June 17, 2011

Is it OK to Crave Sweets? Yes...and No....

We all want sweet foods.... humans are in fact programmed from birth to like the sweet taste.

Does that mean we should eat donuts, cupcakes and candy all the time? NO!

 Japanese foods, Thai foods, and some raw foods, macrobiotic foods and lots of chefs know the secret of satisfying taste buds.

You need to learn about the 5 tastes and to use and balance them all at once in a meal

Some controversy exists in what are the real five tastes here are some contenders...

Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, pungent , spicy ( also umami???) that's 7 tastes???


Fat and sweet, or fat and salty together can create satisfying food tastes as well.

Examples of ingredients to add for the five flavors in raw foods:

Sweet Flavors - dates, raisins, stevia powder or leaf, fresh or frozen or dried fruits, sun dried tomato, palm or date sugar, raw honey, agave (if used), carrots, red bell peppers, coconut

Sour Flavor - lemon. lime, orange, grapefruit, juice and zest, plum

Spicy Flavor - garlic, onion, jalapeno, red hot pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, onion

Salty Flavor - celery, fresh or dried tomato, seaweeds, sea salt

Bitter - raw cacao, dandelion greens, frisee lettuce, endive, citrus pith (cooked foods coffee, bitter melon)


5 Flavors in Thai food

Some of the ingredients used to achieve these 5 tastes can be:

Sweet - cane or coconut palm sugar

Sour - lime, tamarind, raw mango, sour pineapple or other sour fruits

Salty - sea salt or fish sauce

Bitter - bitter melon (ma-rah) or raw leaves from various plants and trees (either wild or cultivated)

Hot - chili peppers, fresh or dried; peppercorns, fresh (not available in the USA), pickled or dried

Any five of these flavors can occur in any one dish - a dish can be predominantly one or an artful blend of all five. For example, sweetened tamarind juice is served as a beverage over ice and seasoned with a pinch of salt- it is sweet, sour and salty - aroy (delicious)!

So if making a raw spaghetti sauce you could add

Fresh tomatoes and sea salt- salty
Dates and or sundried tomatoes - sweet
Lemon juice - sour
red pepper and garlic - spicy
touch of Bragg's Aminos (soy) - umami
olive oil - fat

Blend up and enjoy over zucchini "noodles". This would end up being very satsifying because of the 5 tastes  all being met.

*** NOTE  if you crave super sweet or any other foods uncontrollably,  for example you couldn't imagine  going without those foods for a day or 2 or 3 (ice cream, cheese, chocolate candy, bread pasta etc.) check for food allergies. Often we crave what we are allergic to. Research it yourself if you'd like, allergists and immunologists often ask their patients what are your favorite foods,  foods you can't live without? Then the allergists/immunologists tell those patients to take those foods out of their diet for a kind of elimination diet to see if they feel better without those foods.Most often those foods are the allergy/sensitivity culprits***


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