Christmas food tips from Fifth Sense

Fifth Sense includes a ‘Food Tips’ column in the monthly newsletters we send to our members.  We thought we’d publish this month’s issue on our website to send some Christmas cheer at what can be a tough time if you’re affected by a problem with your sense of smell or taste.  Over to our volunteer Ruth Sullivan who edits the column…

Fifth Sense Christmas Food Tips 2017

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for those with an impaired sense of smell and taste as there’s so much focus on aroma and food! It’s easy to give in to that feeling of missing out – so try to notice those thoughts, salute them and send them on their way…. There are other things to enjoy and pay attention to. Even if only the Morecambe and Wise re-runs on the telly…!

Here is a super blog on the value of taking time to appreciate the taste sensations we may still experience, even without the full range of flavour. It includes some wonderful ideas on caramelising bananas (who knew?!) and enjoying the rituals surrounding eating and drinking, such as choosing the right mug for your hot drinks. (This particularly chimes with me I must admit – I have mugs I can never drink tea out of, they are definitely coffee only.)

I recently discovered I have no awareness of the taste of corked wine so I definitely have my uses during the Christmas season when it comes to polishing off the wine no one else wants to drink. Hic. So let’s try to keep positive and joyful. Drink lots of mulled wine and eat plenty of mince pies – Christmas comes but once a year! And if in doubt, chuck lots of pepper on it…

Food Tips from Fifth Sense Members

John Nicholson recommends this warming drink as a hearty start to your day – hot mulled apple juice. Heat up some juice, stir in a little turmeric and, to help with taste, some cinnamon. He says it is “delicious and rewarding, inducing a sense of wellbeing on a cold day.” Perfect.

Pamela Hardyment suggests travelling with a small bottle of Tabasco – you can easily put a few drops on your food when out at a restaurant or at supper with friends. She unfortunately struggles with chocolate as it tastes of soap for her but Carole Lawson recommends eating Mejool dates – a perfect Christmassy tip as well. The sweetness and texture are beautifully enjoyable as a chocolate substitute – and are rather healthier too…

Carole also offers this dessert idea – as she points out, it is quite usual for us to go for particularly salty or sweet tasting foods so this is a wonderful idea for satisfying our sweet cravings:

Cooked Apples with Greek Yoghurt 

For the best results, peel and slice baking apples then poach in a little water until the apple softens to a similar texture you would use for apple sauce. When cooked and cooled, store the apple in a sealed container and refrigerate. When the apple is completely chilled, serve with Greek yoghurt – there’s a comforting smooth texture from the yoghurt with a contrasting cold tingle from the apples. If you need an extra bit of sweetness, why not try dribbling a little honey or sprinkling chopped nuts over the yoghurt. Four large cooking apples should provide around 5-6 portions.

Happy Christmas and best wishes for the new year from the Fifth Sense team

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