Few ingredients have the power to single-handedly transform a dish with their flavor. These are the ingredients you always want to have in your kitchen pantry, so you can quickly make a flavorful meal without wasting time and money on dozens of ingredients and spices.
Here are some ingredients you need if you want an instant flavor boost.
1. Citrus Juice or Vinegar
We often reach for lemon juice to add flavor to salad dressings and sauces, but other citrus fruits work just as well. Next time you make a salad dressing, try grapefruit or orange juice instead for a different and delicious flavor. It adds a sweetness that lemon doesn’t have while still adding acidity. If you don’t like citrus, you can also add vinegar for that same effect. Balsamic and apple cider vinegar can add instant flavor to your salad dressings and marinades, but any vinegar works.
2. Fresh Herbs
Dried herbs may be convenient, but nothing compares to the flavor punch that fresh herbs have. They aren’t as expensive and inconvenient as you may think— instead of buying freshly-picked herbs from the store, buy the whole plant. They are low-maintenance and will provide you with unlimited herbs at a low cost. If you decide to buy picked herbs, store them in a glass of water like flowers, and they will stay fresh for longer. Basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley are all excellent, flavorful herbs to plant in your garden.
Cinnamon is a delicious, flavorful, and versatile spice. You can use cinnamon in so many dishes because it is both sweet and spicy. Add it to your morning oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt, or savory dishes, such as sweet potatoes or roasted pumpkin. Cinnamon is the perfect spice to add sweetness to your food, making it a healthy and delicious alternative to sugar. You can also add a dash of cinnamon to your coffee or tea instead of sugar.
If you want to add flavor to your food with only a few ingredients, you need cumin. Cumin is the main spice in many Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican foods, often taking over other flavor profiles. You only need a little bit, or it can get overpowering. Mix cumin, chili flakes, and paprika to make a healthier taco seasoning than the pre-packaged spice packs in store. Cumin is also the main spice in curries, giving it that warm and earthy flavor that instantly makes us feel cozy.
Adding garlic to any dish instantly makes it aromatic and flavorful. It is a spice that can pack enough flavor on its own without needing any other ingredients or seasonings. Roast a whole garlic head with your vegetables to release a flavourful aroma, and use the garlic to make a dip or sauce. You can add garlic to almost any savory dish, from your morning eggs to veggies to seafood. It’s hard to go wrong with garlic!
6. Coconut Aminos
If you enjoy Asian cuisine, consider switching out your typical sodium-rich soy sauce for liquid coconut aminos. Coconut aminos are a healthier alternative with an almost identical flavor. It is derived from the sap of the coconut tree, so the taste is a bit sweeter than soy sauce. Add it to your stir fry, sushi, or use it as a marinade for your main dish.
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In health and gratitude,
Elaine & Nevin
P.S. Before I forget, if you are ever feeling overwhelmed and need some help finding the right path for you, grab a cup of tea or your favorite smoothie and let’s chat.
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