I think at this point most people know it’s a good idea to add fish recipes into their diet. The health benefits are well talked about by everyone, finally.
But easy fish recipes seem to be missing. As you know, I don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen making complicated fish recipes (or any complicated recipes actually).
The first fish I decided to work with was red snapper. I truthfully chose it because it was fresh in my fish monger’s case and I didn’t know too much about it. A little snapper research taught me that red snapper is a low calorie, lean source of protein (no surprise – most fish fit into this category) that is very rich in selenium, potassium, Vitamin A, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids. Snapper can contain mercury levels so use caution in eating if you are pregnant or have young children; limit snapper consumption to a few times a month then. Otherwise add it in as a rotating fish in your diet.
If you are concerned about mercury in your red snapper recipes you can always replace it with pollock, cod or bass.
Snapper Health Benefits
Snapper has Selenium
Let’s take a look at red snapper’s main healthy ingredients. Selenium is very high in red snapper; an average portion (3-4 oz) is about 70% of the recommended about. Selenium supports white blood cell function and is necessary for proper thyroid gland function. Plus, it’s an antioxidant that can prevent free radicals (I’ve covered antioxidant’s before so I won’t go over it again here).
Quick red snapper recipes tip: selenium’s antioxidant power is increased when combined with Vitamin E so serve red snapper recipes with foods like asparagus (as in the picture), dark leafy greens, or sweet potatoes.
Snapper has Vitamin A
Red snapper recipes are also good in Vitamin A – between 11-14% or your daily requirement. Vitamin A is vital for the immune system, production and maintenance of bones, health of the skin and eyes, and plays a role in cell production. Many doctors recommend increasing Vitamin A consumption to help combat eye disorders like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Quick red snapper recipes tip: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient and requires high quality fat to be absorbed so serve red snapper recipes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil or topped with a salsa containing lipid-rich avocados. At the very least add a high quality fat to your vegetables.
Snapper has Potassium
Snapper is a good source of potassium providing 9-10% or your daily recommended amount. Interestingly, potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte. It is required by the body to trigger enzymes needed in energy metabolism and to allow smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscles to contract properly. Low levels of potassium can increase your chance of stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and kidney stones. Potassium is balanced by sodium so if you consume large amounts of sodium you may become deficient in potassium.
Quick red snapper recipes tip: To help maintain the potassium from snapper don’t add salt. Try herbs and spices for additional flavor, or use the red snapper recipes below which contain no added sodium.
Snapper has Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Snapper isn’t the best fish choice for Omega-3 fatty acids but it still has enough to note for it’s health benefits. Add snapper in as part of your variety so you can increase your overall fish and seafood consumption.
- 1 Tbsp grated onion
- 4 Tbsp hot mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 piece parchment paper
- 4 Red Snapper fillets
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grate onion and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Mix remaining ingredients (except fillets) in a small bowl.
- Place each piece of fish on a rectangle of parchment paper.
- Spread ¼ of the mixture on each fillet.
- Bring ends of parchment paper together and roll fold middle down towards fish. Fold ends up (like a package) and then fold under the whole parchment.
- Place fish bundles on ungreased cookie sheet. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve red snapper in parchment or remove to plate.