The FASS Method
Have you ever heard of the FASS method for a simple way of making your meals much more delicious and nutritious? I have been using this principle based on what I learned about nutrition several years ago. In particular, I had learned how certain ingredients increase the amount of nutrients we absorb from our food, and also buffer blood sugar spikes and drops.
Recently I read "Blessing the Hands that Feed Us" by Vicki Robbins (highly recommended), and she referenced this principle in the book "One Bite at a Time" by Rebecca Katz.
FASS stands for: Fat, Acid, Salty, Sweet. A balance of these flavours brings out a richness and depth in your meal, and helps you feel full for longer because your body is able to absorb more nutrition from what you ate. It's a simple concept to apply, and you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen!
Here's how to do it:
Add one (or more) ingredients from each category to your meal. For example:
Fat: olive oil, butter, flax oil, coconut oil, etc
Acid: lemon juice, lime juice, kombucha, apple cider vinegar, other vinegar, etc
Salty: sea salt or other salt, kelp powder, dulse flakes, etc
Sweet: molasses, honey, maple syrup (you don't need much... usually just a very light drizzle of 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon)
In addition to taking the flavour of the meal to a whole new level, there are other benefits to this method!
Fat: increases the absorption of vitamins (and some minerals) in your food
Acid: increases the absorption of minerals (and some vitamins) in your food
Salty: if using sea salt, it contains micronutrients; seaweed powders contain important micronutrients like iodine
Sweet: if you are using a natural sweetener (such as molasses, maple syrup or honey), it helps to increase the general nutrient absorption of your meal
Personally, I have noticed that since I started adding these ingredients to most of my meals several years ago, I am much more satisfied after eating a meal. I won't feel hungry again for 3 - 4 hours (as long as I'm not doing continual, heavy-duty work). In particular, if I don't add an acid and a drizzle of molasses (or similar), I'll be hungry again in an hour.
How much to add?
That's up to you, and your flavour preferences!
For a rough guideline, I usually add 1 - 2 Tbsp of fat, 1/2 teaspoon - 1 Tablespoon of an acidic ingredient, salt to taste, and 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of molasses. (I don't measure any of the ingredients, and especially the molasses since it's so sticky. I just drizzle a small amount on my meal directly from the carton. And, I keep the carton on a plate or in a bowl so that the inevitable sticky drip stays right with the carton.)
Change up these ingredients for different flavour combinations and different nutrients! This method works just as well for salads as for cooked meals. Everything from soups to lasagnas to stir-fry's to meat / potatoes / vegetables.
Try it out and leave a comment below with your thoughts!