When sugary treats and salty snacks taste so good, it can be a battle to eat healthy in the face of cravings. So what if you could trick yourself into craving healthier options so you actually make lasting changes to your eating habits? As it turns out, there are actually a few tricks that can alter how you taste your food, and applying these hacks to your daily life might lead to more sustainable cravings that won’t ruin your nutritious lifestyle.
Adjust the serving temperature of certain foods
Have you ever notices how hot coffee tastes much more bitter when it begins to cool off? In fact, many foods and beverages will taste markedly different when they are served at varying temperatures. Bitterness is more prominent at cold temperatures, while sour and astringent flavors are more pronounced with heat. If these flavor sensations are displeasing, try serving characteristically bitter foods at hotter temperatures and doing the opposite for sour foods. Toning down the intensity of a previously unfavorable flavor can dramatically alter your perception and enjoyment of certain foods.
Try out new food pairings
You don’t eat individual foods in a vacuum. Instead, you pair different items on a plate to explore various flavor combinations, and this can help you introduce elements that you might not find favorable individually. By pairing a food you don’t usually like with one that you do, you might grow to like the resulting dish—think cauliflower in cheese sauce. What’s more is that you will find that combining certain foods can create phantom flavors that can be more pleasing overall. Which means it might take some experimenting in the kitchen to find the best way to bring out the goodness in otherwise bland and unappealing health foods – just imagine all the ways you could experiment with kale!
Give old foods another chance
As a child, you probably enjoyed candy that you might find intolerably sweet today. The reason for your shift in opinion is that taste buds change as you get older. Therefore, that childhood aversion that you had to broccoli may be worth revisiting as an adult. You might also try out a new cooking method that can make certain foods taste better. In the case of Brussels sprouts, you might find that roasting brings out their natural sweetness, which is lost when these veggies are steamed or boiled.