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Funny Things

Tastebuds are funny things, don’t you think?

I mean – we may start out hating one thing, but before you know it – we’re in love. In a way, I think this is a good thing. We can “train” our tastes to prefer less sugar, less sodium, more fruit and more vegetables and reap the benefits from the change.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to cut back on the sugar I consume that is in food. I mean – I’ll never dismiss my love for spooning maple syrup or date syrup over a couple of pancakes, or preference to have a sweet fruit over a vegetable snack. And I’m okay with that. But little things, like sugar in peanut butter or almond milk? Well, those can be eliminated and still enjoyable, right?

My initial answer was a flat-out “no,” it couldn’t still be enjoyed. But considering the fact that I’m not about to chuck an entire jar of peanut butter or carton of almond milk, I got over it and eventually realized I do enjoy it.

Peanut butter that’s just peanuts and salt? Mreh…was my response at first, as I’d add it to any sort of baked good I could in attempts to get rid of it STAT. My response now? Well, lets just say I’ll use any excuse to spread it on something.

And I disctinctly remember telling you all how much I disliked the unsweetened almond breeze. But, I’ve kept with it – and now? The original sweetened kind is too sweet! My mom picked it up for me the other day thinking it was the kind I used – and of course I used it – but plain? Too sweet.

Pancakes? Oh, I’ll have them sweetened with some banana if I’m in the mood, and always a little drizzle of maple or date syrup on top – but I’m noticing that I love the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the whole grains themselves whether or not there’s anything on top.

Not to worry – by no means have I gone to extremes, nor am I starting some sugar free diet. I am just enjoying the simplicity of foods not too sweet or overly seasoned, I suppose. Like this cranberry-orange bread I made from a recipe the wonderful Tatianna shared with me. It is hardly sweet, with only a little bit of honey and a wonderful orange essence, neither of which mellow down the tartness of the cranberries. Spread with a little bit of almond butter, this is a perfect snack.

And as we talk about molding our tastebuds, expanding mine has been another mission I’ve been on. I used to always try a new fruit or vegetable while at the grocery store, but lately I’ve mellowed out.

I don’t want to be mellow!

It may take me five minutes to decide what shape pasta I want – but it took me five seconds to land a yucca in my cart. I didn’t know what it was, the sign offered no explanation, and I had absolutely no plans, but apparently picking up a yucca root on a whim is my idea of living life on the edge these days.

Apparently, I should have just asked my mom before I did any research, because when I told her it was a yucca that I was slicing and dicing, she spouted off all sorts of informationa bout it “being a medicinal cure for foundering horses, originating in Arizona.” There you have it. Apparently I’m a foundered horse.

That didn’t tell me much about what to do with it, so Google was my friend and a quick search told me that yucca, also commonly called cassava, “is very rich in starch and contains significant amounts of calcium, dietary fibre, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin b6 and vitamin C.” [source]

Oh, and that they are commonly made into fries, too.

I wasn’t sure I was a fan at first – but by the time I had my fourth or fifth one, I definitely was. They are very similar to a white potato, but better – my common complaint with white potatoes is that they’re too dry. The yucca fries didn’t have that complaint.

Oh, and those green things?

Collard greens – another veg I’d (embarrassingly enough) yet to try. Gabriela¬†inspired me to finally try a green other than kale and spinach, and I’m glad she did! I loved these collard leaves as “wraps,” with baked beans inside. I wasn’t brave enough to try them raw quite yet, and instead “marinated” them with a bit of lemon juice and salt before running them under some super hot water for a couple seconds and then really quickly pan-frying them once stuffing them with the beans.

Speaking of beans…no, they didn’t help the B’s last night. Bummer.

Other things:

  • I’m really glad I’m not the only crazy one with a computer screen¬† bigger than my television.
  • A lot of you were wondering what I stuffed my hummus crepe with, and silly me for forgetting to say! I don’t know what I was thinking, but apparently I had too much a. bruins and b. iMacs on my mind. But, inside my hummus crepe was boiled tempeh, iceburg lettuce (blech) tomato and a pickle. Oh, and red onion.

Have you tried anything new lately?

What’s something you’ve noticed your tastebuds adapting to lately?

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