When chefs create a recipe, they include elements of salt, acid, fat and heat (and sometimes, a pinch of sweetness).
It’s all about flavor: Salt enhances flavor; acid balances flavor; fat delivers flavor and mouthfeel; and heat (pepper, chiles, etc.) is a counterpoint.
But what about texture?
Good recipes take time to add texture as well: crunchy vegetables as well as leafy ones in a salad, meat in soup or croutons on top, nuts or brittle atop ice cream or a cookie alongside. It’s all about the crunch.
We all love to crunch, hence the popularity of chips and pretzels and other crunchy munchies (here’s why humans like crunchy foods).
You can crunchify foods at every meal of the day. For example, at breakfast alone, nuts and seeds can be added to:
Breads and muffins
Oatmeal and other hot cereal
Cottage cheese and yogurt
Sandwiches with spicy radish slices or crushed chips instead of bland iceberg lettuce
Soups and salads, with crackers, croutons, nuts and/or seeds
Chicken and fish, breaded with panko crumbs, Corn Flakes, crushed pretzels
Plate garnishes, such as vegetable chips
Desserts with crunchy toppings
At other meals of the day:
WAYS TO ADD CRUNCH TO YOUR MEALS
Asian accents: Chinese fried noodles, Japanese arare* (Oriental rice crackers mix), roasted edamame, wasabi peas
Chips and crisps, any kind, including pita chips
Corn nuts, soy nuts, roasted chickpeas
Crackers, including cheesy crackers
Croutons or panko bread crumbs
Fried pork cracklings/rinds (chicharrones)
Pretzels, mini or sticks
Raw veggies: bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumber, fennel, jicama, radishes, sugar snap peas, etc.
Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, etc.
Crushed hard peppermints
Dry cereal: Frosted Flakes, etc.
Graham crackers and other cookies
Toffee chips, crushed brittle
So plan ahead for a trip to the market, or just search the cupboards, for crunch. As one of our colleagues says, “Crunchiness is next to godliness.” (She’s referring to the god of cuisine.)
 Salad croutons the size of biscotti. Here’s the recipe from Morningstar Farms.
 Panko, Japanese breadcrumbs, add crunch to chicken and fish. Here’s the recipe from Martha Stewart.
 Gazpacho with crunchy cucumber garnish (plus chiles and peaches), from Botanica Restaurant | L.A.