Enhancing flavor in food

As we age, many of our senses begin to diminish and we may begin to lose interest in the types of food we eat.

As we age, many of our senses begin to diminish and we may begin to lose interest in the types of food we eat. By doing some simple adjustments to our meal recommended by Michigan State University Extension, we can make it more appealing by enhancing the flavors that are present on our plates. Adding variety in our meals also assures that we are getting the proper nutrients our body needs regardless of how old we are. Try following a few of these simple steps to add interest to your meal.

There are many ways you can increase the taste of your foods by doing some minor adjustments along the way. Grilling or roasting your fruits and vegetables in an oven or on a grill can create a sweet or smoky flavor. Brush your vegetables with a light oil before you roast them to help prevent them from drying out. Sprinkle them with herbs for a little more flavor. Caramelizing onions can create a natural sweet flavor. Slowly simmer the onion in a bit of oil until lightly brown, then add to gravy or eat directly with meat. Try spicing up your salad or vegetables with a sprinkle of flavored vinegar. Balsamic vinegar can be used directly on salad or as a marinade for your meats. Add red wine vinegar, oil and onion soup to a slow cooker and place a beef roast in to simmer and create a flavorful dinner.

Other flavors can perk up your dinner in an instant. Add citrus peel or citrus juice to perk up a sauce and balance flavor. Peppers add a variety of color and flavor to many dishes. Peppers come in many different colors and intensity with some being very mild to some being very hot. Depending on your taste preference, pick the pepper that is most pleasing to your palate. Condiments are another easy way to add more flavor to your meal. Flavored mustards, horseradish, chutneys and salsas can be added to any meal.

Experimenting with herbs and spices to find the flavor you like adds to any soup or sauce. Common herbs like basil, chives, cilantro, rosemary, garlic and cumin are easy to start with in many sauces. Or, consider buying premixed herbs from the grocery store and sprinkle them directly on your vegetables and meats.

For more ideas on how to enhance your meals, check the US Department of Agriculture Snap Ed Connection Recipe Finder. Whatever your preferences are, there are many ways to enhance the flavor of any meal. It just takes a little experimentation on your part.

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