After making a name for himself in the culinary capitals of the world, Chef Sau del Rosario is now back in the Philippines, whipping up gourmet wonders with a decidedly healthy slant. “These days, the younger generation doesn’t want home-cooked food—they want to go out, so we reinvent [home-cooked food] to make it more sophisticated and healthy,” he once said in an interview.
Chef Sau’s focus on healthy eating stems from a very personal experience. The athletic chef’s father was diagnosed with cancer in 2000, and the athletic chef helped nurse him back to good health by preparing organic food and fresh fish for him.
These days, the globe-trotting chef serves up his gourmand goodness at special events as well as his restaurants, 25 Seeds, Café Fleur, and Frida—all three of which are situated in his hometown, Angeles City.
How does one eat healthy food without having to sacrifice the taste? Chef Sau lets My Pope in on his five must-haves for a healthy kitchen! (Read: How do you eat healthy while in quarantine? We asked a nutritionist-dietician!)
Chef Sau uses olive oil for almost everything for cooking—he even applies it to his skin and hair! A healthier option than palm oil, olive oil has zero cholesterol, is high in monounsaturated fats, and also contains a large amount of antioxidants.
“A good quality olive oil is very good for the heart,” says Chef Sau. “I avoid fried foods and use the oven to bake instead. I never use palm oil or other unhealthy oils. I only use olive oil.”
Compared to the ordinary white sugar, coconut sugar contains way more vitamins and minerals. “It has less fructose as well!” Chef Sau explains. “I believe it is much healthier than using sweeteners.” (Read: Five Healthy Alternatives to Junkfood)
“When I’m hungry and it’s not yet mealtime, I eat bananas,” says Chef Sau. “They fill me up and are rich in potassium.” Bananas also lower cholesterol and body fat—a good option if you are trying to lose some weight!
Yogurt is a cross between milk and ice cream—but it’s a lot healthier than the two! Not only does it reduce the risks of high blood pressure, it is also a tasty alternative to your classic sweeteners! (Read: The Pinoy-Made Ice Cream that Pope Francis Loved)
“For sweet food like ice cream, i eat yogurt instead,” says Chef Sau. “For cakes, shakes, and other creamy desserts, i skip the cream and ask for less of those extra toppings.”
If you are a fan of soda and are looking for a healthier alternative to this bubbly drink, sparkling water can be your best option. Chef Sau himself can attest to this!
“I used to be a soda addict, but when my blood sugar level was borderline, my doctor asked me to stop taking soft drinks,” shares Chef Sau. “Then I discovered sparkling water! It fills my craving for the bubbly soda. Since then I stopped liking soft drinks.” (Read: These drinks may be well-loved, but they can make you even more thirsty)