It’s time to mix it up. Everyone has their go-to favorite snacks, meals, and desserts, and it can be a bit nerve-wracking to step outside of those comfort zones. However, we’re here to encourage you to put two unlikely foods together and see if you’ve found a new favorite pairing. What’s the harm in trying?

This list is compiled from childhood memories and the result of curiosity urging me to see what foods might taste like if I shoved them together. I’ve found a few winners out there.

1. Nutella and tortilla chips

pairings

Photo by Daniah Mohammed

For when you need something salty and something sweet. Tostitos will always hold a special place in my heart as my favorite tortilla chips, but as long as you get that carb-filled crunch to go with the smooth chocolate spread, you’ll be all set to go. But hey — if you’re just feeling the Nutella, check out some of these recipes.

pairings

Photo by Katie Walsh

2. Brussels sprouts and maple syrup

pairings

Photo by Kathryn Stouffer

I know, the idea of Brussels sprouts instantly turns some people away in disgust. I pretended not to like these for a while, but roasting them with sea salt and olive oil changed my opinion. Adding some rich maple syrup will complement the flaky pieces of the sprouts, and it’s perfect for those people out there who are very anti-veggie. Learn how to properly trim  Brussels sprouts here.

pairings

Photo courtesy of flickr.com

3. Broccoli and instant mac and cheese powder

pairings

Photo by Joanna Wicks

This used to me my mom’s go-to option for getting me to eat my broccoli as a kid. I honestly liked broccoli but pretended not to because veggies are icky, right? Even though putting artificial cheese on cooked broccoli and letting it melt a little bit is not the healthiest way to get your daily greens, you should at least give it a go.

To be fair, I haven’t had this since elementary school, so it could actually be horrible. If you decide to stick to actually cooking the mac and cheese, at least make sure you’ve found the best mac and cheese option out there.

pairings

Photo by Mike Mozart on flickr.com

4. Cheddar cheese and blackberry jelly

pairings

Photo courtesy of brennansmarket.com

While I pretended to be taken aback by this combination throughout my childhood, my brother and sister both swore by it. With just enough sweetness from the jelly and a texture mixture that somehow works, it’s a quick and easy snack to satisfy that pre-dinner hunger. Try it to get in your dairy fix for the day. Take a look at this beginner’s guide to cheese if the blackberry jam combo isn’t really your thing.

pairings

Photo by Caitlin Shoemaker

5. Chocolate chip cookies and pizza

pairings

Photo by Mackenzie Barth

On their own, they are two of the greatest foods in existence. So why not put that cheesy pizza with the sweet chocolatey goodness of a cookie? We’re not counting calories here, so don’t even begin to worry about that. Here’s how to perfect your chocolate chip cookie.

pairings

Photo by Christine Chang

6. Ice cream and jam

pairings

Photo by Christin Urso

My dad gets the credit for this one. The rest of my family makes fun of him — maybe because he puts black raspberry jam on his mint chocolate chip ice cream — but the man has a point. A little fruit spread to go with the creamy texture of this classic dessert is not an outrageous idea. Maybe start off with a simple ice cream flavor, like chocolate or french vanilla, and become more courageous as you go. While you’re still thinking of ice cream, take a look at these 23 frozen recipes to satisfy any craving.

pairings

Photo by Yonatan Soler

7. Cheez-its and peanut butter

pairings

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org

Cheese and peanut butter are great by themselves, and individually they can make almost any food out there better. Putting them together creates a salty-sweet crunch. You should always keep the ingredients for this easy snack on hand. Get creative, and learn to make your own Cheez-its in the comfort of your kitchen.

pairings

Photo by Izzi Clark

8. Dry oatmeal and a spoon

pairings

Photo by Kenzie Mayer

Ok, so maybe this technically isn’t a food combination. But it is one of my favorite snacks and/or desserts. Quaker brand instant oatmeal has Maples and Brown Sugar, Apples and Cinnamon, or Cinnamon and Spice options that all make the perfect treat; the flavored sugar is enough to hit the sweet spot. I’ve been eating this for years and years, and my friends all think it’s weird until they try it for themselves. So rip off the top of that little brown package, grab a spoon, and you’re all set to go. If this sounds too dry for you, here’s how to eat oatmeal for every meal or take a peak at some of these oatmeal recipes.

pairings

Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org