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Join the starch revolution

Adding starch to a salad is a great way to create a more rustic, winter-style flavour that is genuinely filling. And it certainly doesn’t have to be stodgy and boring. With the right combination of ingredients – and of course a truly inspired dressing, you can create real ‘meal-worthy’ salads for younger patrons looking for a fresh, fill-up-and-go solution.

Starch based salads are great for the paleo-dieters craze, which is also driving demand for filling meals featuring resistant or retrograded starches, created once starchy vegetables like potatoes and grains are cooked then cooled for a 24 hours before serving. This reduces their glycemic load by up to 25%, which is great for patrons struggling with blood sugar control.

Starch based salads are an ideal canvas for a great dressing; either fresh and zesty featuring citrus flavours, or dense and sweet with notes of honey and rosemary.

Fill it up – top trending starches

Parsnip – Dense with starch, parsnip is traditionally used roasted in salads. However, thinly sliced raw parsnip packs a pleasant snap when bitten into and, if you’re not a fan of their flavor, this way they’ll be much more neutral, a blank slate to take on your dressing. Parsnip pairs well with slow cooked lamb, beef and pork and vegetables like carrots, onions, butternuts, leeks, celery and garlic.

Butternut – Roasted butternut is a fantastic base for hearty, filling salads, pairing well with chicken, pork lamb and beef as well as roasted root veggies, spinach and salad greens.

Buckwheat – Starchy grains like buckwheat are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium with a high protein content that aids a vegetarian diet. Perfect pairings include asparagus, mushrooms, walnuts, pine nuts, garlic, ginger, sunflower seeds and most vegetables.

Millet – This African-staple is high in protein and gluten free. Millet pairs well with basil, chilli, tarragon and other fresh herbs and veggies, as well as with black peas, coconut, currants, mushrooms, citrus and nuts.