So here we are; 2017 has begun! If you are like the vast majority of the population you might have declared ‘that’s it, I’m going to eat healthily now!’ whether it’s a desire to shed those extra Christmas ounces or if you have your sights firmly set on that summer beach holiday, even the most strong willed of us needs a little help to stick at it.
But beware: if you feel that you are denying yourself everything delicious then this just makes it exponentially tougher, as with everything, all things in moderation make it more effective and easier to stick to for the long haul. Experts are often wary of eating plans that deny entire food groups such as gluten, fats or sugars – human beings are inherently complex animals and as such require a complex mix of nutrients to keep our bodies function at their optimum capabilities.
That is where we can help – we can help you to jazz up your healthy recipes to maximise the flavour, or offer alternative cooking methods to help tweak your cooking to offer you the heathy benefits you are looking for – without compromising on flavour! In this blog we are focusing on adding that little extra flavour with some simple and quick tips, to add that zing without adding any extra work for you.
Give it some zest!
Perk up salad dressings, or give your healthy steamed fish a flavour kick using the humble skin of your favourite citrus fruit. Zesters work slightly differently to a grater as they are designed to only take the very top layer of the skin which contains all of the delicious natural oils which provide the flavour, without taking the white pith layer below which can add an unwanted bitterness to your food.
Zesters come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, – so there is sure to be a style or size to suit you. We have everything from Microplane long bar shapes – perfect for when you need a large quantity of zest, compact boxes with different blades on each side like the Microplane 3-in-1 Cube to smaller hand-held options such as the Rosle Zester or Citrus Zester & Grater (which both also feature a handy canelle tool, to help you make those wonderfully aromatic lemon peel twists in your cocktails - Cheers to that!)
Ginger & Garlic – a match made in heaven!
A truly classic combination that can perk up pretty much any meal. Whether you are creating and Indian inspired feast, an oriental banquet or a slap up Thai meal, these 2 essential ingredients are a must. Grated or finely sliced ginger also works wonderfully adding an aromatic lusciousness to any steamer fillet of fish, especially when teamed with that other Oriental essential – Soy Sauce)
A really sharp knife is an absolute must if you are slicing by hand, an oriental knife with a deep blade, such as a Santoku would be perfect for this – or if you are looking for a quick and easy way to finely grate your aromatics we have this beautiful little grater from Joseph Joseph.
Sexy salads or naughty noodles?
Lets face it, a salad can be a little uninspiring some days – so the best way to give it little more pizazz is with a homemade salad dressing. A great way of avoiding those hidden preservatives, sugars and fats that may be hiding in store bought dressings, making your own gives you a chance to flex your creative juices and explore a whole new world of healthy dressings. A quick internet search will yield an exciting range of fat free dressings. Such as the Jamie Oliver Zingy Fat Free Dressing, which uses a Fat Free Yoghurt as its main ingredient, eliminating the usual oil content.
The right dressing can also be used on cooked and cooled egg noodles – toss a selection of vegetables, lean meat such as chicken or even prawns and you will have a delicious and nutritious lunch ready to go!
Keep it fresh…
Fresh herbs have much more flavour than their dried counterparts so one of the quickest way to impart extra oomph to your meals is with a dash of fresh herbs. Whether it’s a delicate sprinkle of shredded basil on your pasta, or a sprinkle of fresh dill on your salmon or chives on your favourite egg dish we can help you out!
For woody herbs such as Rosemary and Thyme the Microplane Herb Mill or the Prepara Herb Stripper are wonderful as they effortlessly strip the fiddly leaves from the stalk. A Mezzaluna (sometimes called a Hachoir or Rocking Chopper) is a quick and easy way to chop any herbs ready to use, or for small quantities there are the handy Herb Shears from Kilo.
Reasons to Season…
Simple condiments like salt and pepper can make all the difference and there are a myriad of ways to add this most basic of ingredients to give your food that flavour. Salt & Pepper Mills are designed for whole peppercorns or Rock Salt (never use Sea Salt in a Salt Mill – this is what is known as a ‘wet salt’ and it will simply clog up the grinding mechanism). If you are using Sea Salt flakes, then a Salt Pig will keep this most useful of condiments immediately to hand, whilst also preventing it from gaining too much moisture.
Even with peppercorns, there are different colours and flavours to be found other than the traditional black and white, Pink peppercorns have a lighter flavour so are perfect for a gentle flavour on delicate meals, Szechwan peppercorns give a fiery heat to many oriental dishes (although talking botanically, neither of these are technically true peppercorns, they are interchangeable).
We have a wide range of Salt and Pepper mills, grinders and storage available – so you can be sure to find the solution that is right for you.