The Best Caribbean Cuisine to Inspire Healthy Dishes
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The Best Caribbean Cuisine to Inspire Healthy Dishes

Caribbean food is often underrated and stereotyped. All too often when people (and chefs) think of ‘Caribbean cuisine’ they reach for the same handful of recipes like jerk chicken, rice, and curry goat. But Caribbean cuisine is remarkably diverse, echoing the variety of cultures, traditions, and influences across the Caribbean islands. From French haute cuisine in Martinique to Latin flavors in Puerto Rico, with dashes of Portuguese, Dutch, West African, and even South Asian influences, Caribbean cooking is exceptionally interesting.

With such a wealth of recipes and dishes to choose from, finding the best way to eat healthily can be a challenge. Caribbean food is founded on fresh ingredients which means that cooking and eating healthily isn’t hard, but there is a trick to staying on the right path. There are plenty of unhealthy Caribbean options as well (and there is a significant trend of diet-related diseases amongst Caribbean adults as a result), so knowing what to choose and how to cook to stay healthy and delicious is important.

So if you’ve just come back from a Caribbean cruise deal or a few weeks lounging on a perfect island beach paradise, and want to recreate the flavors of your vacation in a healthy way, here are a few tips, and some of the best recipes that let you do just that!


Tips For Healthy Caribbean Cooking

Use the BBQ

The BBQ is a staple of Caribbean cooking and is a great way to cook meat and fish in a healthy way. Grilling rather than stewing or frying lets you use lean meat and avoid cooking in too much oil or fat.
Make the most of alternative proteins.

Many Caribbean recipes use beans and pulses as staples (particularly in areas where meat is expensive) and they can be a fantastic and delicious alternative source of protein. Add beans or lentils to rice, soups, or stews for filling and healthy meals.


Marinade to avoid fat

When cooking meat, fat is often an important part of the recipe as it is one of the main ways to impart flavor. In Caribbean cooking, however, you can get similarly rich, deep flavors with long marinades and dry rubs, which means you don’t have to add cream or butter for extra taste!


Discover the wonder of sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are huge in the Caribbean and are a remarkably healthy carbohydrate. They taste amazing, even when cooked in the simplest of ways, are rich in vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and potassium, and release healthy natural sugars slowly into your bloodstream, for balanced, regular energy throughout the day.


Use brown rice

Substitute steamed brown rice for white or fried rice for a carb that is higher in nutrients and fiber, and lower in fat.


Best Healthy Caribbean Recipes

Sauteed shrimp with mango salsa

Delicious shrimp quickly sauteed and served with fresh mango salsa is tasty and healthy, as well as being supremely easy to cook.


Fish with coconut sauce

Coconuts are a staple in Caribbean cooking, and the combination of fresh white fish with the light, aromatic flavors of coconut, lime, and coriander makes this dish a winner.


Curry chickpea-stuffed sweet potato

For an incredibly filling and substantial yet totally healthy snack or meal try this South Asian-inspired combination, mixing the rich, warm flavors of curried garbanzo beans with the almost citrusy freshness and texture of a baked sweet potato.



This Trinidadian speciality is made with okra, one of the Caribbean’s best vegetables, alongside spinach and a variety of seafood (usually crab or shrimp). It is aromatic and mouthwatering, and with the addition of dumplings makes for a great dinner.

The Best Caribbean Cuisine

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