Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Celebrated every year from September 15 to October 15, this month is dedicated to appreciating the contributions of Americans with Hispanic heritage. We can think of no better – or more delicious – way to celebrate than by enjoying one of those great contributions: the amazing cuisine!
Hispanic Americans can trace their ancestry back to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean or South and Central America. Steeped in traditions and festive celebrations from these regions, Hispanic (also called Latin) cuisine is renowned for putting flavorful food at the forefront of any and every occasion. Although common language and traditions unite these regions, the cuisine is actually quite diverse, with influences not just from local sources, but also from dishes found in Europe, Asia and Africa. Whether you are Hispanic or not, adding some of the varied dishes of this abundant cuisine to your meals is a sure way to keep them fun, exciting and fresh.
If you are following a kidney-friendly meal plan, you may be concerned that Latin American food requires lots of potassium-rich tomatoes, potatoes, beans and avocados, as well as high-sodium sauces and seasonings. Fortunately, there are ways around this that will allow you to still enjoy your favorite recipes. The American Kidney Fund's Kidney Kitchen® has made it a priority to be your go-to source for Latin American recipes tweaked for kidney-friendly eating. On Kidney Kitchen, you will find over 60 flavor-rich Latin recipes from a wide range of countries that can be enjoyed for any meal or occasion. For example, start your day by replacing the usual salty tortilla chips for homemade chips in this quick and easy recipe for Mexican Breakfast Chilaquiles. Think you would never dare to eat potatoes again? You will reconsider after checking out our traditional Spanish Tortilla/Omelet. And, while many dishes like salsas and chilis may present double trouble for your kidneys because of their tomatoes and excess salt, our Fresh Salsa and New Mexican Style Green Chili offer options that are designed just for you.
So, what is the secret to transforming traditional Hispanic recipes into kidney-friendly ones? There really is no mystery. Here is how Kidney Kitchen has your back:
- Encouraging you to cook more from scratch at home, avoiding excess sodium and phosphates added in processed foods. Check out how easy it is to make Homemade Bread and Homemade Corn Tortillas in your very own kitchen.
- Replacing salt with herbs, spices and flavor-packed fresh ingredients, as seen in our Picadillo de Pollo.
- Swapping out high-potassium and high-phosphorus ingredients with ingredients that are better for your kidneys, like we've done in these to-die-for Grilled Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa and these crowd-pleasing Stuffed Poblano Peppers.
- Providing the precise measurements and ingredient weights so you can replicate our recipes and achieve the same safe nutrient levels. See what we mean in these fantastic recipes for Dominican Asopao de Camarones and Papusas Revueltas.
- Managing serving sizes and encouraging smaller portions of recipes typically high in potassium, phosphorus and sodium, so you can still enjoy so many of the traditional foods you know and love. Our Fried Green Plantains and Yucca Frita with Citrus Dipping Sauce will prove that.
- Offering more unusual Latin dishes you may have never heard of or tried before to broaden your options, keep your mealtimes pleasurable and make the dishes worth the little extra time to prepare them yourself. Check out our delectable Cactus Salad or this refreshing Tamarind Drink to see what we mean.
The recipe examples shared here are just the tip of the Latin American cuisine iceberg! There are so many more on Kidney Kitchen, and some have bilingual Spanish-English cooking demo videos so can follow along as we cook them! We hope you choose to celebrate Hispanic heritage by exploring our Latin American recipe collection from a variety of cultures, over at Kidney Kitchen. Trust us, your taste buds (and your kidneys) will thank you.