The Power Of The Drizzle

May 17, 2019

You know me as a no-frills home cook. Just listen to me rave about left-overs or two-ingredient dishes. So, this may come as a curveball: In the last few months, I have come to respect the Power of the Drizzle.

Take that bowl of oatmeal. There it is. That whole bowl of oatmeal. Just staring at you.

It has its appeal: comforting whole grains, quick and simple to prepare. But, it’s … beige. The dull, yet ever-present aunt of the color family. On top of the drab hue, oatmeal is one-note in its flavor profile which I guess is unflavored? Or--for a positive spin--ready for layering.

Within the Power of the Drizzle, we can add syrups and glazes as well as stir-ins, sprinkles and dustings, pulling from the cupboard an array of nuts, morsels, seeds, sugars and spices. That ho-hum oatmeal appointment suddenly becomes a star-studded event once you stir-in a few chocolate chips, chopped almonds and toasted coconut. And, don’t forget a thin drizzle of Hershey’s syrup overall for the win.

While dressing up oatmeal isn’t anything new, what I’ve come to appreciate is how small additions to many other meals or snacks can make all the difference in the satisfaction factor.

When I was handcuffed by insidious diet culture, I tried to be content with the bare minimum, choking down dry toast, butterless popcorn, and lonely carrot sticks telling myself this is just what ‘health’ looks like. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After dutifully polishing the plate, I’d find myself rifling through the pantry, searching for … something. The self-imposed limitation just didn’t provide the crunch, flavor or melted goodness that takes you from no longer hungry to fully satisfied.

Dieticians and other professionals working with the latest evidence recommend a more balanced approach. Utah-based Nutrition Therapist Emily Fonnesbeck promotes nourishment plus satisfaction. For instance, steamed broccoli stirred with butter and sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese can be both nourishing AND satisfying.

Take another combo: Avocado Toast became an ‘it couple’ a few years ago and it’s a great start! Asking, ‘What can I add?’ takes the pair to another level, welcoming creativity and a sense of luxury. Just search ‘avocado toast toppings’ online. The blogging mavens get nourishment + satisfaction: that’s how their photos make us salivate and scroll for more. I’m excited to add blueberries and goat cheese with a drizzle of honey or smoked salmon and chives.

For easy answers to ‘What can I add?’ I filled several see-through containers and placed them near the spice rack: chopped nuts, dried fruits, so many types of seeds you’d think we’re starting a bird feeder, honey, balsamic glaze, our favorite granola. In the fridge, several cheeses and dips won prime real estate right at the front. Of course, ideas for stir-ins and drizzles abound and you get to be the judge. What can you add to make that yogurt, sandwich, or pasta nourishing AND satisfying?

When I posed this question to my six-year-old contemplating a grim slice of whole wheat toast, he searched his own preferences (as well as the pantry) and came up with cream cheese, sliced bananas and a drizzle of agave syrup for a simple reason: “It tastes good-er that way.” It seems kids can get nourishment + satisfaction too.