One thing you can always be certain of when springtime arrives in the Deep South: the arrival of crawfish boils. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the departure of colder days, along with trading off any cold and flu bugs from the winter with another bug that comes in the spring: mudbugs.
Not only is this delicacy of the South perfect for picnics and outdoor gatherings due to their no “plates or silverware required” consumption, but these delectable critters also have another added benefit when adding them to your outdoor gathering menu: they’re actually good for you!
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Yes, you heard right, crawfish lovers. Ounce for ounce, boiled crawfish tails have nearly half the calories of roasted, skinless chicken breast.
Not only are they low in calories, but they’re also low in carbs and high in protein. And although they’re high in cholesterol (a 6-ounce serving of tails has 232 milligrams), saturated and trans fats actually have more of an impact on our cholesterol levels, and crawfish tails have less than one gram of total fat, and zero saturated fat.
Plus, these freshwater morsels are packed full of nutrients. A 6-ounce serving of crawfish tails (about what you get from three pounds, unpeeled) provides nearly a day’s worth of vitamin B12 and more than 80 percent of our daily requirement for the antioxidant selenium.
So what are some ways you can incorporate crawfish into your diet?
Below are a few tips from cookbook author Holly Clegg to help make crawfish a regular guest at your dinner table:
- Purchase Louisiana crawfish tails when in season so you can freeze them and use throughout the year.
- For recipes that call for shrimp, try substituting with crawfish instead. Just don’t forget that the tails are already cooked, so add them closer to the end.
- Try livening up any soups, salads, low-fat dips, or even plain old grilled chicken or fish by adding crawfish to the mix.