6 RD Approved Umami Flavor Enhancers | good + good

WWe recently learned that by adulthood we may have lost about half of our taste buds. This means that the receptors responsible for decoding taste, the so-called five basic tastes—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and sweet—may lose the ability to enjoy food. …that might be why food can start to taste a bit bland as you get older. (This and hangover worse during the day? yes.)

But rest assured: Just because we lose our taste buds with age doesn’t mean we’ll forever be eating mediocre food with minimal flavor. If you’ve ever watched a reality TV show about cooking, you’ve probably heard the judges preach that good taste is everything when it comes to creating a restaurant-worthy dish. But what exactly is it? Umami is internationally recognized as the fifth basic taste based on psychophysiological, electrophysiological and biochemical studies in the late 1900s. It is also known as a “salty” taste and is present in compounds. glutamate, inosinate and guanylate. You’ve probably heard of it as a sodium salt product (monosodium glutamate or MSG) in the food industry used to enhance flavor.

Fortunately, these sweetness-enhancing compounds are naturally present in many of the foods that nutritionists recommend. Think: seaweed, miso, kimchi and anchovies, to name a few. We spoke to RDs who shared their favorite umami boosters that are not only bursting with flavor, but are also packed with additional nutrients that will leave you speechless. oh oh-mom.

6 RD-approved sweetness enhancing ingredients for restaurant-worthy meals

1. Seaweed

According to Marisa Silver, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian with Vivrant Nutrition, this sea green is not only delicious but also great to add to soups or stews. Furthermore, seaweed is one of the best food sources of iodine and tyrosine, which are essential for thyroid function, says Silver. It is also a key ingredient in dashi, a flavor-enhancing broth rich in umami and beneficial for bone health.

Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also agrees that this is one of those richer ingredients. umami is best because it has the main amino acid (glutamate) responsible for activating umami taste buds. “Seaweed is rich in glutamate and can be easily incorporated into dishes for extra flavor or eaten alone as a snack, such as dried seaweed,” says Ehsani.

2. Miso

Miso is another umami-rich ingredient that Silver recommends due to its gut benefits. “The fermentation of soybeans creates miso and allows beneficial bacteria to grow,” says Silver. In addition, this ingredient is a complete protein source and contains manganese, vitamin K, copper, zinc as well as other important vitamins and minerals.

Silver recommends adding miso to soups and shares her simple four-ingredient recipe that’s perfect for a cold, rainy day. “I like to roast about three cups each of pumpkin and cauliflower, and then mix it with 22 ounces of bone broth and two tablespoons of miso for a delicious soup,” she says.

3. Kimchi

Kimchi is not only made with microbiome-enhanced fermented cabbage, but it’s also a quick and easy way to add flavor with incredibly delicious seasonings like fish sauce, chili, and garlic. “Kimchi is fermented cabbage that contains probiotics. Plus, it has vitamins A, C, K, folate, beta-carotene, choline, potassium and calcium,” says Silver.

4. Aged Cheese

If aged, bubbly cheeses are your all-time favorite, good news: Silver says aged cheeses are great for adding more flavor to recipes. She recommends varieties like cheddar, parmesan, Gouda or Manchego. “Aging cheese has a lower lactose content, so it is recommended for people who have difficulty digesting this lactose. She adds that aged cheese also contains protein and calcium, which are great for bone health.

5. Anchovies

Anchovies are basically many chefs’ secret flavor weapon — and the key ingredient that makes Caesar salad dressings as delicious as they are supposed to be. “These are small but powerful fish. Anchovies contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, selenium, calcium, niacin and vitamin B12. “A handful of anchovies will help enhance the flavor in a dip or salad,” says Silver.

6. Mushrooms

“Mushrooms, like dried shiitake, are rich in umami flavor and can be paired with most dishes; Add them to soups, stews and stir-fries or use them to make broth. They contain a few grams of fiber and contain compounds that can lower cholesterol levels, in addition to being an excellent source of vitamin D, says Ehsani.

How to make sweet doenjang-jjigae stew:


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