The leaves are beginning to change and Fall is so close we can feel it! A single orange leaf quietly floats to the ground and suddenly it’s time for sweaters, beautiful sights, spiced drinks, pumpkins and more. This Fall we’re embracing the excitement of the season to try new things and bring new depths of flavor to our meals. Read more to find out our latest tips and flavor additions that make Fall feel truly magical.
Fall is for Fennel
Sweet or savory, fennel is the flavor addition that no one will see coming and everyone will LOVE. For instant sophistication, this is your new go-to spice. The flavor is considered to be quite bright and adds a bit of life to dishes which can elevate tastes that are considered to be “heavy”. The two main types used in cooking are bulbs that resemble large oblong onions or fennel seeds which usually come in a shaker to be easily added to foods.
How do I use fennel?
Thinly slice a fennel bulb, add your favorite protein and toss with a dressing for a quick, fragrant salad that makes it seem like you tried really hard but in reality, took just a few moments to put together.
Another great way to infuse fennel flavor into dishes is to lightly toast the seeds in a pan before the rest of your ingredients. The seeds will release their oils and develop a smoky depth that will have your guests wondering what exotic technique you used to create such a heavenly flavor. Amazing food does not have to be complicated. With a few small tricks, flavors can be layered to make your dining experience unforgettable.
Healthy Tip: Fennel has been used for many years in folk remedies to aid in reducing bloating during digestion.
Tangerines Are Here to Tango
We tend to think of fruits as simple sweet treats but tangerines have wonderful applications in savory dishes as well, especially white fish. A simple marinade of garlic, thyme, coriander, crushed tangerines, pepper, lite salt and a teaspoon of oil infuses a globally-inspired flavor into fish and once baked, it is so light yet full-bodied. Delicious!
To really knock the flavor out of the park, take a moment to grill tangerine slices before crushing them in the marinade. Natural sugars in the tangerine caramelize to perfectly compliment savory flavors and again, you seem like the best chef in the world. And hey, maybe you are!
Fall Decor Tip: Incorporating natural elements into your decor is an affordable and beautiful way to add Fall inspiration to your home. Something as simple as keeping a bowl of tangerines, lemons and apples will bring a bold pop of Fall colors to your kitchen AND serves as a visual reminder to enjoy healthier options.
We’re Fancy Mustard People Now
Stone-ground mustard is regular mustard’s cool cousin who comes to visit during the Holidays and trust me, you want to hang out with this mustard. Where regular mustard is processed and refined alongside turmeric to achieve that bright yellow color, stone-ground mustard has a rich, darker color and texture from the seed hulls during the grinding process. The addition of vinegar adds a tangy taste that works well with the natural flavors released from the seeds. Overall, it is a much more complex flavor perfect for grilled foods as well as typically being much fresher than it’s bright yellow alternative.
One thing to be aware of with mustard is the commercial addition of sugar. Check the labels until you find a brand that is as fresh and sugar-free as possible. Even better, make your own! It’s so much fun to grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle and frankly, all commercially-made condiments can be made at home to be healthier than store-bought alternatives.
6 tablespoons brown mustard seed
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2-3 drops liquid Stevia (optional)
Crush the seeds using a mortar and pestle for a few seconds. Slowly add water as you continue to work the seeds into a paste. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to grind the seeds until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Store the mixture in a glass container with as little air as possible. Stone-ground mustard can keep for up to a year but we recommend six months to ensure maximum freshness. Enjoy!
Note: If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, using the handle of a kitchen utensil to crush the seeds in a small bowl works just as well.
As we fall in love with Fall this year, take the time to experiment with new flavors. It’s your life, you deserve to have fun expanding on your new healthy habits! What are your favorite parts of Fall? Let us know!