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Focussing on incredibly flavourful ingredients is key if we want our dishes to stand out. If we’ve been told by our doctor that we need to be careful about our salt intake, it’s important to find a way to reduce salt without compromising flavour.

Here are five ingredients that are bursting with flavour and that can breathe new life into our favourite dishes.

By Annie Ferland, Nutritionist, PharmD and Founder of

Curry powder

Curry powder is so much more than a mysterious pot of yellow powder in our spice drawer, which gets tossed into chicken salad recipes. In fact, it’s a spice mix typically made up of turmeric, cumin, coriander, pepper and mustard seeds, which explains its incredible flavour!

A delicious staple in many curries, it also works well in less traditional recipes, like on popcorn, added to vegetable dip or hummus and even in our tomato sauce recipe!

Okazu spicy oil

When it comes to spicy oil, there’s something for everyone! Many people are familiar with the spicy Italian oil that adds heat to our pasta dishes and pizzas. Recently, a new flavour has made its way into the mainstream with the growing popularity of chili crisp-style condiments.

Okazu oil, made from sesame oil, chili crisp and miso, is well known in Japan. Though it is usually eaten with rice, this oil can be used in so many more way! On tofu, chicken, burgers, hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, and even in a salad dressing! Okazu oil can be found in the refrigerated section at Rachelle Béry.

Organic tomato paste

Speaking of tomatoes, there’s often a tube of organic tomato paste hanging around in our refrigerator door. Tomato paste lasts a long time and adds so much flavour. It reduces the need to use a lot of fresh tomatoes if you don’t have them on hand and is also more economical.

Tomato paste has a concentrated, umami flavour which makes it incredibly versatile. It can added to so many things! For example, if the store-bought tomato sauce you bought is a bit bland, or a homemade sauce is missing a kick, Add a large spoon of tomato paste! You can even mix a small amount in high-quality oil to make a dressing or finishing oil on a dish that needs an extra kick.

Don’t have tomato sauce for our spaghetti recipe? No worries! Just mix a 156 mL can of organic tomato paste with 1 cup pasta water for a quick, worry-free recipe. Kids will love it!

Nutritional yeast

Very different from the yeast used to make bread, nutritional yeast comes in flake form and is bursting with flavour. A popular ingredient in plant-based cooking, nutritional yeast is making a name for itself everywhere, with a flavour that is often compared to Parmesan cheese and toasted nuts. It is rich in nutrients and vitamins B12, and low in sodium.

Because nutritional yeast is a live culture, it is best to add it as a topping or to use it in recipes that are not heated, so it retains its nutrients. Pasta dishes, pizza, salads, and beyond! It can even replace butter on popcorn!

Quebec miso

Because miso is fermented and salty (yes, salty!) and has a pronounced umami taste, only a small amount is needed to add flavour to our recipes. Mix with lemon juice and soy cream for an incredible pasta sauce. Miso can be used to replace soy sauce or salt in any recipe.

Although not proven by science, some argue that the increased perception of the salty taste of miso means you can use less of it and less salt generally. If we’re monitoring our sodium consumption, use caution and remember that the cardiovascular impacts of sodium in miso are the same as table salt.

So, what is your new favourite dish?