Tickle Your Taste Buds with Texture

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:

  1. 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 flavour 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.

  2. Seeds

    Add a nutty flavour, spice and texture to your favourite foods with this naturally crunchy ingredient. For a punch of personality — plus some fibre and 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 flavour to any dish and delight your taste buds with instant texture and flavour. Give it a try with our Curry Snack Mix recipe featuring nutmeg and ground cloves.

  5. 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 beverage, lemonade or party drink with your colourful, crunchy creations.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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. http://www.valensa.com/resources/Omega-3-Chia-Seed.php

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