My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.


Up My Sleeve … Secret Ingredients, Part 1

Posted on December 15, 2008 by crankycheryl

My favorite secret ingredients:

  1. Umeboshi vinegar. (Made from salted, pickled plums. Very popular with macrobiotic cooking – intensely sour, intensely salty. Use a little for vinagrettes, rice, all sorts of things.).
  2. Canned pumpkin. (I use in all sorts of pancakes, waffles, baked goods. It adds a ton of nutrition and great color and usually gets by the minicritics as long as I don’t overdo.)
  3. Ground flaxseed. (Ups the nutritional value of whatever I’m cooking, and has a kind of nice nutty flavor.)
  4. Ground green chile powder. (But I got mine on a visit to New Mexico at a farmers’ market, and dangit I’m almost out.)
  5. Ground ginger. (Nearly always substitute for cinnamon if appropriate.)
  6. Dried orange or lemon peel. (Many things benefit from this!)
  7. Dark chocolate everything: cocoa powder, chips, chopped, whatever. (Milk chocolate wastes my time, flavorwise.)
  8. Olive oil. (I use it for just about everything that calls for a liquid fat, except high-heat sautees and the like, which do better with grapeseed oil.)

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  • Interesting! Have never heard about the Umeboshi vinegar before…hm, and I doubt I´ll find it here in Rome. If I find it Ill try it right away though!

    / john

  • Hi John,
    I like your blog a lot!

    If European big cities are like American ones, you could probably count on finding umeboshi vinegar (or the plums themselves) in any big enough natural food store or wherever locals would look for macrobiotic/Japanese ingredients.

  • Thnx!
    I´ll try in some health stores that I know around here, otherwise across town there´s the asian neighbourhood…


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