You have the best cooking equipment and a reliable recipe, but your food comes out bland. Something is amiss, but you can’t tell what it is. Don’t worry; this happens sometimes, even to the best cooks, and it’s something that can easily be fixed (and remember that good food has a way of reducing some of life’s stresses).
The taste buds have five main components that differentiate sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and umami tastes. When trying to identify the missing ingredient, think in terms of these five flavors. Does the food need a little more sweetness or saltiness? That way, you’ll be able to reach for the right ingredient to balance the aroma.
With that in mind, here are some simple ways to bring out that tasteful flavor in every food!
Vinegar is the most versatile ingredient to boost a bland recipe. Its acidity can help balance the five tastes easily. Balsamic vinegar is a favorite in many households. It not only has a bitter-sour taste, it also increases the notes of sweetness.
Choose carefully which acid to use: it can add any of the five taste notes, and sometimes not the taste note what you want. Other recommendable vinegar types are rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and red wine vinegar. Each works uniquely to boost flavor in particular cuisines.
A Little Citrus Will Help
Most citrus fruits can be the solution you need when your food tastes flat. You can add citrus juice to almost everything, depending on how you use it.
You know that citrus fruits have a lot of vitamin C, but do you know they’re also rich in fiber? Fiber is essential for overall digestion, and it helps to balance blood sugar levels.
The first way to use the fruits is to grind the rind and add it to anything you’re cooking. This adds some acidity and sweetness. It can come as a bonus to put on top of your favorite pastry!
You can also add lemon juice into any sauce dish to make it taste better. If you’re making anything from marinara, to alfredo, to mushroom soup, try it yourself by adding lemon.
Nuts are Not Only for Snacking
Whether you’re on a vegan, paleo, high-fat, or low-fat diet, you can hardly go wrong with nuts and seeds. They’re your best diet friends, packed with lots of protein in every little nugget. You can add nuts and seeds as toppers in your salad or stir-fry. They blend well with sweet and salty flavors.
Another option is to use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. It’s excellent in smoothies, pancakes, or when used to make a delicious butter sauce. Sunflower seeds contain Vitamin E and are beneficial to the skin. Win win!
Hemp hearts sprinkled on a chocolate spread will add a nutty flavor. They also have more protein than eggs and are great for your brain!
Adding garlic, and a lot of it, will almost always make (savory) food taste better. Trust me on this one.
Cooking is an art, but it can go wrong if you don’t know the right strings to pull. The trick lies in understanding the ingredients to use to make the food more delicious. Creative experimentation with nuts, vinegar, citrus fruits, and salt will definitely help make all your dishes abundant in flavor!
•What do you add to your cooking?
Thank you for reading!