Friday, February 26, 2021

3 Essential Ingredients for Cooking

 Perhaps you have been interested in dabbling in the art of cooking because of Tik Tok how-to videos. Or, maybe, you have been cracking an egg or two in the kitchen. Regardless, there are some essential things you should know before you become a truly masterful chef. You should always have some crucial ingredients in the kitchen before you start your next recipe.




Image by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

When you are a novice cook, you might find yourself consistently running to the store to get an array of ingredients. To avoid this frustrating situation, you should always have these three ingredients on hand. These special, but simple, ingredients can spice up anything you have in your refrigerator—chicken, rice, veggies, etc.


Not only will these ingredients flavor your future meals, but they’ll add some much-needed balance and nutrition to your diet. The more you cook fresh meals instead of processed or fried foods, the happier your health will be! Happy cooking!


Salt & Pepper


Not only is it an essential mineral to keep our bodies balanced, but salt is an incredible flavor enhancer. Salt has received a bad rep in the health community because of its link to cardiovascular disease. However, instead of sprinkling iodized salt on your food, using kosher, sea, and Himalayan pink salt can improve your health when used.


You want to refrain from dousing your plate in a mountain of salt. This heavy hand can severely dull the taste of your food, and too much salt can harm your health. Instead, use a couple of gentle (or generous) grinds of salt in your dish to bring out the spring in your flavor’s step.


Like its iconic partner, pepper has its unique part to play in the overall flavor composition. Black peppercorn, or black pepper, is a complex spice that can add depth and a much-needed spice kick to a bland dish. Fresh ground pepper, included white peppercorn, green peppercorn, pink peppercorn or red peppercorn, can all add a dramatically different flair to your meal. You’ll want to play around with the additional salt and pepper combinations out there, along with many different spices, including garlic powder, onion powder, sage, turmeric, basil, or vanilla bean, if you are interested in baking!


Allium’s (Garlic & Onion)


Also referred to as the kitchen’s aromatics, alliums are a genus of flowering plants that include hundreds of varieties of onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, and leeks. These alliums are nearly essential to any savory dish, as they contribute to a robust and flavorful taste. Onions, whether they are raw, sauteed, or grilled, are a powerhouse in any dish. Garlic, like onions, is pungent, sharp and essential to any complex flavor profile.


Alliums are also incredibly beneficial healthwise—they enhance our immune system, keep blood sugar regulated, severely reduce inflammation, and are complete with cancer-fighting properties. Garlic is a great plant that is one of the best foods to fight inflammation, as it is anti-bacterial and anti-viral naturally. Allium’s taste the best when freshly chopped!


Citrus Juice & Zest


Citrus is one of your cook book’s cheapest and best-kept secrets. Citrus juice and zest, from lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits, are incredibly cheap and easy to cook delicious meals. Acid is an essential part of good food, as it creates a refreshing tartness in a crust, sauce, or juiciness in meat, fish or veggies.


Citrus zest and juice are an incredible way to infuse high impact flavor into  soups, marinades, salad dressings, kinds of pasta, or baked goods.


If you are itching to use these ingredients, there are plenty of new recipes to start! Consider trying your hand at this [healthy and vegan] carrot salad recipe, which uses all of these ingredients and many more great ingredients. A light soup or a grilled chicken is also a great place to start with novice cooking.

What is your favorite ingredient to have on hand when cooking? Let me know in the comments below. Have a great weekend!


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