Health

Organic goodness

Food expert Jennifer Danter unlocks the flavour of organic foods

More and more people are choosing to buy organic: food that’s produced without synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. While I don’t splurge on organic everything, I’m conscious about what’s in the food I buy – and just as important, how it tastes! Here’s how I unlock the flavour of the yummiest organic foods out there.

Eggs

Organic eggs have a deeper fresher flavour than regular ones. No matter how you prepare them, you’ll notice a huge taste difference. Tip: organic eggs may expire sooner than the regular ones, so make sure you eat them up.
Best use: Soft boiled – or fried – or scrambled…I can’t choose!
Taste the difference with our Amazingly creamy oven-scrambled eggs.

Milk

A U.K. study found that organic milk can contain more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than regular dairy. And it tastes better too. The best splurge for your taste buds is organic chocolate milk. You can tell the difference just by looking at it: while regular chocolate milk is almost pink in hue, the organic version looks like creamy cocoa. Chocolate lovers beware – this stuff is good! It’s refreshing, with a satisfyingly real chocolate flavour and aroma. The regular version is cloyingly sweet and thick, but not creamy.
Best use: Drinking on its own.

Chicken broth

Organic broth delivers 100 per cent taste and an aroma like soul-food chicken soup. Added bonus: you can taste more than just salt! And the consistency is like the real stuff. Since I hardly ever make my own, organic broth is an excellent stand-in.
Best use: The flavour shines through in clear soups and adds richness to stronger-tasting thick soups, sauces and stews.
Cozy up to a bowl of comforting Bistro onion soup.

Lettuce

I’m a big fan of bagged, organic mesclun mix. It’s easy to store and stays fresh for at least one week after opening. It’s not much more expensive than the regular stuff and you’re guaranteed chemical-free greens. What’s also great is that you can distinguish different flavours among the mixed leaves. Frisée – the feathery curly leaves – has a pleasant, slightly bitter bite that stands out and compliments the buttery red-leafed oak lettuce, peppery arugula and crisp baby spinach.
Best use: Fresh salads and pasta. I once tossed a bag of mesclun greens – thinking it was spinach – into some pasta noodles. It tasted great. Try a handful with your next pasta toss or stir-fry.
Go green and spicy with our Curry-spinach salad.

Fruit

I eat a lot of fruit and I don’t mind paying more to make sure it tastes great. Apples are my top pick. The organic ones are consistently crunchy with a sweet-tart taste. I also like the small size. For a once-in-a-while treat, I’ll splurge on organic strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. When berries are in season (and more reasonably-priced), I load up and make jams and pies to tuck in the freezer.
Best use: Eating fresh or sprinkling over cereal or ice cream.

Organic meat

Organic meat can be prohibitively expensive, but it’s also amazingly flavourful with superior texture. The flavour of organic chicken for example, is noticeably different. (Tip: organic chicken shouldn’t look pale and winter-white. A yellow-tinged bird has the best flavour.) The meat is moist and tender with subtle nuances that recall the roast chicken of my childhood. It’s also great for cooking. While regular, skinless boneless breasts dry out quickly – especially when stir-frying or sautéeing – organic chicken retains its moisture longer.
Organic pork is also incredibly tender and tasty. And because – unlike some regular pork – it isn’t injected with a saline solution, organic pork doesn’t shrink as much during cooking.
Treat yourself to a decadent pork rib roast – you’ll notice the difference that organic pork makes in our Apple-and-herb-crusted rack of pork.

Grapes

Imported grapes are often associated with pesticide residue. I always buy organic or I do without. Unfortunately, organic grapes are very expensive. Count it as a luxury!
Best use: Eating fresh off the vine or in salads. In the summer, I throw a bunch on the grill for about 45 seconds – they’re even more flavourful that way.
Give grapes a starring role in our Wild rice salad with grapes.