Working With Flavors And Aromas

Taste is the ability to respond to dissolved molecules and ions called tastants. Humans detect taste with taste receptor cells. These are clustered together and we refer to them as taste buds. Each taste bud has a pore that opens out to the surface of the tongue enabling molecules and ions taken into the mouth to reach the receptor cells inside. There are four primary taste sensations:

1) SALTINESS Add a salty flavor to your food by using natural Celtic, Himalayan, or sea salts, but go easy on the portions. Even natural salts in large quantities are not actually that good for us. You can also use kelp, dulse, coconut aminos, Bragg’s, nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), garlic “salt,” sun-dried tomatoes, and celery. Saltiness brings out all the other flavors to balance, especially anything sweet, so adding a dash to your chocolate recipes is a good thing.

2) SWEETNESS Balances salty tasting food. At Creative Health Institute we use different natural sweeteners to create this balance. We always lean towards using products with the lowest amounts of sugar possible. There are many choices ranging from plain fruit, Stevia, Yacon, Mesquite, raw honey, agave syrup, palm sugar, dates and other dried fruits such as figs and apricots. Keep in mind that honey is not vegan, and maple syrup is not really raw. Both are better than refined sugar, however, and are packed with minerals and vitamins.

3) SOURNESS Balance salty and sweet flavors with a sour taste. A recipe containing these three flavors will provide great balance. For a sour taste use citrus juices, tamarind, cranberries, pickles, tomatoes, rejuvelac, camu camu, and vinegars. In general, if your recipe has a good balance of the 3 flavors above, it is going to taste yummy!

4) BITTERNESS Generally speaking, bitterness is not desirable in large quantities, but it so happens that bitter foods and herbs can be quite healthy. They can also be tasty in the right quantity.


A) AROMA Aromatics refer to the sense of smell, not taste, but they are closely related and influence each other. Aroma adds depth to flavors. Here are some aromatic ingredients to use in your uncooking: onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, celery, sweet peppers, ginger or galangal, citrus zest, kefir lime leaves, and lemongrass. Aromatic herbs include parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, etc. (fresh herbs are definitely better in the raw food context!) Aromas tend to come out far more when heating food, but do indeed apply to raw food preparation. Hot peppers and such like those listed below are also aromatic.

B) SPICINESS (HEAT) Spices add a combination of the above flavors, but also add different levels of heat, if not at least a “bite.” Add dry spicy ingredients before marinating to balance the flavors better. Use oil to bring out the taste of dried herbs and spices. Items that add heat include black pepper, curries, chilies, cayenne, hot paprika, cumin, raw garlic, wasabi, cloves, turmeric, coriander, mustards, etc.

C) CREAMINESS This is more of a texture than taste, but if all the spice is getting to be too much, a little nut milk or cream can do wonders. No wonder so many hot Asian curries have coconut milk in them! • Too spicy? Add some sweetness or creaminess •


Too sweet? Add some sour or spiciness •

Too sour? Add sweet •

Too bland? Add salt or some spiciness •

Too salty? Add sour •

Just needs a spark? Add acid or one of the aromatics added at the end of cooking, or just a touch of heat (spiciness) •

Too harsh? Try just a touch of sweetness.

Super Bowl Sunday – The Perfect Time For Rawsome Raw Living CHI Chili.

 Phase 1

  • 4 cups sprouted barley
  •  1 cup sprouted quinoa
  •  3 tablespoons of coconut aminos or raw soy
  •  1 medium green bell pepper diced
  • ½ cup of red onion diced
  • 2 cups of corn
  • 1 table spoon of Pizza or Italian seasoning
  • ¾ tablespoon curry
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of Chipotle
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup of oil
  • 1 orange juiced
  • 12 tomatoes diced small

Phase II

  • 2 cups of sun dried tomatoes soaked
  • 1 onion 1 cup of dates – soaked

Mix in a very large bow all the ingredients in Phase 1 accept for Phase II.

  • Phase II mix in a food processor until it forms a paste.
  • Then add to Phase I and mix in by hand. salt and heat to taste.
  • Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature when you prepare the chili

Really Rawsome Oatmeal Cookies

Really Rawsome Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup dried raisins
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup of raw agave or honey
  • 2 apples grated
  • ½ cup of macadamia nuts finely ground- (leave out a dozen to chunk up and put in the batter)
  • ½ cup cashew nuts finely ground – (leave out a dozen to chunk up and put in the batter)
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla                                                                                                                                                     

Place oats  in a food processor and pulse two short bursts. If you don’t have a food processor, use a blender. Transfer the oats to a mixing bowl and add the dates, raisins, walnuts agave or honey and apples and mix the batter well. Set aside.

In a coffee grinder grind the macadamia’s and cashews until they resemble a silky flour. Add to the batter and stir in.  On a mesh dehydrator sheet shape the batter. Keep in mind that the thicker you shape the cookies the longer they take to dehydrate. Dehydrate the cookies at 110 degrees until they reach your preferred texture, around 12 hours.

May you be blessed,


Really Rawsome Raw Chocolate Maca Macaroons

Creative Health Institute Raw Chocolate Macaroons


  • 3 cups raw dehydrated coconut – shredded
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut water
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar or date pate/water or yacon syrup.
  • 1/2 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup Maca
  • 2 tbs raw vanilla – beans ground 
  • 1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

Directions – Combine all ingredients into a bowl, and mix thoroughly with your hands or a big wooden spoon. Roll into 1 inch balls, place on dehydrator sheet, dehydrate for 6-12 hours. 
Servings: 24