So long are the days of bland diets filled with boiled chicken and broccoli. Nix the old-school mindset and instead focus on flavor pairings to help you reach your goals (and enjoy eating while you’re at it.) Keep reading to learn the art of balancing flavors to help satisfy cravings and savor every bite.
UNDERSTANDING TASTE PROFILES
Finding the ideal flavor pairing starts with understanding the basic tastes. Here are the 5 you’re most likely to have experienced:
Sweet: the delightful taste of sugar and sweetness, found in fruits, honey and desserts. It takes the greatest quantity of this taste to register on your taste buds (which is why sweetness adds such balance to savory style dishes.)
Sour: tartness that tickles our taste buds, found in citrus like lemon or a drizzle of vinegar. There’s a fine balance with this taste however. When you pair it perfectly, it adds sparkle and brightness to a dish.
Salty: a flavor enhancer recommended by nearly every chef and found on most dinner tables that helps balance other tastes. It’s the most important taste to make savory food shine.
Bitter: the most sensitive flavor for most individuals (meaning you can have the least amount present and it still would register on your taste buds.) Found in dark leafy greens, coffee, and dark chocolate and can help cut the richness of a dish.
Umami: known as the 5th sense, umami is a savory taste found in ingredients like soy sauce, anchovies, mushrooms and green tea. Umami provides richness and depth and is often found referenced as “meaty” despite the flavor itself containing no meat protein.
Sometimes the best way to enhance a recipe is experimenting with new flavor and texture combinations. Trying new flavors and textures makes for a harmonious and well-rounded bite (that may just become your new favorite treat.) While flavor excites your tastebuds, texture appeases mouthfeel, or in other words, how food feels on the mouth from the first bite to the last. Both flavor and texture captivate our senses and allow us to experience food in a new way with unexpected and thrilling combinations.
Consider trying out one of these compatible flavor pairings to excite and delight your taste buds:
- :ratio mixed berry dairy snack + a squeeze of lime
- :ratio peach dairy snack + sliced tamari almonds
- 3-bean salad + 1/4 cup :ratio keto*-friendly toasted almond granola
- :ratio soft baked chocolate brownie + drizzle of salted tahini
You don't have to sacrifice flavor to reach your goals. Finding fun ways to balance flavor and texture allows you to experience new dimensions of deliciousness and dare we say enjoy your keto*-friendly diet.
*Always consult your physician before starting an eating plan that involves regular consumption of high fat foods. See information for calorie, total fat and sat. fat content.