Making flavorful creations in your kitchen can sometimes be a challenge if your grocery store budget is limited. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to increase your meal’s taste potential using some simple and inexpensive additions. All you need to do is make sure some of the top flavor enhancers are always in your kitchen cabinet or refrigerator. Here are ten frugal ways to add instant flavor to your meals.
10 Frugal Ways to Add Instant Flavor to Your Meals
The most popular flavor enhancer is the ubiquitous mineral, salt. Throughout history, salt has been valued because of its ability to bring out the taste in almost any type of meal or recipe. The great thing about salt is that it is also incredibly inexpensive. It also lasts for a long time in your pantry, so don’t feel guilty about using a few pinches here and there from the same salt shaker over several months or years.
Fruit zest is another easy and cheap way you can give instant delicious taste to some types of meals. The most common way to get fruit zest is from the peel of your favorite citrus fruit. Fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits can all add a new level of taste to meals including grilled meats, sauces, desserts, and many more of your recipes. Simply use a grater or a microplane to get that tasty goodness into your food.
Giving your food a bit of acidity to balance out some of the flavors is another simple way to make it taste much better. Acid can come from sources like vinegar or the juice of popular citrus fruits. Dishes like seafood and pastas can be made even more amazing with a quick squeeze of lemon or dash of vinegar.
Next, try adding a bit of fat to your cooking. Adding fat doesn’t mean that your dishes will be unhealthy; there are plenty of healthy fats that help your vegetables and meats cook more evenly and lock in great flavors. Some fats to try in your pan when searing or grilling include olive oil, peanut oil, or canola oil.
5. Cooking Methods
The way you cook your food is another way to help unleash the best flavors. Any type of browning of your meats and vegetables can help pull out more flavor. Grilling and roasting are other ways to help make your flavors come out tasting amazing and have your family reaching for seconds.
Stocking your pantry with a wide variety of dried herbs is another way you can access the most flavor from your favorite meals. If you want to bring even more taste to the table, use fresh herbs if your budget allows it. Some great herb options to try with your recipes are dill, rosemary, parsley, basil, or cilantro.
Along with herbs, it’s essential to have a fully stocked cabinet of useful spices in your kitchen. Blending the right spices into your recipes can help you get the right flavor. Spices can last a long time on the shelf, so you only really need to buy them once every few years. The most popular spices to help enhance flavors include cinnamon, pepper, coriander, cumin, or ground mustard.
8. Fresh Garlic
Many dinner dishes need to get off to a great start in order to get the most out of their natural flavors. Before you start putting together any cooked combinations, use a small amount of fresh garlic in your pan to get the tastiness going. Then, put in the rest of your ingredients and see the difference it makes.
9. Flavored Mayo
Flavored mayo is also another cheap tool in your pantry that you can start using to get your recipes to taste even fresher and more mouthwatering. Try tasty offerings from Just Mayo by HamptonCreek and see what you can come up with.
10. Bold Condiments
Lastly, select more condiments that have bold flavors to keep in your refrigerator when you need a strong flavor boost. Try different types of spicy mustards and other unique offerings if you’re getting stuck in the dinner rut.
The best way to make your food tastier for your family each night is to try some of the most common flavor enhancers. Many home cooks forget these essentials when trying to come up with inexpensive great meals for a crowd.