Few ingredients have the power to single-handedly boost a dish with their flavour. These are the ingredients you always want to have in your kitchen pantry, so you can quickly make a flavourful meal without wasting time and money on dozens of ingredients and spices. Here are some flavour boosting ingredients you need if you want to transform your meals.
Citrus Juice or Vinegar
We often reach for lemon juice to add flavour 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 flavour. 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 flavour to your salad dressings and marinades, but any vinegar works.
Dried herbs may be convenient, but nothing compares to the flavour 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, chives, and parsley are all excellent, flavourful herbs to plant in your garden.
Cinnamon is a delicious, flavourful, 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 savoury 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 flavour 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 flavour 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 flavour that instantly makes us feel cozy.
If you want some inspiration for seasoning blends that use some of these flavourful spices then take a look at these recipes.
Adding garlic to any dish instantly makes it aromatic and flavourful. It is a spice that can pack enough flavour 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 savoury dish, from your morning eggs to veggies to seafood. It’s hard to go wrong with garlic!
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 flavour. 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. This is one of my brands of Coconut Aminos.
These flavour boosting ingredients can take your meals from dull to fab in the flavour department. Try adding them to your meals and let me know what you think.