthier clam chowder is to choose leaner ingredients. You can do this by choosing smelt instead of clams, by using skim milk instead of whole milk, and by cutting back on the amount of bacon you add to the dish. If you use bacon, try to use the lowest fat content you can find. One of the easiest ways to reduce the fat content of your clam chowder is to skip the bacon completely. This will save you a good amount of calories and fat, but you will lose some of the clam chowder’s signature flavor. If you want to keep bacon in the dish, try using a little less than you might otherwise have done. You could also try slicing the bacon as thin as possible and cooking it as briefly as you can without letting it burn.
Large chunks of vegetables
Clam chowder is traditionally a dish that includes potatoes, onions, and lots of garlic. Carrots and celery are also regular additions to the recipe. All of these ingredients are excellent choices for healthier clam chowder. Potatoes are a great addition to clam chowder because they are very filling. You only need a few small potatoes to get a nice, hearty helping of this healthy starch. Potatoes are also packed with lots of potassium, vitamins, and minerals. Onions are another healthy addition that can help make clam chowder less fattening. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. A little bit of onion will go a long way in helping to stretch your clam chowder so that one serving is enough for several people.
Ditch the cream
Cream is one of the first things that people think of when they’re trying to make healthier clam chowder. It’s delicious, but it’s also fattening. If you want a healthier version of this recipe, try substituting the cream with coconut milk. Coconut milk is a good source of healthy fats and has a mild, but rich flavor that works great in this dish. Swapping out the cream for coconut milk is a quick and easy way to reduce the fat content of your clam chowder. A cup of coconut milk only has about half as many calories as a cup of heavy cream does. You will probably notice a difference in flavor, but it’s unlikely to be a drastic one.
Add whole grains for texture and fiber
If you are making healthier clam chowder, you might want to consider adding whole grains to the recipe. You could use barley or quinoa, for example, or even chopped-up pieces of whole wheat bread. Whole grains are an excellent way to add texture to your clam chowder. They’re also a good source of fiber, which is important for digestive health. If you decide to add whole grains to your clam chowder, try to find a brand that isn’t heavily processed. You may have to do a bit of searching, but a little extra effort can pay off in better health.
Don’t forget the seafood!
Clam chowder is traditionally a soup that includes both seafood and vegetables. The vegetables are important to provide a full and healthy meal, but the seafood is the main draw. If you’re making a healthier clam chowder, you don’t want to skimp on the seafood. Adding more clams is a good way to bulk up your soup and make it heartier. You can also add squid, scallops, shrimp, or crab. Use seafood that is sustainably caught and as fresh as possible to get the best flavor.
Watch your condiments
Clam chowder is a creamy, hearty soup. If you want to make a healthier version, you may need to cut back on the amount of cream and butter you add to your recipe. Healthier clam chowder recipes often include a small amount of cream. If you want to cut back a little on the calories, try substituting half-and-half for whole milk and cream. You can also add a bit of rice or barley to thicken your soup naturally and without adding extra fat.
Which Ingredients Make Clam Chowder Healthy?
1. Whole grains
Whole grains are an excellent way to add texture to your soup. They’re also a good source of fiber, which is important for digestive health. If you decide to add whole grains to your clam chowder, try to find a brand that isn’t heavily processed. You may have to do a bit of searching, but a little extra effort can pay off in better health.
In addition to seafood, clams and potatoes make up the main ingredients in clam chowder. Canned and frozen vegetables are a great way to add healthy vegetables without taking too much time out of your day. Make sure you use fresh vegetables and wash them thoroughly before adding them to your soup or stew so that they don’t absorb any unwanted flavors from the soup itself.
Clams are an important part of clam chowder because they give the dish its creaminess and tender texture. If you want clam chowder to be healthier, try to use sustainable seafood and make sure that the seafood is as fresh as possible.
Clam chowder can be a bit salty, so you may want to cut back on some of the salt in your recipe. If you don’t want to reduce the amount of salt in your recipe, consider using less sodium-packed seasoning blends or using unsalted butter instead of salted butter.
Clam chowder is a delicious soup that can be made healthier by using low-calorie ingredients. You can make this dish even better by adding vegetables and oats. If you’re trying to eat healthier, the best advice is to cut back on the amount of potatoes in your chowder recipe and add more vegetables instead! With a few simple swaps, you can make clam chowder healthier and enjoy this dish more often.