Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two ridiculously easy food yummifiers

Ready for some simple food yummifiers? (I thought about writing "flavor enhancers" but to me that means MSG, and these tips are far more natural than that!)

1. Soup yummifier
When you're making broth-based soups (like the chicken-barley I made yesterday), before it finishes cooking, add a bit of balsamic vinegar. Just enough to add flavor, but not not enough to make it too sour ("to taste.") (In a big pot, a few tablespoons or less should do it.) I saw this on a couple of recipes over at A Year of Slow Cooking, and it makes a huge difference in the flavor of homemade soup! Chickie loves it, too. (Zoodle's not a big soup fan these days.)

2. Pancake yummifier
Heat up some applesauce (we use unsweetened), and put it on top of pancakes to add to their flavor and healthiness. I admit when I did this yesterday, I also put butter and maple syrup on the pancakes, but you could certainly leave off either or both of those. Zoodle, who weighs about 1/4 of what I weigh, ate more pancakes than I did.

Do you have any super-simple ways to yummify your food?


Rachel Cotterill said...

Mmm, apple pancakes :D

My seasoning of choice is chilli flakes (I'll use chilli & pepper where most people might use salt & pepper).

Monica said...

I put pureed carrots in my ground beef for meatballs and hamburgers. It makes them deliciously moist and healthy! I buy frozen carrots, cook them, puree them, and freeze in ice cube trays-like baby food. I use 2-3 cubes per pound of meat. You can experiment with other veggies, but I have to stick with what I KNOW I can get away with ;)

Call Me Cate said...

The pancakes sound delicious. I like that idea a lot.

I'm trying to think of things we add. I often use cajun seasoning (a mix of a bunch of things) in place of salt to add flavor to things like veggies. Red pepper flakes and hot sauce are also used liberally at my house.

And evaporated milk instead of regular milk in recipes. Or a coordinating broth for water in some recipes.

Yeah, nothing mind-blowing there.

Shana said...

sounds yummy! i'll have to try the soup one! I'm thinking about doing some lentil soup in the next few days

Autumn said...

Oh I have tons of secrets!! My chicken pot pie is half chicken cubes, half tofu, no one can ever tell.

I add ginger to my beef roasts. Not enough to really taste but a few teaspoons to the spice rub I use around the roast.

I add arrowroot flour to thicken bean based dishes like chili. It helps with the gas later, there's less of it :)

Hmmm, a few tablespoons of raspberry jam goes in my chocolate cake recipes to add a little gourmet to the chocolaty taste.

When I make a big batch of some dip, like hummus, I put it in muffin tins and then freeze it, later I dump the frozen "cakes" into a big ziplocked bag and then mark the outside with whatever's in the bag. Great way to use what you need later and keep what you wont use for a few months longer than the fridge could ever do.

I add cinnamon to hot chocolate, or if I want to make it really yummy I use coffee syrups to flavor it {Raspberry works well here too! Carmel is another really yummy combo}

When I go grocery shopping I drop by the cake decorating area in the store and ask for a few icing bags because they charge WAY LESS than getting a whole tub at Micheal's and honestly when do I ever think I'll need 100 icing bags?

And Rabbit's tip is my favorite of all: when you open butter put the wrapper that goes around the stick of butter in a ziplock back and freeze it. When you have a recipe that tells you to grease a cookie sheet pull out one of those wrappers and use it to grease your cookie sheet, then throw it away. Less mess, no need to wash hands afterwards because they don't get greasy :)