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Nutrition with Flavour: Making Good Food Irresistible

Average read time: 3 minutes

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Unfortunately, the general stigma around healthy, nutritious foods is that it’s bland and unappetising. Although most people are aware that following a balanced diet is beneficial for your body and try to stick to a healthy eating plan, the majority fails due to a lack of flavour and enjoyment when it comes to healthy foods. And, as humans, it’s difficult for us to sustain anything if we don’t find pleasure in it… We’re simple creatures and we’ll likely eat the foods we enjoy more often.

We’re here to tell you that it is possible to make good food irresistible! By making a few tweaks to your shopping list and paying attention to how you prepare your food, you can enjoy healthy foods that are both nutritious and delicious.

Why is taste so important?

On top of the nutritional composition of the foods we consume, their taste, smell, texture, temperature, colour and appearance all affect our satiety.[a] This means that foods that satisfy our taste preferences (be it via flavour, texture, or sensory perception) are more likely to contribute to a more positive eating experience and greater sense of satiation. Why? Because sense of taste is one of our most important senses.

Our sense of taste is strongly tied to primitive emotional and behavioural functions of our nervous system. So, it plays a vital part in our thinking process when it comes to choosing certain types of food over others. In addition, tastes can be modified and enhanced by adding different flavours (with herbs, spices and fats) and different cooking methods (for example, braaiing, smoking, grilling and boiling) and we also have our preferences when it comes to these.

Of course, people’s tastes differ. This is believed to be a result of the amount of tastebuds a person has, which mainly comes down to our genetic makeup. The more tastebuds you have, the more you’ll taste particular flavours in food.

What is ‘taste nutrition’?

According to Videla (2023:1), taste nutrition is another important consideration. Taste nutrition is a concept that focuses specifically on the taste, thus the flavour, of food and how it can be used to improve the overall quality of your diet. It’s about using food as a source of pleasure and enjoyment while at the same time ensuring that it provides all the essential nutrients your body needs.

It’s based on the simple idea that when we enjoy the food we’re eating, we’re more likely to keep on eating it and will, consequently, be able to stick to a healthy eating plan more easily.

Incorporating taste nutrition in your diet

Experiment with seasonings

A surefire way to add flavour to your meals is by experimenting with different herbs, spices and blended seasonings.Typically, fresh herbs like basil or rocket make great additions to fresh salads or roast vegetables, like in this Beef Tagliata Salad with Tomatoes, Rocket and Basil. Spices and seasonings, on the other hand, can be used to add flavour to your meats and grains. Have a look at this Pasta with Cajun Chicken, Sour Cream and Mushrooms, for example.

Incorporate a variety of flavours and textures

To prevent your meals from being bland or becoming boring, add a diverse range of flavours and textures. This will not only make your food more interesting, but also more enjoyable. You can add different kinds of nuts and/or seeds to your cereals or salads, for example. Here’s a delicious Roasted Butternut, Baby Corn and Avo Salad which can be topped with roasted pumpkin seeds, for some inspiration.

Try different cooking methods

They way you cook food has an immense impact on its taste. Common cooking methods include baking, frying, steaming, boiling, grilling, roasting, and poaching. Certain cooking methods bring out the best in certain foods. For example, grilling meat is often preferred over steaming or poaching it, as it enhances the flavour. Steaming, on the other hand, is a good way to cook vegetables as it doesn’t alter the taste and helps ensure that the nutrients are kept.

Use healthy fats

By making a smart swap and using olive or avocado oil for cooking, you’re already changing your meals for the better! These oils are not only healthier than other alternatives such as butter or margarine, but they also contain beneficial nutrients like omega 3-fatty acids. They can also be used for drizzling over foods for additional flavour, like when making these Quinoa Stuffed Peppers.

Add new ingredients

Some people prefer eating the same thing over and over again. However, if you prefer trying new things, incorporating new ingredients into your meals will ensure that they don’t become bland. Instead of opting for rice or cous cous, you can try cooking with quinoa, for example, and add different kinds of grains to something like a Poke Bowl or this Chicken Burrito Bowl instead of a traditional salad. Or you can experiment with different kinds of fish.

Use high-quality ingredients

When you prep your meals with fresh, high-quality ingredients, you’re already a step ahead. Opt for tender cuts of meat, fresh fruits and vegetables that aren’t bruised, or frozen ingredients free of ice chunks.[b] There is so much you can do with fresh fruits and vegetables! Have a look at this delicious Spiced Roast Vegetable and Rice Salad with Raisins and Almonds, for example.

Plan and prep your meals

One of the main reasons why people struggle to maintain a healthy, balanced diet today is a lack of time. To bypass this, take the necessary time to plan and prep your meals in advance.Doing so will also help you ensure that you include a variety of meals and flavours so that you don’t end up eating the same meal day after day.

Make good food irresistible with Knorr

Knorr is the world's leading expert in flavour, and you can rely on their expertise to help you turn good, nourishing food into irresistible meals. Knorr wants to inspire everyone to eat wholesome foods that are better for our health and wellbeing, and the planet too!

With a wide range of flavoursome products, from salad dressings, cook-in-sauces and bags to soups and pasta sauces, stock pots and gravies, there’s a solution available to turn any meal into something delicious.

Best of all, Knorr offers a range of Meal Solutions to help you cook, braai, bake, roast or stew a variety of meals in no time, without compromising on flavour or nutrition.

Make the change, your body will thank you

Paying attention to what you eat and how you prepare your food is sure to set you on the right track towards following a healthy, balanced diet. This will benefit your body in many ways! See which flavours are known for complementing particular foods to get started on this new journey.

Foods

Complementary flavours

Legumes and pulses

Garlic, fatty pork products, olive oil, smoky tastes like chipotle and smoked paprika, and spices like cumin and chilli

Beef

Tomatoes, red wine, soy sauce, herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage, and spices like black pepper, cayenne, cumin, and curry powders

Lamb

Fresh garlic, lemon zest, black pepper and salt, as well as rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, mint, and bay leaves

Venison

Fruits such as quinces or prunes, herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage and bay leaves, spices like aniseed, all spice and cloves, red wine, cider and ale

Chicken

White wine, fresh lemon, garlic, onions, herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano, and spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper

Pork

Sweet fruits like apples, pears and blueberries, herbs like parsley, coriander, mint, fennel, oregano and basil, and spices such as paprika, allspice, cumin, ginger, chilli and coriander seeds

Seafood

Citrus, herbs including basil, dill, parsley and tarragon, and spices like ginger, cumin, paprika and coriander

Vegetables

Citrus, warming spices like cumin, ginger and allspice, and herbs like parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and oregano

Rice

All kinds of herbs, spices, broths, milks or sauces. For example, cook rice with chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic and onion for Mediterranean flavours

Pasta

Butter, olive oil, garlic, and herbs like basil, oregano, thyme and parsley

Salads

Vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices like paprika, chilli flakes and curry powder

By adding a greater variety of foods to your diet, you’re more likely to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Secondly, by experimenting with new foods and flavours, you’re bound to discover more ingredients that you enjoy and can cook with. This will make it easier in the long run to sustain variety in your diet. Lastly, working on enhancing the flavour of good food will result in healthy eating will becoming more enjoyable, and even a priority for you.

FAQs

Why does taste matter so much?

Our sense of taste is strongly tied to primitive emotional and behavioural functions of our nervous system. So, it plays a vital part in our thinking process when it comes to choosing certain types of food over others.

Can good food be delicious too?

By making a few tweaks to your shopping list and paying attention to how you prepare your food, you can enjoy healthy foods that are both nutritious and delicious.

How can I make my food tastier?

  • Experiment with seasonings
  • Incorporate a variety of flavours and textures
  • Use healthy fats
  • Add new ingredients
  • Use high-quality ingredients
  • Plan and prep your meals

What products should I stock up on?

With a wide range of flavoursome products, from salad dressings, cook-in-sauces and bags to soups and pasta sauces, stock pots and gravies, Knorr has a flavoursome solution available to turn any meal into something delicious.

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