February 22, 2018

5 Healthy Ways to Satisfy Your Craving for Sour Foods

Sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, and sour.   The latter doesn’t typically rank near the top of favourite flavours except in a small selection of us–including me.  As a child, sour was a close second favourite to sweet.  I’d actually sprinkle vinegar on Olive Oil And Vinegarmy plain potato chips to satisfy a sour craving! Other go-tos were the Sour Kids candies, sour gummy-worms, Lik-a-Stik powder, et cetera.   Thankfully, I eventually became interested in healthier foods as a teen and transformed my diet into one that had more nutrient-dense sour foods.

Here are a few ways I’ve satisfied my craving for salt and vinegar chips and other empty calories:

1. Pickles. Did you forget that pickles are actually pickled cucumbers? While I have never enjoyed raw cukes, the pickled version is pretty exciting with its distinct crunch and zing.  Avoid the bread and butter pickles as they contain sugar; instead, choose garlic and dill pickles. Also, look for pickled beets!

2. Sauerkraut.  Again, here’s another vegetable—cabbage—that’s been fermented. This process results in a softer cabbage and is a great natural source of probiotics, like acidophilus! Look for naturally produced sauerkraut at your local farmer’s market and avoid the ones preserved with sodium benzoate.

Kiwi fruit3. Fruits. Berries, pineapple, Granny Smith apples, kiwis, juice oranges, lemons and limes—these are just a few of many sour fruits. High in antioxidants like vitamin C, anthocyanins and carotenoids, these are a delicious way to satisfy your sour cravings.

4. Yogurt. Plain yogurt is not nearly as popular as fruit-sweetened yogurt because it’s not got any sugars added. Of course, this makes plain yogurt far healthier.  Here’s another fermented food whose flavour is created by the friendly bacterial cultures that thrive on milk’s naturally occurring lactose.  This means there’s usually no lactose left in the product by the time it’s yogurt, so it’s even safe for those who are lactose-intolerant! Again, look for a product with as few ingredients as possible, and go for organic milk to reduce exposure to unwanted contaminants.

Green Stuffed Olives5. Olives. Green olives in brine are a sour, fermented snack or condiment, rich in health-giving omega-9 fatty acids.  Try a few different brands from your local Italian delicatessen (such as Nicastro’s in Ottawa, ON) and go for the lower-sodium varieties.

Lastly, don’t forget vinegar! There are plenty of vinegars to sprinkle on your salad: balsamic, wine vinegars, malt vinegars,…and many varieties within these three alone.  Vinegars are alkaline-forming and healthy for most of us, despite their acidic flavour.  Explore your neighbourhood Greek and Italian food shops for more!