BUMP UP ‘DA FLAVOR

20130129-172254.jpgOne of the problems that newbie Paleo chefs have is trying to pack flavor into their food. You may be used to highly processed foods and now that you’ve chosen a healthier, less-processed path, suddenly foods seem more bland. That’s because your taste buds are recouping from the massive OD they’ve had of salt, MSG, sugar and chemical flavor-substitutes.

Don’t fear; the plant kingdom is here! Fresh herbs are nature’s way of bumping up the taste and nutrition in your foods.

NEIL’S BIG FOUR
Don’t be afraid of experimenting once you’ve mastered the Big Four:

1. Sea salt – Easy does it, but its one of the best flavor enhancers for savory and sweet (that’s right…a pinch in dark chocolate biscuits make all the difference). There are a few cautions: I suggest you almost never salt meat before its cooked, and try not to add it to a dish at the beginning of cooking unless the recipe calls for it.
2. Chilies and pepper – There are literally hundreds of chili peppers from sweet to freaking-stupid-hot. Use with caution but use them for sure. Word is they have thermogenic properties and will help you drop fat…Bonus!
3. Garlic – Enough said. Be sure not to burn it, but it’s awesome for bringing a sweet, heady flavor to any meat. Suggest you keep garlic powder in your spice drawer; it’s great to add a dash to savory paleo baked crusts etc to counter the natural sweetness of nut and coconut flours.
4. Lemon/ Lime – The zest of a lemon or lime brightens salads and marinates meat. Sprinkle the juice in water to make it taste even more refreshing. AND it’s a great way to fool the tongue by making BBQed, baked or fried foods taste saltier.

There are heaps of other herbs and spices to discover once you get these going in your food. Check out this post on more spices you should be using from one of my favorite websites,
Mark’s Daily Apple.

So what’s YOUR favorite flavor-kicker?

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. jacmcara says:

    Why not salt meat before cooking? I’ve never heard this before… educate me please. 🙂

    Like

    1. ninjaneil says:

      I’m glad you asked that. Salting a cut of meat a long time prior to cooking will draw moisture out so could become dry during the process. I highly recommend against also using salt or salty fluids to marinate meats before cooking such as soy sauce (which is not Paleo-friendly anyway).

      There are exceptions, such as lightly salting the skin of, say, fish or pork. Since the skin or layer of fat protects the proteins of the meat, the salt will just crisp up the skin nicely.

      In any case, I recommend salting sparingly; it’s not great for your blood pressure and makes you retain water which will cover your 6-pack!

      Like

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