Flavorsome foods are hugely important in my cooking repertoire. I love the variety and am constantly seeking new taste delights to keep my palate fresh. Here are some of my latest findings.
1. SHEEP’S YOGURT
I’m always on a search for dairy alternatives so I was excited to see sheep’s yogurt at my local store. If you’ve ever tried pecorino cheese (also made from sheep’s milk), then you get a sense of what sheep’s yogurt tastes like. It’s sweeter than goat’s milk, tastier than soy, and creamier than cow’s milk.
Perfect for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Use sheep’s milk yogurt in ways you would use cow’s milk yogurt: smoothies, top with honey and pumpkin seeds for a quick dessert, accompany your slice of cake, freeze it with fruit to make a healthy frozen yogurt, or add it to your cooking to replace cow’s milk.
After hearing so much about the goodness of this leafy vegetable, I finally found some myself and I’ve become a convert! It’s super curly green-ness makes kale an unusually high source of fiber with a cup of kale providing 20% of your recommended daily amount.
Kale helps regulate the body’s inflammatory response, it’s a great source of well-absorbed calcium and a whizz at producing beta-carotene – a fantastic antioxidant.
- Kale chips have quickly become a fav. Simply tear into bite-size pieces, drizzle with olive oil and salt, then bake for 10 minutes. Amazingly the kale crisps up and voila, instant crispy chips (so much better for you than the deep-fried potato kind).
- Try steaming or cooking in a pan with garlic and olive oil. When cooked, add a splash of balsamic vinegar and soya sauce. Delish.
- Add it to your smoothie or someone was telling me their husband loves just crunching on the raw leaves.
3. APPLE SYRUP
This thick apply syrup is the perfect replacement for maple syrup and all those other sugar-filled and additive-filled dessert sauces you may be using.
Apple syrup is simply made from apples, nothing else. So make sure you check the ingredients list when shopping and if it has any other ingredients, put the bottle back on the shelf and pick up the next one.
- Use apple syrup to enhance your porridge or your smoothie at breakfast time. Pour it over your pancakes or waffles.
- Add to a myriad of salad dressing recipes for a little something special.
- Drizzle over your roasted vegetables or pork before popping in the oven.
- Pour over ricotta or over a nice wedge of cheese.
I’d often seen this bumpy vegetable at the store and never known what it tasted like or what to do with it. I bought my first choko a couple of weeks ago and blimey, I liked it!
This mild-flavored Mexican native comes from the gourd family (melons, cucumbers and squash) and grows on a vine. Chayote is a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, amino acids, and they’re low in fat. This super versatile vegetable can be eaten raw, boiled, stuffed, mashed, baked, fried, or pickled.
It’s known by an assortment of names including chayote, christophene, merleton, pear squash and vegetable pear.
- Try it raw in salads by peeling and deseeding, then marinating in lemon or lime juice. If it’s fresh and young you can leave the skin on.
- Steam it, then add a wee bit of chili and fresh olive oil. Stir-fry it in butter or oil, then garnish with a bit of garlic and balsamic vinegar.
- Chayote goes great with meat – stir-dry with beef and garlic, or with bacon, onion, and basil and top with parmesan cheese.
5. PUY LENTILS
These blue-green lentils don’t get any points for beauty, but they sure make up for it with taste. Their name comes from the region of Le Puy in France and their official name, ‘Le Puy Green Lentil’, is protected throughout Europe.
The le puy is considered by many to be the best lentils due to their peppery flavor and ability to hold their shape during cooking. Of course, they also get points from me for being gluten-free and high in fiber.
- Simply add 1 cup of lentils with 2 cups of water, simmer for 25 minutes, drain and then add just salt and pepper to prepare.
- Quickly whip up some bacon, mix it with warm puy lentils, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and some rocket and you have a quick and easy meal.
- These lentils make a perfect accompaniment to duck, scallops and salmon. They work with roasted vegetables and grilled halloumi.
- Mix them with some roasted balsamic tomatoes and top with fetta.