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19 Dec

Need a last-minute appetizer that’s more than just cheese and crackers? Try these easy one-skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs!

‘Tis the season for parties, parties, and more parties.

But it’s also the season for easy meals, so these Sweet and Sour Meatballs do double-duty as both a weeknight dinner or a hearty party appetizer. They can easily be made up to three days in advance and reheated prior to serving. Try popping them into a slow cooker set on low to reheat before switching them to the ‘keep warm’ setting if you’re serving them at a party, or reheat them in a covered skillet on the stovetop for dinner.

 

Overhead view of ingredients for the sauce to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs. Overhead view of ingredients for the sauce to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links that will not change your price but will share some commission.

Just 10 simple ingredients

Using pre-made ketchup keeps the ingredient list short and makes making the sauce super simple. If you want to keep these Whole30-friendly, be sure to use unsweetened ketchup (such as Primal Kitchen or Tessemae’s).

A word about substitutions

Though these Sweet and Sour Meatballs are incredibly easy, I know there are times when you need a substitution – whether that’s for an allergy or you can’t source an ingredient – so here’s my short-list of substitutions that I’ve successfully used when making these:

  •  Oat flour or finely ground oats can be substituted for the almond flour. Both are great binders and keep the meatballs tender in the absence of an egg or breadcrumbs.
  • If you can’t find crushed pineapple, you can substitute canned pineapple chunks or rings that have been pulsed in a blender or food processor until they’re the consistency of crushed pineapple. If taking this route, you’ll need to blend enough pineapple to equal 2/3 cup when crushed (with its juices).
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used in place of the rice vinegar in the sauce if you don’t have, or can’t source rice vinegar.
  • Corn starch may be used in place of the arrowroot starch if desired (if keeping them Whole30-friendly isn’t a concern).

These easy one-skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs are great for weeknight dinners, but they’re also the perfect party appetizer. #Whole30 #realfood Click To Tweet

A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re making these Sweet and Sour Meatballs for a quick weeknight dinner (or weekend meal prep) here are some suggestions for serving:

  • Steamed rice
  • Cauliflower rice (make your own from scratch or grab a bag from the produce section or freezer aisle)
  • Rice noodles
  • Shirataki noodles – also called ‘wonder’ or ‘miracle’ noodles (these are a great low-carb option, but note they are a Whole30 ‘grey area’ food)
  • Sautéed shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • Mashed cauliflower or sweet potato (sounds weird, I know, but it’s actually delicious!)
  • Steamed, roasted or stir-fried veggies of choice – green beans, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and sugar snap or snow peas are all great, but so is a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies when you need a serious shortcut!

If serving these Sweet and Sour Meatballs as a party appetizer, I recommend you double the batch, sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds (I like a mixture of black and white sesame seeds) and thinly sliced green onions just before serving – and be prepared to be asked for the recipe. 😉

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 15 mins.
  • Cook Time: 20 mins.
  • Total Time: 35 mins.
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Egg-Free
A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.A pile of Sweet and Sour Meatballs on a long white tray with steamed rice and green beans.

Ingredients

For the Meatballs:

  • lb. ground pork (may substitute ground turkey or chicken)
  • ¼ cup almond flour (may sub oat flour or bread crumbs if not Whole30)
  • 1¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, plus more for garnish

For the Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup ketchup*
  • 8 oz. crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (may substitute apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. dried ginger
  • 1 Tbsp. arrowroot starch**

Instructions

To make the meatballs:

  1. Combine ground pork, almond flour, garlic and onion powders, salt, pepper, and sliced green onions in a bowl. Mix to combine and divide meat mixture into 18-20 meatballs (about 1 Tbsp. each). 
  2. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat (medium if using cast-iron). When the pan is hot, add meatballs in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned all over. 
  3. While meatballs are cooking, combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well to dissolve starch. 
  4. When meatballs are browned on all sides, add sauce and stir to coat each meatball. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes or until sauce is thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Sprinkle with additional green onions and serve. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 5 oz (Meatballs + Sauce)
  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Fat: 25g
  • Carbohydrates: 23g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 21g

What’s your favorite ‘hearty’ party appetizer? Share in the comments below.

Pin it now & make it later!

 


All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


Credit: Source link

10 Dec

More than just a snack, these Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos make the best of what you have on hand and are great for sharing.

This post was created in partnership with our friends at Kalona SuperNatural™.

Alt title: What many batches of Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos taught me about life

Just kidding, we’re not going there today. I’m not going to get all vulnerable here or wax poetic about nachos and the meaning of life or tell you that making these with only an air-fryer and toaster oven standing in for my broken wall oven was nothing short of a kitchen circus (because it was) but I will say that these Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos are pretty life-changing if you’ve never had them before.

The best part is that you can make them amazing with just about any topping or bits of leftovers you have on hand and a super simple Southwest Ranch Dressing. If you’re in a DIY mood you can make your own sweet potato chips in the oven or an air fryer or you can grab a bag of two of your favorite sweet potato chips (these are my all-time favorite) and take the fast track to nachos that are meant to be shared with friends – or in the case of batch #3 show here, devoured right from the table where the photos were going down with my husband who basically stalked me and the casserole dish the entire time I was making them. Not kidding, I didn’t dare turn my back on them for fear he would eat them before I could take the photos. 

Overhead view of a white casserole dish filled with sweet potato chips, black beans, shredded chicken, and cheese ready to become Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.Overhead view of a white casserole dish filled with sweet potato chips, black beans, shredded chicken, and cheese ready to become Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.

Use what you’ve got.

Leftover cooked chicken or taco meat? Fantastic, toss them in the pan. Random cheeses in the fridge? Great, shred them up. A couple of less-than-perfect avocados on the counter? Sweet, cut out the bad spots and mash them with some garlic, lime juice, and salt. You get the idea. Use what you’ve got on hand and don’t worry about following a recipe. This is what cooking is all about – experimenting with tastes and textures and learning to improvise.

White casserole dish filled with sweet potato chips, black beans, chicken, and shredded cheese hot from the oven and ready to be topped with more goodness to make Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.White casserole dish filled with sweet potato chips, black beans, chicken, and shredded cheese hot from the oven and ready to be topped with more goodness to make Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos make the best of what you have on hand and are great for sharing. @kalonasupernatural #realfood Click To Tweet

Dress it up.

The toppings really do make the nachos which is why, when contemplating what to put on top of these Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos, I knew it needed to be something creamy/spicy/tangy to add more depth of flavor (and, let’s be honest, because my husband won’t eat anything Mexican-ish without sour cream). Ultimately, I settled on the idea of a Southwestern Ranch Dressing made with Kalona SuperNatural™ Kefir mixed with a little sour cream to get the perfect consistency for drizzling.

White baking dish filled with Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos with a bottle of Kalona Supernatural Plain Whole Milk Kefir in the background. White baking dish filled with Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos with a bottle of Kalona Supernatural Plain Whole Milk Kefir in the background.

Kalona SuperNatural kefir is a fermented dairy beverage made from milk from pasture-grazed cows. It contains a more diverse array of bacteria than yogurt (15-30 strains, on average) making a great choice for adding to smoothies, dressings, overnight oats, oatmeal, and more.

Kalona works with small family farms to bring you delicious, certified organic cream-topped kefir from pasture-grazed cows. They deliver their dairy products in the most natural state possible. All Kalona SuperNatural™ Kefir meets these standards:

  • Non-homogenized
  • Grass-fed
  • Batch-pasteurized
  • Grade A
  • USDA Certified Organic
  • Kosher Certified

Bottle of Kalona SuperNatural Organic 100% Grass-Feed Cultured Whole Milk Plain Kefir used to create the Southwest Ranch Dressing for Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos. Bottle of Kalona SuperNatural Organic 100% Grass-Feed Cultured Whole Milk Plain Kefir used to create the Southwest Ranch Dressing for Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.

You find out if  Kalona SuperNatural™ Kefir is available in a store near you by using their store locator.

 

Go all out with what you’ve got.

When it comes to toppings, the sky is the limit. Here are a few of my favorites when making these Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos:

The hand of a caucasian person removing a chip from a white ceramic baking dish filled with Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos. The hand of a caucasian person removing a chip from a white ceramic baking dish filled with Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.

What are you waiting for?

The answer should be, “nothing” but I get it if you need to run to the store to pick up a few items. Just do it quickly because you really need to make these Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos. And then invite some friends over to enjoy them. Don’t worry if your house is messy, theirs probably is too. The point is that you don’t worry about making them perfect, you just make them. Then you enjoy them. It’s really that simple and that’s exactly what several failed batches of these loaded sweet potato nachos taught me about life this week… it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be shared.

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 10 min.
  • Cook Time: 10 min (using premade chips)
  • Total Time: 20 min
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Grain-Free, Egg-Free
White ceramic casserole dish filled with sweet potato chips topped with melted cheese, shredded chicken, black beans, salsa, diced tomatoes, and a Southwest Ranch Dressing to create the ultimate Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.White ceramic casserole dish filled with sweet potato chips topped with melted cheese, shredded chicken, black beans, salsa, diced tomatoes, and a Southwest Ranch Dressing to create the ultimate Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos.

Ingredients

For the Sweet Potato Chips*:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, very thinly sliced (a mandoline works best for this)
  • 1 Tbsp. avocado oil (or other cooking fat of choice)
  • Salt

For the Toppings (use as few or as many as you like):

  • 6 ounces shredded, cooked chicken or taco meat
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (such as cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, a Mexican blend or mozzarella)
  • ½ cup black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup corn (fresh or frozen; thawed and well-drained)
  • ½ cup diced tomato
  • ½ cup salsa of choice
  • Fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, diced red onion or bell pepper, black olives, diced avocado or guacamole, etc.

For the Southwest Ranch Dressing:

Instructions

To Make the Sweet Potato Chips:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325℉. 
  2. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potato slices with oil. Place slices in a single layer on the baking sheet taking care not to crowd them then sprinkle with salt.
  3. Place baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through cooking time, or until slices are lightly browned and crisp on the edges.
  4. Remove chips to a wire cooling rack to rest while you repeat with the remaining sweet potato slices.

To Make the Nachos:

  1. Layer ½ of the sweet potato chips (homemade or store-bought) onto a baking sheet or in a glass baking dish. 
  2. Top with ½ of the chicken or taco meat, beans or corn if using, and cheese. 
  3. Repeat with this layer, ending with cheese on top. Place baking sheet or dish into the oven and bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  4. While the nachos are baking, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  5. Remove pan from oven, add salsa, diced tomatoes, sliced or diced onions, chopped cilantro, avocado or guacamole, etc.
  6. Drizzle Southwest Ranch Dressing over nachos and serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Notes

*You can also substitute 8 ounces of pre-made sweet potato chips. 

Note: The nutrition information for this recipe will depend on whether or not you use premade, bagged sweet potato chips or homemade chips and the amount and/or types of toppings you use. We recommend using the free recipe analysis feature of MyFitnessPal to calculate this information for yourself based on the ingredients used.

Tell us, what’s your favorite ‘throw together’ meal? Share in the comments below.

Pin it now & make it later!

Pin image for Loaded Sweet Potato NachosPin image for Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos


This post was made possible by our friends at Kalona Supernatural. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake | The Real Food Dietitians | https://therealfoodrds.com/no-bake-lemon-cheesecake/No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake | The Real Food Dietitians | https://therealfoodrds.com/no-bake-lemon-cheesecake/

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

 

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


Credit: Source link

17 Nov

This Thanksgiving side is sure to please! Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is made with no added sugar, is Whole30-friendly and topped with toasted pecans and crisp bacon.

This recipe was created in partnership with our friends at Organic Valley.

Take your Thanksgiving (or any dinner) menu to the next level with this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole.

You’re probably familiar with the traditional sweet potato side dish that’s covered in a thick layer of marshmallows and all the brown sugar. And while that’s totally tasty, if you’re looking to lighten up your menu and offer low-sugar options without sacrificing taste, you’ve come to the right place. This Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is one of my favorite side dish recipes. It’s creamy, naturally sweet and the topping made of toasted pecans, spices and crisp bacon, adds the perfect crunch and savoriness to this recipe. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser that you’ll want to make again and again, Thanksgiving or not.

A Thanksgiving side that is sure to please! Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is made with no added sugar and is Whole30-friendly. It’s topped with toasted pecans and crisp bacon pieces. @organicvalley Click To Tweet

Made with Organic Valley Ghee and Organic Valley Eggs.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is made with Organic Valley Ghee and Organic Valley Eggs. The ghee adds a rich, buttery flavor to the dish and it’s Whole30-friendly. Now if you’re not in need of a Whole30-friendly recipe, you can certainly use butter in place of the ghee to get the same, scrumptious results.

What is ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter with hints of nutty, caramel flavors. Ghee has been a staple of many culinary traditions around the world for centuries, and today it’s prized for its rich buttery taste, enticing aroma, and its high smoke point, which makes it ideal for high-heat cooking.

Organic Valley slowly simmers their clarified Ghee to coax the excess water out while preserving the nutritional benefits of pasture-raised organic butter. In the process, some of the ghee’s milk solids will caramelize, leaving behind hints of sweetness and roasted nuts. Ghee is a lactose-free, casein-free, and shelf-stable product. To learn step-by-step how ghee is made, check out this post.

Now, onto the eggs. The two eggs that this recipe calls for results in a creamy, smooth, soufflé-like texture. It really makes for something delicious especially when combined with the crunch from the toasted pecan and savory crisp bacon topping.

To learn all about the importance of choosing quality eggs, read this post.

Have an egg allergy or sensitivity? Feel free to omit the eggs.

Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Look at that topping!

Going beyond your Thanksgiving menu. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole is meal-prep friendly, to0!

While this Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole makes for a delicious addition to a Thanksgiving menu, it also makes for an easy side dish to add to any meal. In fact, I love prepping it on the weekend along with some roasted Brussels and some sort of protein and portioning it out in these 3 compartment, glass meal prep containers. It makes for the most delicious reheat-and-eat kind of meal to enjoy throughout the week! In addition, this recipe is also freezer-friendly so if you’re cooking for one or two, you can always freeze half of the recipe to enjoy down the road.

Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

For a touch of extra sweetness, add a few dates!

While garnet and jewel (orange-colored) sweet potatoes are generally sweet enough (the sweetest of all sweet potato varieties), if you’d like to add a little extra sweetness yet keep it Whole30-friendly, you can certainly add a couple of naturally sweet dates. Simply allow the dates to soak in hot water for 5-10 minutes to soften before adding them to the food processor with the rest of the filling ingredients. However, if you’re not in need of a Whole30-friendly recipe, you could drizzle the top with a little maple syrup. You really can’t go wrong with how you choose to sweeten or not sweeten this recipe.

Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

I can’t wait for you to give this a try! If you do, we’d love to hear what you think in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Category: Side-Dish, Whole30
Healthy Sweet Potato CasseroleHealthy Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

For the Sweet Potato filling:

  • lbs. sweet potatoes (about 4 garnet or jewel medium sweet potatoes)*
  • 3 dates, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes to soften (optional – feel free to omit) 
  • ⅓ cup milk of choice (unsweetened almond milk for Whole30)
  • 1½ Tbsp. Organic Valley Ghee
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder 
  • 2 Organic Valley Whole Eggs

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup pecans (½ cup chopped + ½ cup whole) 
  • 3 strips no-sugar bacon, cooked and chopped (turkey bacon works, too)
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic Valley Ghee, melted
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon 
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-10 inch (square, round or oval) or 1.5 quart baking dish and set aside. 
  2. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Baking time will depend on the size of sweet potatoes. *Note: feel free to bake/cook the sweet potatoes however you wish. This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  3. While sweet potatoes are baking, in a small bowl add the topping ingredients and mix to combine. Set aside. 
  4. When sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and let set for 5 minutes. 
  5. After the 5 minutes, remove the peels of the sweet potatoes and add the peeled sweet potatoes to a food processor (one that holds at least 8 cups). You may also use a hand mixer or stand up mixer for this step. 
  6. Add the rest of the filling ingredients, except for the eggs, and process until smooth. May need to scrape sides once or twice. Next, add the eggs and process again just until smooth. 
  7. Transfer the sweet potato filling to the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Top with the pecan and bacon mixture. 
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. If pecans begin to get too brown, cover again with foil.
  9. Serve warm.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/9 of recipe (without dates)
  • Calories: 245 calories
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 285 mg
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 6 g

Pin now to make later! 

Pin image for Healthy Sweet Potato CasserolePin image for Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole


Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter. 

This post was made possible by our friends at Organic Valley. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a percentage of the sale if you use the link to make your purchase. This does not change the price of the product. This income directly offsets the cost of web hosting and maintenance so we greatly appreciate your support.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

 

 

About Stacie Hassing

Stacie is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian from rural southern Minnesota where she and her husband reside on 5 acres with their two pups, Walter & Lucy. She’s a creator of simple and wholesome recipes, a lover of nature, a crossfitter, a seasonal runner, and she’s on a mission to inspire as many as she can live a healthier and happier life from the inside out.


Credit: Source link

23 Sep



Reimagined with a vanilla bean pâte sablée crust and a custardy sweet potato filling, our Sweet Potato Bars take tried-and-true sweet potato pie to epic new heights thanks to Heilala Vanilla. Heilala Vanilla’s premium vanilla bean paste lends tempting vanilla speckles and a rich flavor to the buttery crust while their vanilla extract brings out the sweet mellow flavor of sweet potato. Simple yet satisfying, these portable bars are ready to wow at your next dinner party or tailgate spread.

Stock up on Heilala Vanilla by using the code BAKEFS11 to get 20% your vanilla purchase in their online store! Code valid through November 30, 2019.

Sweet Potato Bars

  • Pâte Sablée (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups (488 grams) warm mashed baked sweet potato (see Note)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup (165 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract*
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan; lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Press Pâte Sablée into bottom of prepared pan. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Using a fork, dock dough about every 1 inch.
  3. Bake until light golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together warm mashed sweet potato and all remaining ingredients until well combined. Pour filling onto warm crust.
  5. Bake until filling is set and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 175°F (79°C), 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Trim edges, and cut into bars as desired using a hot, dry knife.
*We used Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract.

Make sure mashed baked sweet potato is completely smooth without any chunks.

3.5.3251

Pâte Sablée

  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 large egg yolks (37 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add egg and egg yolks, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla bean paste.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Use immediately.

3.5.3251

 






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23 Sep

An easy Italian pear cake is the perfect pairing with a cup of cocoa for breakfast or snack time. This cake is made with sweet and creamy mascarpone cheese and fresh pears, baked until tender and juicy. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

 

A slice of pear cake on a plateA slice of pear cake on a plate

 

Pears are such underrated Autumn fruits, but we’re going to change that with this Italian Pear Cake! This delicious cake is going to put pears front and center this season. It has exceptionally tender crumbs thanks to the addition of mascarpone.

If you love pears as I do, let me tell you they are delicious in smoothies and sandwiches too. If you have a couple of overripe pears, throw them into a Pear Smoothie for breakfast. Then pack this Prosciutto and Pear Panini for lunch, it has the perfect savory-sweet taste. And then don’t forget a slice of this Italian Pear Cake for dessert.

How to make pear cake recipe with mascarpone

What type of pear is best for baking?

Anjou and Bosc are best for baking because they are firm, crisp and won’t fall apart when cooked. However, in a pinch, you can use Bartlett pear, make sure they are ripe but firm.

In general, you should bake this pear cake with the type of pear you love to eat so you can truly enjoy it.

 

Folding diced pears into cake batter

Folding diced pears into cake batterFolding diced pears into cake batter

 

  1. Start by dicing and slicing the pears. You’ll use the diced pears inside the cake batter and the sliced pears will be added on top.
  2. Mix the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients into two separate mixing bowls before combining them together.
  3. Once the cake batter is formed, fold in the diced pears.
  4. Make sure to brush the cake pan with some melted butter before adding the cake batter. Arrange the sliced pears on top, brush pear with reserved butter so they don’t dry out in the oven and sprinkle reserved sugar on top for shine.
  5. Bake it at 350°F for 45 minutes.
  6. Allow it to cool completely before unmolding from the cake pan.

 

Brushing pears with butter before baking

Brushing pears with butter before bakingBrushing pears with butter before baking

 

What pan to bake pear cake in?

Use a 9″ springform pan to bake this cake in so you can remove it from the pan easily. If you don’t have a springform cake pan, you could use a regular 9″ cake pan, or even an 8″ cake pan.

Make sure to butter and line the pan with parchment paper so the cake doesn’t stick.

If using a small size pan, you may need to increase the baking time, about 5 – 10 minutes.

Check doneness 5 minutes before the cake is supposed to finish baking to ensure you don’t over-bake since oven temperature can vary.

Dusting powder sugar on pear cake

Dusting powder sugar on pear cakeDusting powder sugar on pear cake

 

How do you prepare pears for baking?

Should you peel pears?

For eating you should leave the skin on since pear skin has a lot of nutrients. However, when baking, I like to peel pears for a more uniform texture whether it’s for this Italian pear cake, a pear tart, or even a pear bread pudding. But if you don’t peel the pears, the treats would be just as delicious.

 

How do you core a pear without a corer?

You don’t need a corer to core apples and pears. Just cut the pear in half and use a melon baller or a teaspoon to scoop out the core. Alternately, quarter the pear and use a knife to cut a notch to remove the core. I use the knife method because it’s one less equipment to clean.

 

A slice of Italian pear cake being served

A slice of Italian pear cake being servedA slice of Italian pear cake being served

 

More easy cakes

This Italian pear cake may sound fancy but it’s actually super easy to make. I think of it as a simple coffee cake without streusel. You can serve it for breakfast with coffee as well as for dessert with a dreamy homemade hot chocolate. Who doesn’t love a double-duty cake like that? Here are even more easy cakes for you to love this Fall:

 

If you make this peach cake recipe, we’d love to see a photo. Tag us on Instagram @wildwildwhisk and @ohsweetbasil. Happy baking!

Italian pear cake

An easy Italian pear cake is the perfect pairing with a cup of cappuccino for breakfast or snack time. This cake is made with sweet and creamy mascarpone cheese and fresh pears, baked until tender and juicy. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time45 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: 500+ Best Dessert Recipes, Dessert, Easy Cake Recipes For Beginners

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: italian pear cake, pear cake, pear cake recipe

Servings: 10

Calories: 280kcal

Author: Trang

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • cup granulated sugar divided
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 oz unsalted butter melted, divided
  • 8 oz mascarpone room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 small pears ripe but firm
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Peel the pears. Dice one pear into bite-size cubes and cut the second one into ⅛” slices. Set aside.

  • Melt butter in the microwave for 30 – 40 seconds. Brush a 9” springform cake pan with some melted butter. Reserve about 1 teaspoon to brush on the pears later.

  • Add the remaining melted butter to a medium mixing bowl along with mascarpone, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat with a whisk until smooth.

  • In a small mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Reserve about 1 teaspoon of sugar to sprinkle on top later. Mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk until evenly distributed.

  • Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredient in the medium mixing bowl and fold with a spatula until combined. Fold the diced pears into the batter.

  • Transfer cake batter into the prepared cake pan, use the spatula to flatten the top down. Add sliced pears on the top. Brush pears with the reserved butter and sprinkle the reserved sugar over the top.

  • Bake for 45 minutes until the top is light brown and an inserted toothpick in the middle comes out clean with just a few crumbs on it.

  • Allow cake to cool completely before unmolding from the cake pan.

Serving: 101g | Calories: 280kcal

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22 Sep

Naan that is light and fluffy, brushed with melted butter and garnished with freshly chopped cilantro with the perfect amount of flavor so you just can’t stop eating it!

 

A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.

 

There’s a restaurant in Utah called, Bombay House and I love their naan bread. I mean, it’s bread so of course I do. #carbsforever But until I discovered this Easy Homemade Naan Recipe I’d never tried it at home. 

It can’t be denied, I’m a dipper and a sopper. I love dipping my bread in oils and vinegars, sopping up excess sauce on my plate and just eating it to stuff my face. I love bread. 

A photo of a piece of homemade naan garnished with cilantro.

A photo of a piece of homemade naan garnished with cilantro.A photo of a piece of homemade naan garnished with cilantro.

 

There are so many recipes out there and I started testing them all…like everything I could find online and trying all my own creations and I just could not settle on any. There were plain yeast recipes, recipes with baking powder and baking soda, overnight recipes, 30 minute recipes and recipes that use milk and I hated them all. 

And then I found one on America’s Test Kitchen and once again they nailed it. Now listen, after saying that I shouldn’t admit this, but I still changed the recipe because this method just worked better for me. 

 

A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.

A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.

 

How is Naan Made?

Making naan at home is easy and just as simple as making your traditional dinner roll. Here are the steps:

  1. Activate yeast: combine water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it gets foamy
  2. Wet ingredients: whisk together the yogurt, oil and egg yolk and combine with the yeast mixture
  3. Dry ingredients: add the flour to a food processor and start it on low, slowly add the wet ingredients and process until it the dough comes together. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Salt: salt is a snob and gets it’s own step, but oh how I love salt! Add salt to the dough and process it until the dough comes all together again and then place it in a glass bowl covered to rise for at least an hour or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Divide the dough: pull the dough out and place it on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4-8 pieces depending on how big you want the pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Cook the naan: after setting the oven to warm and placing an oven safe dish inside, roll one dough ball out into a thin circle and place into a hot cast iron skillet that has been drizzled with olive oil. Cover the skilled and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip it to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro.
  7. Keep warm: place the cooked naan on to the warming plate in the oven and cover with foil. Repeat this same process with the remaining dough ball.

 

A photo of two pieces of naan bread on a blue cloth napkin and a basting brush.

A photo of two pieces of naan bread on a blue cloth napkin and a basting brush.A photo of two pieces of naan bread on a blue cloth napkin and a basting brush.

 

What to Eat with Naan Bread?

I could eat naan on its own with nothing else for a meal, but I’m weird like that! Carbs are life!

We love it with our easy coconut chicken curry and our Instant Pot honey chicken. Our kids love to take any naan leftovers we might have and make naan pizzas! We have a copycat Bombay House vegetarian tikka masala recipe too that pairs perfectly with naan.

Is Naan Bread Good For Weight Loss?

Short answer…no, not really. It is made with refined white flour that the body treats like sugar. There are worse things out there for weight loss, but I wouldn’t make this a regular part of your diet if you are trying to lose weight.

 

A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.

A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.A photo of four pieces of homemade naan stacked on each other.

 

Is Naan Bread Unleavened?

No, this naan recipe contains yeast which is a leavening agent.

How Long Will Naan Bread Keep?

If you store naan in an airtight container at room temperature, it will last up to 3 days. Store it in the refrigerator and it will last up to a week. It can also be frozen and it will be good for up to 2 months. When you are ready to eat it, let it come to room temperature and then re-crisp it in broiler or wrap them up in foil and warm them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10ish minutes.

Does Naan Bread Need to Be Refrigerated?

No, it does not need to be refrigerated, but if you want it to last a little longer, refrigerating can help with that as mentioned above.

 

A photo of perfectly cooked naan bread.

A photo of perfectly cooked naan bread.A photo of perfectly cooked naan bread.

 

If you have never tried naan, then smack yo’self and make this recipe! It is so irresistible! I seriously can’t stop myself!

 

More BREAD SIDES You’ll Love:

 

Easy Homemade Naan Recipe

It’s light and fluffy, with the perfect amount of flavor so you just can’t stop eating this easy homemade naan recipe brushed with melted butter and garnished with freshly chopped cilantro

Prep Time2 hrs

Cook Time4 mins

Total Time2 hrs 4 mins

Course: Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: bread, side dish

Servings: 8 rounds

Calories: 171kcal

  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Instant Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro
  • In a small bowl, add the water, sugar and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

  • Whisk in the yogurt, oil and egg yolk.

  • In a food processor, add the flour and then turn it on to low. While the processor is running, slowly pour in the wet ingredients and process until the dough just comes together.

  • Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.

  • Add salt to the dough and process again until the dough comes together in a smooth ball. Transfer the dough to a glass bowl with a drizzle of oil and roll the dough to coat all sides. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest on the counter for up to 1 hour, or in the fridge up to 24 hours.

  • Remove the bowl from the fridge and sprinkle flour on the counter. Divide the dough into 4-8 pieces depending on how big you want it and roll each piece into a ball. Cover with plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

  • Turn the oven to warm, or 200 degrees and plate an oven safe dish in it. Get out a piece of foil so that each finished naan bread can be placed on the plate in the oven and covered with foil to keep everything warm while you’re cooking.

  • Sprinkle flour on the counter again and roll each ball out into thin circles.

  • Meanwhile, heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat and drizzle with oil. Using a napkin, wipe out excess oil. Throw one circle of dough in the pan and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom is lightly brown and bubbles are appearing on top. The bottom will be flat and golden while the top will have those perfect browned bubble spots. This is normal.

  • Remove the lid, using a spatula flip the naan and cook for another 1-2 minutes uncovered. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cilantro. Place on the warming plate and repeat until all dough is used.

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 370mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

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21 Sep

Nachos like you’ve never had before! BBQ brisket thrown into gooey, cheesy nachos? Oh baby, that is like Christmas morning in food form!! There’s a secret to these nachos, in fact there are two! Do you know them?

 

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

 

We went to a local Traeger class all about summer foods and ended up talking about brisket nachos. You don’t recover from that. We could not get those dang nachos off of our minds so I had no choice but to create the ultimate BBQ Brisket Nachos recipe!

 

I will let you in on one of the secrets right off the bat! The key is stirring the beans, brisket and bbq sauce together. It not only ensures that everything is evenly coated in sauce (might I recommend our homemade BBQ sauce?!) but it actually helps everything stick together so you don’t have ingredients falling off of chips and each bite gets a little bit of everything. And isn’t that what you want in a nacho?!

In order to have BBQ brisket nachos, you need brisket! Duh! So start by making our smoked brisket recipe. Unless you’re feeding a huge crowd, you’re going to have some leftovers. Take those leftovers and put them right into these nachos!

Making BBQ Brisket Nachos

Once you have your smoked brisket ready, chop it up (you only need 3 cups), then mix it with the pinto beans and BBQ sauce.

Pull out a sheet pan and load it up with a layer of your favorite tortilla chips and 4 cups of shredded colby jack cheese. We use Tillamook of course! Then top it with half of the brisket/bean mixture. Scroll to the end of the post here to see our second secret!

Repeat everything I just said in a second layer of nachos, and pop it into the oven on broil until all the cheese is melted.

Then you can top it with all your favorite toppings. Here are a few ideas:

  • cilantro
  • red onions
  • cilantro
  • more BBQ sauce
  • olives
  • avocado
  • corn

We like to dig into it family style straight from the sheet pan!

 

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

 

What to Eat with Brisket Nachos?

This is one of those dishes that you don’t need anything else on the side, but I’ve never said no to more food! Elote Mexican Street Corn would be a perfect side dish with it and some mango bacon guacamole. Of course you need some dulce de leche churro donuts for dessert!

Can Nachos Be Made In the Microwave?

The short answer is yes. You can throw a plate of nachos in the microwave and zap them for a minute or so and you will have nachos. The biggest thing you’ll be missing is that delicious toasted chip flavor that makes nachos so dang good!

 

A photo of someone pulling out one cheesy nacho chip from a pile of brisket nachos.

A photo of someone pulling out one cheesy nacho chip from a pile of brisket nachos.A photo of someone pulling out one cheesy nacho chip from a pile of brisket nachos.

 

Are Nachos the Same As Tortilla Chips?

No, nachos and tortilla chips are not the same thing. Tortilla chips are used to make nachos. Nachos are tortilla chips that have been loaded up with cheese and whatever other toppings you want to add.

Can You Eat Nachos When Pregnant?

Yes. Just be sure that you are using pasteurized cheese.

Will Brisket Shred?

Brisket doesn’t really shred like a pulled pork or a shredded chicken, but if it is cooked properly, it will just fall apart. Check out our smoked brisket recipe post for all the details on how to properly cook brisket.

 

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

 

Can Brisket Be Cooked In a Slow Cooker?

Yes and it’s delicious! You won’t get that beautiful smoke ring or all that delicious smoky flavor though. But if you don’t have a smoker or you want to utilize the ease of a slow cooker, 8 to 10 hours on low will do the trick. Then pull the brisket out to a sheet pan roast it in the oven for about 15 minutes on 400 to crisp up the outside.

Are Brisket And Flank Steak The Same?

No. Both cuts of beef come from the underside of the cow, but the brisket comes from the breast area and the flank is closer to the belly area. Brisket is a better cut of beef for long, slow cooking methods (like smoking), and flank steak does best with high-heat, quick cooking. We use flank steak in our carne asada tacos!

 

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.A photo of bbq brisket nachos with melted cheese all over the top and sliced jalapenos, diced red onion and fresh chopped cilantro.

 

Can Brisket Be Used For Pot Roast?

Yes, it can definitely be used for a pot roast. It may take a little longer to cook because it is so lean. It should be browned off first and be sure to score the fat pad so that it renders properly. 8 to 10 hours on low should do the trick!

Two More Brisket Nachos Secrets

Ok, now it is time for the second secret to making these nachos. Use lightly seasoned restaurant style chips. Oh my goodness, that extra flavor takes these brisket nachos over the top!!

Bonus tip: Sometimes I pile cheese on a plate and microwave it and then pour it over the nachos. So good!! Try it!

 

A photo of someone pulling out one cheesy nacho chip from a pile of brisket nachos.

A photo of someone pulling out one cheesy nacho chip from a pile of brisket nachos.A photo of someone pulling out one cheesy nacho chip from a pile of brisket nachos.

 

Now you are ready for football season and feeding all your gameday crowd! Thank the heavens for that Traeger class that got us fixated on brisket nachos! We can’t wait for you to dig into these!

 

Looking for more APPETIZERS to share for the big game? Try these:

BBQ Brisket Nachos

BBQ Brisket thrown into gooey, cheesy nachos? Oh baby, that is like Christmas morning in food form!! There’s a secret to these nachos, in fact there’s two! Do you know them?

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time2 mins

Course: 200+ Easy Appetizers Recipes

Cuisine: American

Keyword: bbq, bbq beef, brisket, cheese, college football, football food, football party, nacho, nachos, party snacks, tailgating

Servings: 8 people

Calories: 1539kcal

  • 3 Cups Brisket chopped
  • 1/2-1 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Can Pinto Beans Drained
  • 1 Bag Tortilla Chips Lightly Seasoned Restaurant Style
  • 4 Cups Colby Jack Cheese (we use Tillamook) Shredded
  • 1/2 Red Onion diced
  • 1 Jalapeno sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro Chopped
  • Place the brisket, beans and bbq sauce in a bowl and stir to combine.

  • Pile one layer of chips on a cookie sheet and top with cheese. Add the brisket and repeat with another layer.

  • Heat an oven to broil and place the cookie sheet in the oven until the cheese is melted.

  • Top with cilantro, red onion, jalapeno and an extra drizzle of bbq sauce.

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 1539kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 160g | Fat: 81g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 484mg | Sodium: 1284mg | Potassium: 2464mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 749IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 561mg | Iron: 15mg

 

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO our FREE Oh Sweet Basil NEWSLETTER AND RECEIVE EASY RECIPES DELIVERED INTO YOUR INBOX EVERY DAY!

When you try a recipe, please use the hashtag #ohsweetbasil on INSTAGRAM for a chance to be featured in our stories!  FOLLOW OH, SWEET BASIL ON FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER FOR ALL OF OUR LATEST CONTENT, RECIPES AND STORIES.

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20 Sep

ADVERTISEMENT

There’s a first time for everything, even wine drinking! If you’re a wine admirer and tempted to introduce someone to the awesome world of wine, this can be a daunting task since there are thousands of wines and you have only one mouth. I love wine, and it’s no secret. But how does one get started with wine? And what are the appropriate tasting terms?

Wines are divided into two major styles: one is dry and the other richly sweet. One topic that is particularly confusing is that of wine sweetness. But after a little clarification, you’ll be talking and tasting wine like an expert. After tasting a number of wines, you’ll soon realize that some wines that are regarded as sweet are not as sweet as you expect, and many dry ones are actually sweeter than anticipated.

Thoughts while tasting Sweet Wine as a tyro…

To guide you when choosing sweet wines, here are a few characteristics for beginners to consider.

  • Sweetness: Many beginners think that sweet wines are much easier to enjoy. Some also believe sweet wines are of lesser quality than other wines. This is not the case, as many sweet wines are highly regarded and are quite expensive. If your taste buds fall for sweet wines, consider those with higher alcohol content. Wines with high alcohol content are perceived to be sweeter, even when they don’t have as much sugar.
  • Tannin: If you’ve had dry red wine you’ve obviously noticed some sticky substance in your teeth and gums after you’ve sipped. This is called tannin. Beginners may find this sensation quite irritating for the first time; therefore, it’s advisable that you start with wines with low tannin levels when introducing newcomers to wine.
  • Acidity: Just like most fruits, wine grapes contain acid, making them crisp and refreshing. Different wines have distinctive acidity levels that vary considerably. When you taste new wines, find out whether you like them more or less sour, a sign of acidity. This will help to find your place in wine and to find wines which tickle your fancy.
  • Alcohol content: Too much alcohol in any wine makes it unbalanced. My suggestion is for newcomers to start with wines with 14% alcohol content or lower.
  • Taste indicators: The back labels on the bottles of many consumer-friendly products can be quite useful, as they carry important information. Look for symbols that show the sweetness level of a wine. For red wines, check how light, medium, or full-bodied they are.

The wine sweetness chart below diagrams the sweetness level of various wines. Note that these will fluctuate due to production variations.

How to taste and enjoy?

There is no official yardstick for measuring the quality of a wine. What you like someone else may dislike. With this in mind, here are some tips on evaluating how sweet wine suits your tongue.

  1. Always start with a clear wine glass when tasting a sweet wine. Hold your glass at the stem. This is to avoid warming the wine due to heat from your hand when holding the bowl.
  2. Pour a little wine, an inch or less, into your glass. Always begin with the lightest wine when tasting several wines, moving from sweet sparkling wines, to rosés, then to light whites and to full-bodied whites. Continue to the heaviest – light reds, more full-bodied reds, then lastly dessert wines. This keeps your taste buds sensitive to better enjoy each wine in series. Take sips of water in between wines to preserve your palate.
  3. Before sipping the wine, swish your glass around for different flavors to be released in the air, then smell the air inside the glass. Put your nose gently over the rim and breathe in. This is important since the aroma can carry more magic than the taste. Most wines aromas are characterized by the grapes they are made from, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel. As time goes by and you gain experience with different wine varietals, it becomes easier to identify different wine aromas. Trust your nose to tell you the aromas; you may pick up hints of vanilla, peaches, berries, and even smoky or grassy aromas.
  4. Note the color of the wine by holding the glass up against a white background or light. The color usually tells the wine’s age. White wines tend to gain color as they age, while red wines lose color with age. Young red wines are redder, but as they age, they turn burgundy or brown.
  5. As you finally taste the wine, allow it to linger and touch all the taste buds on your tongue, including those underneath it. This is done by swishing the wine in your mouth.
  6. The initial taste you will get from the wine will come from your first sip. This awakens your taste buds and keeps them active. You can then swish the wine around the mouth while drawing a little air in.
  7. Observe the texture of the wine to see whether the body is light or rich. You can relax before taking another sip in order to catch the finish or aftertaste. Consider how long the flavor lasted in your mouth, and your overall experience in tasting the wine.

Conclusion

Describing wine tasting is harder than actually tasting wine. I recommend that you taste as many wines as possible to determine your favorite bottles. Another important factor in wine tasting is pairing your wine with the right meal – which can be like discovering a new recipe. Wine always enhances the dining experience if paired with the right food.

For more tips on wine pairing, visit the SweetWineClub blog and discover new ways to relish wine. Cheers!

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