Nutrition Month (part 3): Cooking Techniques that Add Flavor

Here’s part 3 of Laura’s (our registered dietician) ode to National Nutrition Month. If you missed the other posts, here they are: part 1, part 2.

Laura 04 2111

Registered Dietician, Laura

Food has natural unique flavors that can be enhanced by cooking techniques. The art of combining foods to complement flavors is where things get fun! It’s simply a matter of learning some tricks and then experimenting in your kitchen to discover what you enjoy.Here are some browning options that add a lot of flavor:

  • Sear. A flavor booster when cooking meat or fish. Rub the meat with a spice rub before heating. Heat an oven safe skillet on medium-high to high heat. Choose a skillet like stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron, but not Teflon which releases gas and toxins at high heat. Once the skillet is heated, spray lightly with oil that has a high smoke point (such as Canola or Walnut) and sear the fish or meat on high heat for about 90 seconds on each side. This locks in flavor and develops a flavorful crust on the outside. Then finish the cooking process in the oven.
  • Caramelize. Just the word sounds tasty. Caramelizing is the browning of sugars in a food, which brings out the natural sweetness in foods, adds a nutty flavor and brown color. Any food that has sugar content and a low acid content will caramelize well. Here are a few to experiment with: onions, carrots, turnips, broccoli, apples and pears. Caramelize onions for an amazing sweet and delicious addition to meats and greens.
  • Toast. Toasting releases oils and brings out a sweet nutty flavor. Try toasting nuts, whole spices, and grains before you use them in cooking.

Here’s a tasty recipe using the caramelizing process to bring out the natural sweetness of vegetables:

Roasted Veggies

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  1. 31 Healthy Recipes – Fruit Salad, Baked Broccoli, Broccoli Salad, and Chili | Million Ideas
  2. Nutrition Month (part 4): Give Your Meal a Makeover! | Million Ideas

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