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Series 1: The 7 Evolutionary Taste Sensations: Sweet

Fruit and Berry Cakes

Although talking about how the sensation of tasting sweet things might seem easy to most, my sweet tooth always gets me in trouble. So, it wasn’t so easy for me to tackle this discussion. Dessert after a meal? Who doesn’t want to indulge? I however always hope that my dining experience would stimulate all 7 of my taste sensations without the need for something sweet or a confection. In a perfect world, it would save me some calories too. That is, however, not often the case.

Chocolate Mandarin

In all honesty, I can always go for rich and delicious chocolate or lemon cupcake from time to time, and, of course, my favourite sweet potato casserole, which is über satisfying. But most of the time they’re full of empty calories and not supportive of my health journey to eat more superfoods.

Assorted D’happy cakes

I like to call myself a SuperFoodie… I’m a diehard flavour forager and I’m always on the hunt for deliciously satisfying meals and desserts. When they foot the bill for being both delicious and a healthy Superfood, I feel like I’ve hit the lottery.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Glaze

With all that’s going on in the world today, I definitely need to include as many superfoods into my diet as possible to keep strengthening my body and mind. So, I do my best to build up my immune system to fight the unseen war against my body, i.e. THE PANDEMIC! But, sometimes those “superfoods” can be “super” boring, bitter, and just plain ole bland. Hence my quest to search for super-goodies that stimulate as many of the 7 evolutionary taste sensations as possible while still providing me with mind and body wellness.

Sweet potato casserole in martini glass

The “Sweet” taste sensation is surely a weak spot for so many, and that’s because it’s indeed the first taste sensation our tongues recognize as its receptors are on the very tip of the tongue. It demands stimulation before any other receptors get ahold of the food. If it isn’t stimulated at some point in the journey, it will haunt and nag you until it's properly addressed. In the best-case scenario, a well-balanced meal should technically foot the bill. Although sometimes difficult to achieve for even the greatest of chefs, I was privy to find, some wonderfully delicious allies—I call them superfoods for the SuperFoodies!

I would, however, like to first take a deeper look into how the primary taste sensation of “sweet” truly affects how we initially process food, and, how it potentially affects the other taste receptors. Scientifically speaking, to qualify as a primary taste, a flavour needs to have a unique chemical signature and trigger specific receptors on our taste buds. The receptors then send sensory Information through different nerves to our brain which triggers the response.

The “Sweet” taste sensation is surely a weak spot for so many, and that’s because it’s indeed the first.

Let’s examine this from a microscopic perspective and simulate putting the taste sensations in slow motion. . .. First, when you bite into something, the first thing you taste is the sweetness or lack thereof. That’s because those receptors are literally at the tip of your tongue. At that point you, or should I say your brain has most likely decided if this is something you’d want to pursue and if what is on the tip of your tongue (literally) is good enough to continue.

Have you ever experienced biting into a piece of food and quickly realizing that something was missing, but you couldn’t quite put your finger on it? Technically speaking it’s because each receptor on the tongue has its own landing space. When we chew our food, each receptor is activated, or not, in an almost methodical way. Although not always the case, (especially given the loss of taste side effect of the COVID-19 virus), when we bite into a piece of food, we can immediately detect which primary receptors have and have not yet been activated. It is at that very point that we decide whether the food meets our expectations or not.

Assorted D’happy cakes

The process to develop our meals was broken down into 2 categories –researching and testing. So, for example, if we eat a piece of cake or a piece of fruit, most of us have an innate expectation that the taste will be sweet. Therefore, if the sweet receptors have picked up on it and sends that message to our brains, we interpret it as such. Similarly, if the cake is supposed to be sweet but doesn’t have enough sugar, other taste receptors may dominate and send our brains a message that the cake is bitter or sour or maybe even too salty. But have you ever stopped to think about those other taste sensations you were or weren’t experiencing, and how they truly impact your overall experience with that piece of cake? I’ll discuss that in the next few weeks.

Now, back to those delicious allies I call “superfoods for the SuperFoodies.” Imagine my surprise when I discovered Deliciously Happy “D’Happy Cakes” by Kai Vida Foods, a line of superfood desserts and snacks that not only satiates my sweet tooth but stimulates all of the taste receptors. But that’s just the beginning of my attraction to these goodies. What they call “D’Happy Cakes” are crafted from whole fruits, veggies, and luxuriously beautiful toppings, and because most of their ingredients are superfoods, they are also nutritiously delicious.

My grandma always said “Eat everything in moderation,” which has stuck with me all my life. That was a bit difficult in this case. I could hear her voice in my head as I licked the glaze off my fingers from the last of the Lemon Lush cupcakes I’d just finished Indulging in. So delish! A delightful presentation that appeals to your visual sense as well. D’Happy Cakes deliver!!

The Lemon Lush Cake and Muffin Kit come with the cake mix, glaze, clarified butter and an assortment of all-natural toppings including candied lemon rinds, a crunchy brazil nut granola, and a sweet and tangy lemon glaze. The cupcake tins inside the kit are even more exciting – such a time-saving touch as there was no fumbling in the kitchen looking for baking tools. I just got right into preparing the dessert. All I had to do was dump the mix into a bowl, add the clarified butter and water, stir, pour into the cupcake tins and bake in the toaster oven for 10 minutes. The directions also gave me a choice to microwave them for 2 ½ minutes. While I was waiting for the cupcakes to bake I took a few minutes to prepare the glaze with a little bit of water. The consistency was smooth and creamy. Once the cupcakes were ready and cooled, I covered the cupcakes with the glaze and finished with the delicious toppings inside the kit.

Can we say, Yum? My tastebuds lit up like a Christmas tree at that point. The sweet tender cake . . . the tangy sour notes from the vitamin-packed lemons. . . and the lovely rounded (umami) feeling from the clarified butter offered such a delectable experience for me that I could definitely see myself coming back for more…time after time. Bonus tip for all the SuperFoodies out there, the kits are available in regular, sugar-free and gluten-free versions for a totally guilt-free experience. A SuperFoodie’s superfood sweet tooth dream come true. Don’t believe me, experience this heavenly deliciousness for yourself by clicking here, and join us next week when we continue the 7 evolutionary taste sensations series.

With so much love,

Helena & Sara

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