Eat Well Jan. 12. 2021

Flavor Factor Sprinkle

Jan. 12. 2021
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

With so much information out there on what you should eat, it can be overwhelming to keep up with it all and truly understand what you should have on your plate to nourish yourself well and give your body what it needs to function properly and feel its best. 

You want to be able to make nourishing yourself simple, consistent, and make meals well-balanced. That’s where the Foundational Five comes into play, which is part of our proprietary Mindful Nutrition Method™. 

I created this Flavor Factor Sprinkle after working with thousands of clients and members in our Mindful Nutrition Method as a way to make it super simple to increase the nutrients in any meal and have a no-fail delicious tasting meal just with a sprinkle!

Just think about it, how often do you reach for those spices and herbs in your pantry and use them in meals for flavor and nutrients? In my experience with members and clients, most of us don’t! Either we don’t want to hassle with getting them all out of the pantry, or we don’t know what combinations taste delicious together, or we just don’t have the extra time to figure it out.

That’s where I created the solution in the form of a delicious and nutrient-rich sprinkle!

The Foundational Five Flavor Factor

In case you’re new to the NS Community and our method here, the Foundational Five is my simple process and system to make sure you’re nourishing your body with balanced foods to prevent cravings, combat stress, nourish yourself well, and enjoy what you’re eating. 

There’s no counting involved, no need for tracking, and no need to eliminate any food group if you don’t medically need to. The Foundational Five is all about simplicity, balance, and being able to apply this system practically in your real life.

What Is The Flavor Factor?

What we call the Flavor Factor is a unique part of our food philosophy within the Mindful Nutrition Method™ — it’s purpose is to both celebrate the nourishment and the enjoyment factor of food.

Food is nourishment and also enjoyment!

An easy way to remember how to utilize the Flavor Factor is to check off if you have five of the flavors present, these include: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. 

Sweet flavor can easily come from sugary carbohydrates in your meal, salty can come from the obvious of salt or even seaweed or things like celery which taste salty, sour can come from things like fresh lemon juice or tamarind paste, bitter can come from things like dark leafy greens, arugula, dandelion greens, grapefruit, and umami can come from mushrooms, soy sauce, and miso paste.

The Flavor Factor Sprinkle

The Flavor Factor Sprinkle embodies all the delicious flavors and antioxidants and nutrients found in a wide variety of herbs, spices, kelp, and seeds that you may not otherwise get into your diet on a daily basis.

By using the Flavor Factor Sprinkle in your meals or at least one meal a day, you’re increasing the number of B vitamins, protein, zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper, vitamin C, K, E, potassium, and a host of antioxidants and phytonutrients.

In addition to the nutrients obtained in this simple sprinkle recipe, you’re also contributing to delicious flavor in just a sprinkle!


Foundational Five Nourish Meal contains all five elements of a balanced meal: non-starchy carbohydrates, starchy carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and the flavor factor.

Our Foundational Five Nourish Meals can be found as smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal bowls or breakfast bowls, nourish bowls, salads, soups, stews, and many more.


Here is the breakdown of each Foundational Five element of nutrition:

1 • Non-starchy Carbohydrate

2 • Starchy or Sugary Carbohydrate

3 • Healthy Fat

  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds

4 • Protein

  • Nutritional yeast

5 • Flavor Factor

  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Sea salt
  • Kelp flakes

The Recipe

Serves 15



1 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon kelp flakes

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground sumac

1/2 teaspoon mushroom blend by Trader Joes (optional for umami)


Step 1

In a large mixing bowl, simply stir all the ingredients together until the herbs and spices are evenly distributed in the nutritional yeast.

Store in an airtight glass container at room temperature or in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks.

A serving = 1 tablespoon or you can use however much you’d like based on flavor!

Learn more about the Flavor Factor and the Foundational Five system by watching our free workshop.


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