How to add more flavor to bland dishes, healthy foods or low-fat snacks without significantly increasing their nutritional value or having to shop for dozens of special items that are not cheap nor easy to find? Well, it’s all about getting creative with the things you have, using herbs and spices in ways you haven’t thought about before! And here are a few suggestions to help you start and inspire you to find your own tricks for seasoning dishes:
1. Go for Lemon Juice
Full of vitamins and incredibly refreshing, lemon juice is a healthy no-fat ingredient you can use to add flavor to your fish and white meats (such as chicken or turkey breasts) as well as salads, steamed or boiled veggies and even barbecue! I often use it with chopped cilantro for seasoning dishes and salads and, believe me, that’s something you definitely have to try in case you’re wondering how to add more flavor to your foods! And here’s one useful fact – lemon juice won’t only make your food taste better but tickle your palate in a way that will make you forget about adding salt, too!
2. Try “Fancy” Vinegars
Apple cider, balsamico and those special kinds that taste like honey, berries and nuts might not be the first things you’d think about but they shouldn’t be the last either! And since I’m using them a lot, I can guarantee they can make even your average tuna fish salad taste like something served in fancy restaurants! You can also add a tablespoon or two to lentils and kidney beans and even pork or lamb stews to help hard meats soften up faster while acquiring a pleasant yet unusual aroma you wouldn’t be able to achieve by using herbs and spices.
3. Stock up on Spices
Grilled chicken breasts, fish and even veggies will taste much better if you remember to add some curry powder, oregano, sage, or white pepper and the best thing about using herbs and spices to give your food an exotic taste is the fact that you can completely skip adding salt! Yup, that’s right – these healthy yet completely common household spices are all you’ll need to turn your bland meals into fancy-tasting delicacies you can indulge in without feeling guilty.
4. Experiment with Honey&Mustard
Want a few more tips on how to add more flavor to your favorite dishes? Well, if you love oven baked potatoes (who doesn’t?) you’re going to love this one too! Now, we’ve already discussed lemon juice and acknowledged its usefulness but have you ever considered using it with orange juice, honey and mustard to literally re-invent a popular well-loved dish and turn it into a special treat? No? Well, you must give it a shot! My mother-in-law makes baked potatoes this way and, I swear to you, those are the best potatoes I’ve ever tasted!
5. Say Yes to Hot Peppers
Million of things can go wrong during the preparation of your meals! Seriously, you don’t even have to burn it to realize it doesn’t taste the way it should have! Luckily, there is a an awesome trick to help you fix it and one of the best spices to use here would be cayenne pepper, Tabasco and chili peppers! I hope you enjoy feeling dragon’s breath forming in your throat because hot spices and foods won’t only do wonders for ruined dishes but give your bland ones an exotic taste as well!
This somewhat stinky cheese can be added to salads (try it with Roca and balsamico vinegar..mmm…yummy), vegetable broths, even meats and pastas to give them a different, quite interesting flavor! Parmesan is not really low in calories, I know, but given its specific smell and taste, its safe to say a little bit goes a long way. And, if a pinch or two of it is to make such a huge difference, I’d say it’s definitely worth the extra few calories!
7. Specialized Spice Mixes
Indulging in your favorite Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean or Oriental dishes is easy when you have a bottle containing the mixture of all traditional spices you’ll need to add to your veggies and/or meat! It’s an easy way out, a cheat sheet to help you figure out how to add more flavor without having to bust your brain trying to come up with a blend of your own! And I love it!
Do you have some ideas on how to add more flavor to foods or a few neat tricks for seasoning dishes? Do share!
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