These days it seems like the internet is crammed with food bloggers promoting exotic ingredients that most of us have never heard of. I want to explain some of the more confusing, and why you should bother to buy them.
This is one of my personal favourite 'weird' ingredients. It is used to replace cocoa powder, and one of the plus sides is that you need much less of it for a chocolatey flavour. I use it in smoothies, such as my Carrot and Banana Smoothie or in mug cakes such as my Banana and chocolate mug cake.
Used instead of - Cocoa powder
Where to buy it - Large supermarkets or health food shops
Why should I buy it - It is much better for your body than shop bought chocolate, and a little bit gives you a lot of flavour. It is much less processed than chocolate and doesn't have added sugar.
2) Coconut oil
This ingredient isn't too weird, but is still a challenge if you don't know what to do with it. I use this quite often, and it's very easy to substitute in.
Used instead of - Olive oil, or other oil for frying
Where to buy it - Large supermarkets or health food shops. I found it very cheaply in a Chinese supermarket, it's always worth a look!
Why should I buy it - Coconut oil is high in healthy fats, which are something that we need (not to be afraid of). It is also a good source of energy to get you through the day.
3) Chia Seeds
As it turns out, all of my favourite weird ingredients begin with a 'C' :)
Next up is chia seeds, a superfood that has become very popular recently. I must admit, the texture of these is quite strange at first, but when you get used to it they are a great addition. I like to out chia seeds in my smoothies and my Healthy Cereal. You can also base breakfast recipes around chia seeds, as they inflate if left in liquids for a while. Some good recipe ideas can be found here.
Used instead of - in the recipes I mentioned above.
Where to buy it - Health food shops
Why should I buy it - Chia seeds are a great source of fibre, protein and other nutrients. Put them in a smoothie and you won't even notice that they're there!
These are my top 3 exotic ingredients explained, I hope you found it helpful. Leave any comments or questions about these ingredients (or others) below in the comments. I used authoritynutrition.com to help add some of the info for this post. It's very useful if you want to know more about nutrition and ingredients.
While I like these ingredients and think that they are a good idea to put into your diet, I'm not here to tell you what to do. All of my recipes should work without them, and I am a big fan of substituting ingredients, which you can read about here.
Contemporary dance student and food-lover, sharing tips and tricks, recipes and generally random ideas.