Source: CanolaInfo | Story Posted: March 31, 2009 | Category: General Canola info, Health & Nutrition, Media Releases, Recipes & Cooking

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Nutritious, Mexican-Inspired Recipes

Ándale! With Tasty Summer Dishes Made with Fresh Produce and Canola Oil

CHICAGO, IL – Say “¡hola!, canola” this Cinco de Mayo and summer with delicious, better-for-you Mexican-inspired recipes made with canola oil. Using fresh produce and other nutritious ingredients, CanolaInfo offers new twists on traditional Mexican dishes, such as burritos and empanadas, as well as unique creations altogether, such as grilled, Mexican-style pizza and fruit salad with a mojito dressing.

Contrary to popular belief, Mexican cooking has many healthy attributes, says Registered Dietitian Maria Alamo, president of Salud Consulting, Inc. It utilizes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, herbs and spices. And of course, chilies boost flavor so you don't have to add extra salt. With summer around the corner, Mexican-inspired dishes can spice up any meal occasion and provide nutritious choices everyone can enjoy.

Studies show that Mexican food is one of the most popular types of ethnic cuisine among adults and children alike. Mexican foods are among consumers’ favorites at home and the ethnic choices most frequently consumed by kids, with 76 percent eating Mexican foods regularly.*

Using canola oil in place of solid fat, which is traditionally used in some Mexican recipes, can reduce the total fat in a dish by up to 25 percent, while cutting saturated fat, Alamo notes.

Canola oil has the least saturated fat of any common culinary oil – half that of olive oil – and zero trans fat. It also contains the most omega-3 fat, which may help protect the heart, of any cooking oil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a qualified health claim for canola oil on its ability to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease when used in place of saturated fat in the diet.

With its neutral taste and light texture, canola oil also retains the distinct flavors of Mexican cuisine, which is “peppered” with spices and herbs. Featured Cinco de Mayo and summer recipes from CanolaInfo include:

* Studies referenced in the January and February 2009 issues of Food Technology.