3 Flavour Hacks To Transform Any Humdrum MealMarch 20, 2017
Think of us as your fairy godmother, here to wave our wand and transform your dinnertime experience as if by magic.
Do you associate home cooking with food that’s less tasty than what you can buy? That’s OK, we’re a judgement free zone here. But we’re also glad you’re here, because we can help with that. Although there’s no denying the deliciousness of a bit of fried fare, there are also amazing ways you can supercharge the flavour of any meal without losing out on key nutrients. Step this way as we show how to make every meal count!
1. Don’t fear the (healthy) fat
Despite what you may have been told, fat really isn’t the enemy. There are plenty of reason why healthy fat should be a part of your mealtimes. For one, it helps us feel full while maximising your metabolism and protecting against heart disease — and it also does a peculiar little trick. Fats intensify the taste of other foods because they dissolve and concentrate flavour and odour chemicals more effectively on your tongue, which means they make all the other flavours in your meal taste amazing. Bear in mind that not all fats are created equal. Stick to the ones jam-packed with omega-3 fatty acids like avocado, olive oil, coconut, nuts, seeds, salmon, lean meats, and eggs.
- Cook rice in coconut milk: In a small pot, bring 1 cup coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups water, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add 2 cups jasmine rice, cover, and reduce to a low simmer for 25-30 minutes, until tender.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a garnish: Sprinkle some sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or flax seeds on your next salad, side dish, or bowl of oatmeal.
- Don’t shun the egg yolk: This one speaks for itself (just check Instagram for #yolkporn).
Hungry for more? Get the skinny on healthy fats.
2. Freeze herbs in ice cubes
We all know herbs are an instant way to infuse a meal with tonnes of flavour. Problem is, save having your own herb garden that hasn’t dried up and died over the summer, it can sometimes be hard to have all the requisite herbs on hand at all times. Enter this handy hack. By freezing your leftover herbs in oil, you can add an immediate flavour booster as a base for your winter stews, soups, and roasts. Why oil and not water? Turns out preserving herbs in this healthy fat reduces the chances of freezer burn.
You’ll be amazed by the intensity of flavour these cubes give over dried herbs. Keep in mind, though, that this works best with woody herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme.
3. Stay salty, kiddo
We’re pretty pleased with this one if we do say so ourselves. Like a flavour inception, this is a seasoning within a seasoning, and it looks bloody gorgeous to boot. Make your salt work double duty by seasoning it with everything from citrus zest and spices to dried herbs and chillis.
Just combine 1 teaspoon of your desired flavour (they should be dried and finely chopped or ground) with 1/4 cup salt. Feel free to use your hands or, if you’re feeling fancy, a mortar and pestle. But remember, you want to incorporate the seasonings, not demolish them, so don’t go too crazy with the crushing and grinding; a light touch is key.
In an ideal world, the flavoured salt would sit for a day(ish) before use to allow the flavour to intensify, but if some mysteriously disappears before then, we’d understand (just wait till you try them on chips).
And there you have it! 3 easy ways to kick your home cooking up to the next level. Want more tips on flavour hacking your food? Don’t forget to surprise your tastebuds every once in a while.