What to Read Next

6 Ingredients to Boost a Bland Recipe

August 14, 2014

6 Ingredients to Boost a Bland Recipe

August 14, 2014

If you’ve ever thought something was “missing” from a meal, it could have been acidity. When we taste our food, we’re looking for a balance of different flavors — salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and umami. Adding acid to food can complete that balance and change a dish entirely. If you want to play with the acidity levels in your own cooking, here are a few ingredients to try:

1. Vinegar: It determines the level of acidity in a dish and can alter flavors altogether. We particularly love balsamic (be careful, it’s pretty sweet), sherry, and white wine vinegars.

See More: 35 Beyond Delicious No-Bake Dessert Recipes

2. Wine: Think of wine as vinegar’s cousin (and vice versa). Use it to balance sweet desserts like this French Toast with Red-Wine Nectarines, or to deglaze your pan — “deglazing” means adding a cold liquid to a very hot pan, which allows you to scrape up all the good browned bits after cooking.

3. Citrus juice is a favorite. A squirt of lemon is always great, but limes and oranges can add vibrancy.

4. Tomatoes pair well with rich foods, like hearty meat dishes (think Spaghetti and Meatballs).

5. Yogurt cuts through the fat. This Lamb Burger with Yogurt Sauce is a perfect example.

6. Pickles. Do we even need to tell you why we’re such huge fans? We didn’t think so.

More from Martha Stewart:
Watch: Healthy Raspberry-Ricotta Ice Cream Recipe
47 Ways to Maximize Space in Your Kitchen
Must See: The Fast and Easy Way to Clean Mushrooms
22 Chicken Dinner Recipes in Less Than 30 Minutes
Watch This: Sarah Carey’s Feta-Stuffed BLT Burger

Watch for More: