Tickle Your Taste Buds with Texture
Crispy, chewy, soft, firm, creamy, smooth and crunchy — a food’s texture adds sass to your cooking and puts a smile on your face. From crunchy carrots to chewy sourdough bread and creamy soup, texture plays a big role in making food taste better.
Taking on texture in your kitchen can be fun. Put your food processer on pulse, get out your mortar and pestle, grab your grinder and cook with ingredients that are bursting with texture.1
Here are 7 ways to start your adventure:
- Grits, polenta and cornmeal. All are words to describe a versatile food that adds creaminess, chewiness and volume to your recipes. Grits take on the flavor of what you pair it with, just like tofu or rice. Experiment by mixing it with Southern ingredients such as cheese, gravy or butternut squash. Or for an Asian flair, create a stir-fry with onions, peppers, mushrooms, shrimp and soy sauce. Combined with foods you like, the possibilities are endless.
- Seeds. Add a nutty flavor, spice and texture to your favorite foods with this naturally crunchy ingredient. For a punch of personality — plus a dose of fiber and ALA Omega-3’s2 — add Chia seeds to breads, cookies and smoothies. Sprinkle poppy seeds on salads or add sesame seeds to your cookie recipe. Eat sunflower seeds raw or toasted as a healthy snack. Try our Indian chickpea dip recipe , loaded with cumin, coriander and yellow mustard seeds.
- Chocolate chips. This is a feel-good ingredient that you can chunk, ground or shave for texture. Decorate a cake with shavings, put big chips in cookies and create confections with melt-in-your-mouth smoothness. Use dark chocolate with 65 percent or higher cocoa and take advantage of its antioxidant content.3 Try our Kashi® Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Cooked Bread Pudding recipe.
- Coffee and spice grinder. Meet your two-in-one friend that makes coffee one day and grinds spices the next. This handy gadget helps you control the spiciness in your go-to recipes. Pull out your spice grinder to add a dash of flavor to any dish and delight your taste buds with instant texture and flavor. Give it a try with our Curry Snack Mix recipe featuring nutmeg and ground cloves.
- Ice. Shave it, crush it and mold it. Ice puts the zing and texture into any refreshing drink. If you miss old-fashioned cubes, make your own using a vintage ice-cube tray. Freeze lemon, lime, mint or orange in the cubes and then garnish your soft drink, lemonade or party drink with your colorful, crunchy creations.
- Eggplant. This gorgeous purple vegetable takes on a variety of textures to suit your recipe. Grill it and turn it into a crunchy vegetarian sandwich or eggplant salad. Roast it and then puree with garlic, lemon juice and tahini to create Baba Ghanoush a classic Middle Eastern dip. Bread it and serve eggplant Parmesan.
- Grains. There’s a whole lot of grains going on. Choose from a variety of grains, including barley, farro and quinoa. Whole grains give everything from bread and pasta to cereal and salads a chewy texture and nutritional boost. There are as many grains as there are recipes, so experiment until you find one you like. For a spicy twist, try our Chai-spiced Kashi® Whole Grain Pilaf recipe.
1 Scott-Thomas, Caroline, “The impact of texture on taste perception,” Food Navigator USA.
http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Science/The-impact-of-texture-on-taste-perception. Accessed 4/3/2012.
2 Resources, “Omega-3 Chia Seed Extract,” Valensa.com.
3 DeNoon, Daniel, “Dark Chocolate Has Health Benefits Not Seen in Other Varieties,” WebMD Health News.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate. Accessed 3/8/2012.