Sour Cravings

Many pregnant women ask me why they have this unusual craving for all things sour when they’re pregnant. Pickles, vinegar, lemons or even sauerkraut suddenly become go-to foods for pregnant women because the tart, bitter, or sour taste is what they want. While there is no specific evidence as to why women crave these tangy types of food while pregnant, it is believed that the fluctuating hormones and changes in levels of electrolytes in the blood may be the cause.

However, what women often reach for to satisfy these cravings are processed foods where the sour flavor is artificially magnified, like salt and vinegar potato chips. While they are delicious as an occasional snack in small quantities, I encourage pregnant women to fulfill their sour or tart flavor needs with easy, simple recipes. Dinner is the perfect place to bring in sour flavors that compliment a meal and add to the overall flavor profile. And recipes like these make enough servings for leftovers that can be reheated or made into small snack portions.  For anyone with sour cravings, try making:  Chicken Piccata or Sweet and Tangy Chicken.

Photo by NeONBRAND

Chicken Piccata

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, sliced and pounded thin
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup capers in brine (or a 3 to 4 ounce jar)
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  1. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
  2. Dredge chicken breasts in flour, coating both sides evenly.
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter in olive oil until both are heated.
  4. Brown chicken cutlets, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove chicken and keep warm.
  6. Add onion to oil and butter. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  7. Add in capers and lemon juice. Cook 1-2 minutes until sauce slightly thickens.
  8. Return chicken to the pan and heat through.
  9. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or farro. Spoon sauce over cutlets and garnish with lemon slices.
Photo by Natalia Y

Sweet and Tangy Chicken

  • 6- 8 chicken thighs, skin left on
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard (French’s works best)
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey (like my personal favorite: honey from the Tanis Apiary in New Jersey)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Clean and dry the chicken breasts.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, soy sauce, brown sugar, white vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Add chicken to the mustard mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet and bake skin side up for 40 minutes. Turn chicken halfway through.
  6. Turn up oven temperature to 500 degrees. Turn the chicken back to skin side up and cook 5 to 10 minutes until skin begins to crisp.  
  7. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, farro, salad, or spinach.

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