Some plant-based curious folks out there are still resisting taking the plunge into eating whole food plant-based simply because they think the food will be too bland and boring. Turns out, they couldn’t be more wrong.
There are so many amazing plant-based foods and dishes out there to choose from. Truth is, skipping the oil and additives found in most of our food does something amazing. Whole food plant-based cooking techniques actually unleash more vibrant flavors than you’re used to! But how can this be?
Sugar, salt, and fat are hiding flavors from you!
The main culprit in dulling our palates (and making us feel generally crappy) is an overreliance on sugar, salt, and fat in most foods we eat.
Don’t get us wrong. In moderation, these are all vital ingredients for a healthy body. Salt is key in maintaining fluid balance. Sugar gives us vital energy, and fats comprise most of our brain matter.
The real issue began when food manufacturers started using added sugar, salt, and fat in products to make them more “craveable”; ergo more marketable.
In fact, they’ve added so much that when we eat processed food, we’re usually just tasting the sugar, salt, and fat. The flavors of the other ingredients are hidden and overwhelmed.
This doesn’t just stop at just packaged foods, though. Many cooking techniques, whether it be in a restaurant or in your own kitchen, have also come to rely on salt, sugar, butter, and oils to “enhance” flavors when, in truth, they’re just masking them.
Here’s why whole food plant-based creates vibrant, exciting flavors.
Whole food plant-based cooking techniques do two incredible things.
- They let the natural flavors and textures of our food shine through.
- They retrain your palate (and brain) to enjoy real food in its natural state.
When you’re able to turn off your cravings for added sugar and salt, you become more attuned to the natural sweetness that’s already packed into your favorite foods. In fact, you’ll find yourself actually craving those stunning flavors.
A slow roasted date rolled in a touch of cocoa powder will start to taste just a good as a candy bar, and just think how much better you’ll feel both mentally and physically without the sugar hangover afterwards.
Tips to bring out naturally vibrant plant-based flavors.
So, what are some ways that you can use innovative whole food plant-based cooking techniques to experience rich, exciting flavors?
One of the simplest, most important tips for bringing out the natural vibrancy in food is to buy great products!
Making sure you buy food that’s in season goes a very long way.
For instance, peaches are always delicious, but there’s nothing like a peach purchased in its proper season. Fresh summer asparagus hits the palate in all the right ways.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t eat your favorite foods year-round, but if you make an effort to use ingredients that are in season, your dishes will sing.
The same can be said for where you’re buying your food. Grocery stores are great and super convenient, but there’s nothing like locally-sourced food. Fruits and veggies grown by a farmer who truly cares about the quality of his crops will always blow superstore produce out of the water.
Take your time.
Another great way to bring out naturally vibrant flavors is to not rush the process. Nuking a sweet potato is quick, but it won’t bring out all the natural sweetness and depth the way slow roasting will. Also, have you ever slow-roasted a tomato? Make sure you’re sitting down when you try it the first time. Most great things in life take time, and food is no exception.
Find new, better options for old habits.
You probably love it when they serve that little bowl of olive oil with bread service at a restaurant. We promise you won’t miss the oil if your bread is paired with some perfectly brined olives instead.
Whole food plant-based cooking isn’t just about roasting vegetables. There are so many ways to cook incredible food without added salt, sugar or oils. Surprisingly, many techniques we use to cook meat translate to plant-based ingredients beautifully!
- Wood smoking is especially delicious for sweet potatoes.
- Herbs are great for seasoning and marinating vegetables.
- A super-hot skillet will naturally caramelize fresh produce.
Don’t be afraid to try a variety of techniques; one great discovery can unlock a treasure trove of delicious new recipes.
At Whole Harvest Kitchen, we offer a naturally vibrant menu of 100% whole food plant-based meals! Our goal is to make maintaining your healthy lifestyle exciting and delicious. We believe in food that’s healthy, truly good and good for the environment.
We can’t wait for you to try all of our whole food plant-based entrees when our first restaurant opens in late ’23 in Kansas City! Visit our website to sign up for our mailing list and be the first to know when we open!
Wherever you are on your whole food plant-based journey, there’s no such thing as too much education. If you’re curious about whether whole food plant-based
Every day, growing numbers of people switch to a whole food plant-based lifestyle. It’s hardly a brand-new concept, so why does it suddenly feel like