Behind every favourite meal is a story.
We can all remember the moment we discovered and fell in love with a new ingredient, or the distinct aroma of a particular food that reawakens happy memories or feelings of comfort. And whenever we come across a new flavour, it’s like discovering hidden treasure. Here are a few gems we’ve recently come across with which our kitchens have been stocked up, as should yours:
Pink Himalayan Rock Salt
Not only does it look exceptionally pretty in your pantry and makes for an excellent bath scrub, Pink Himalayan Rock Salt is also a healthier alternative to regular table salt. Sourced from the ancient Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, it is said to have retained such virginal properties due its geological past. Around 200 million years ago, the sea salt beds found in this region were blanketed by lava and ice for millions of years, and thus remained untouched by pollution. This salt is similar to its table cousin, minus the unnatural processed additives, and other nutritious properties such as potassium and calcium. Though it should still be consumed in moderation, Pink Himalayan Rock Salt is a cleaner alternative to regular salt since it increases hydration, improves sleeping patterns and is also said to have anti-ageing properties.
If you’re not a fan of the acrid bite of black pepper, its paler cousin offers a lighter yet spicier flavour, alongside health properties which may tempt you to keep a jar of this lovely stuff in the kitchen. Its level of capsaicin acts as a pain reliever and it provides anti-inflammatory relief to those with muscle swelling or arthritis. Its delicious heat is also a natural fat burner and can greatly aid weight loss when incorporated in a balanced diet. It heals headaches by blocking the neuropeptide from sending pain to the brain, and it’s also a natural decongestant.
Also known as citrus maxima, this natural fruit native to Southeast Asia is every citrus lover’s dream. It looks and tastes like a grapefruit but without the tartness, and the delicate membrane that holds together its jewelesque segments renders it a non-messy fruit. Each fruit is known to contain 600% of your daily Vitamin C requirement, and it also contains dietary fibre, potassium, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. It’s also an excellent digestive and is great with salads or as an in-between thirst-quenching snack. Be warned however! Prising open a pomelo is a workout in itself!
Who hasn’t heard or waxed lyrical about quinoa? And who hasn’t mispronounced it or waged a war on how it should be pronounced? Keen-wa is a gluten-free and vegan seed that is 72% water after cooking, yet retains a beautiful nutty flavour and is an excellent protein alternative to rice and couscous. It’s high in dietary fibre and is a slow digested carbohydrate, and goes very well as a salad basis alongside pomegranate seeds, tuna, broccoli and an orange juice dressing.
These little parcels are packed with almost every dietary tick box there is. They make for a great in-between snack to nibble on, and can even be added to stir fries and salads. They have an incredibly high level of magnesium which aids heart health and stabilises blood pressure. They’re also a rich source of zinc, which helps cognitive performance, sleeping patterns, mood swings and skincare, and they also provide plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. You can even toast them prior to adding them to your meal to release their nutty scent.