Food Pairings Suggestions
When it comes to culinary wizardry, food pairing is the equivalent of alchemy. Whether you are looking for delicate aromas that dance lightly on the pallet or a full-bodied flavour hit, knowing how to combine flavours so that they become greater than the sum of their parts is where the magic lies. Remember the first time you tried salted caramel or chilli and chocolate? Sometimes it is the unexpected combinations that give the most exquisite results.
Flavour isn’t the only benefit of trying out new combinations. Not only can learning how to pair foodscreate whole new flavours from two simple ingredients, but it can also help you to ensure good, balanced and healthy nutrition. Combining the right ingredients can mean the difference between a miserable meal and a happy one, quite literally! Choosing ingredients that work together to maximise absorption of nutrients into your body, aid digestion and increase your intake of essential vitamins and minerals can make you feel healthier and happier. At Invisible Kitchen, we love experimenting with ingredients, the quest for new and exciting combinations never ends. If you are on a similar quest and looking for ideas, try out these combinations to send your taste buds to heaven and impress your guests.
Eggs and salad
Improve your brain function, heart health and reduce the risk of cancer by combining eggs with your salad. Eggs are a great source of protein and this makes them a friend to dieters. Protein makes you feel fuller than vegetables and salad so if you want to make sure you aren’t reaching for the snacks between meals, ensure you include protein rich foods in your food combinations. In addition to this, scientists conducting a study from Purdue University found that the addition of eggs to a fresh and delicious salad promoted the absorption of carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene. These nutrients are associated with preventing the slowing of cognitive decline and heart disease as well as reducing cancer risks. The study found that those who added three eggs to their salad up to nine times more carotenoids than those who didn’t get to enjoy eggs in their otherwise identical recipe.
Steak and Rosemary
Usually resigned by many to only the poultry dishes, rosemary is actually a winner in the flavour department when paired with a fat juicy steak. It also has the benefit of neutralizing the carcinogens created when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
Rosmarinic and carnosic acidsfound in rosemary have been found to stop the heterocyclic amines from forming on cooked meat that are associated with causing cancer.
Next time you have a fine cut of steak staring back at you from the refrigerator, cut a fresh sprig of rosemary, combine the chopped herb with lemon, salt and olive oil to create a healthy marinade that will blow your mind and protect your health.
Roasted Vegetables and Olive Oil
Create a smooth, silky and tender texture with a sweet and smoky aroma next time you roast your vegetables with olive oil. While some die-hard diet fads would have to steam and juice everything, fats are essential to healthy eating and it doesn’t get much better than olive oil in terms of both flavour and nutrition. When roasting in olive oil, just make sure not to roast at too high a temperature, anything over 400F is overkill, will burn the oil, ruin the flavour and destroy the nutritious benefits of your food pairing. Roast well by roasting on a lower heat for longer for the best results.
Fish and Broccoli
For more cancer prevention with a more delicate flavour pairing, add broccoli to your next fish supper. Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel are high in selenium, a cancer-fighting mineral that protects the thyroid. A compound called sulforophane is found to make the effectiveness of selenium thirteen times more effective. Guess which veggie delight is rich in sulforophane? That’s right, our dear friend the broccoli.
For the ultimate fix, choose fresh wild salmon and tenderstem broccoli while the ingredients are in season to maximise flavour, colour and nutrition.
Coffee and Cinnamon
Replacing the cream and sugar in your coffee with something less calorific and high in fat has quite obvious health benefits. But there are some other more surprising benefits to adding cinnamon to your diet. If you haven’t tried it yet, spice up your life with a something a little different next time.
Because cinnamon can slow the speed at which your stomach empties after a meal it can help control sharp rises and falls in blood sugar levels. Regulating these sugar spikes can reduce cravings and energy slumps.
Cinnamon can also enhance the way antioxidants from other foods help the body defend itself, hence strengthening your immune system and keeping those winter bugs at bay. Other suggested health benefits includecounteracting stiffness in muscles, relieving congestion, reducing inflammation and joint pain, supporting digestive health, and even giving your brain a boost.
Food and Wine
While alcohol has been much maligned, many studies have come to the rescue of wine-lovers like us to suggest that in moderate quantities, it can have great health benefits for your heart and circulatory system. The flavour benefits speak for themselves and any well thought-out wine-pairing menu you have ever tried will probably been the most powerful example of how one flavour can completely lift, change and elevate another. For winning food and wine combinations that will fill up your senses and satisfy your soul, take a look at our wine and food pairing article.
No matter what you are aiming for in your cooking endeavours, experimentation is king. Playing with different combinations and using fresh ingredients is fun and when you find a new taste sensation, you will be filled with pride, and delicious and nutritious food of course! Try out our suggestions or try out something completely different, the more you try, the better you will become at food pairing and flavour alchemy.