How To Get Started When Trying New Food
It’s very easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to food. You’ll find something you like (ideally a few things), and then always pick them when you’re shopping or out for a meal. If the food is tasty and healthy, that’s not such a problem, but it’s still best to try new things – you never know when you’ll find something you love more than what you’re eating now. And if your go-to food is unhealthy, then it’s definitely time to make some changes.
As everyone knows, however, change is hard, especially when we’re entering into the unknown, which is what happens when we try new things. The key here is to find little tricks and tips to help you make those changes in a way that works for you. With that in mind, here are some ways you can get started if you want to try new foods and change your diet or experience of ingredients for the better.
Try The Familiar But Different
Often it’s the thought of trying entirely new foods that can be off-putting and even overwhelming, and it drives us back to the same old things we’ve always eaten. One way to get past this is to choose new foods that are familiar and similar to the foods we already like but slightly different. For example, if you like pasta, you might try pasta made not from wheat, but from peas or other ingredients. If you like steak, perhaps it’s time to try shaved steak instead of your usual sirloin or rump. If you love pizza, explore how Chicago deep-dish pizza is different from Neapolitan pizza, for example. These small tweaks can introduce you to new flavours and textures, but a lot of the time, you’ll still be in your comfort zone.
It’s a good idea to really try to pay attention to the way these new ingredients make a difference to a dish. Think about their flavours and how they’re different from what you’re used to and how you could use them in other ways.
Cook With Friends
Cooking with friends and family can turn trying new foods from something worrying into something fun. You could organise a themed cooking night where everyone prepares a dish from a different country, for example; in that way, you’ll be able to try a variety of dishes, and if you make something you know you’ll like, you don’t have to worry that you’ll go hungry.
If you can’t think of a theme, don’t worry – just encourage everyone to bring ingredients for their favourite food so everyone gets to see what other people like most. If you don’t have room in your kitchen for all your friends to cook at the same time, have them make their dishes at home and bring them over, but use video messaging so you all cook at the same time and can talk to one another too; it will be a really fun way to engage not just with your friends but with the things they’re cooking too.
Do It Gradually
If you’re hesitant about trying new foods, why not try it gradually? You could make your preferred food and then add one extra ingredient or switch something you usually include for something else. Just changing one thing at a time doesn’t take a lot of thought or stress, but it could make all the difference when it comes to trying new foods. Plus, if you add things gradually, you’ll find it easier to adapt to different tastes while you still enjoy the other elements of the dish that you love so much.
As you get more comfortable with trying new ingredients in your food, you might even start to build up your love of cooking. At the very least, you’ll discover new tastes and stop being quite so daunted about trying them. Make it a challenge for yourself to try one new thing every week at first, then a few times a week, and then every day until you feel you’re happy to try any kind of food that comes your way.
Be Adventurous With Snacks
Snack time is an excellent opportunity to experiment with new flavours without committing to a full meal. Take a look in your supermarket when you go shopping and look for different snacks that catch your eye. You might even want to look in the global food aisles because there will be plenty of new and intriguing snacks there.
Snacks are a good way to try new flavours because you won’t have to ‘sacrifice’ a full meal to try something new, and they often don’t cost very much either, helping you keep to your budget and taste new flavours at the same time.
This is a collaborative post.