Herbs and Spices for Healthy Meals

We all love to eat, food brings us together.

Taco, Family dinner, easy dinner
Lazy Weeknight Taco Tuesday Dinner

The best place to begin your culinary journey is in your own kitchen, specifically the spice cabinet. One way to bump up the nutrition in any recipe is to add herbs and spices for healthy meals!

Using herbs  to flavor your dishes can help reduce the need for excess salt, sugar, and fat.To create flavorful dishes, with health benefits, just add herbs and spices! The varieties are endless and due to the fact that they have loads of vitamins and antioxidants they contain that may play a role in preventing inflammation and chronic disease.

Herbs

Herbs can be found fresh or dry in the grocery store. You can even grow your own,. They can be grown indoors year-round no matter where you live.Here are some easy to grow herbs, both inside and out.

cilantro
Cilantro

Cilantro

  • Bright, citrus flavor
  • Used in Tex Mex, Thai, Caribbean
Basil
Basil

Basil

  • Sweet, peppery, a little licorice note
  • Used in Italian sauces, usually paired with tomatoes or to make pesto sauce
Parsley
Parsley

Parsley

  • Fresh, mildly bitter
  • Used widely in most cuisines on any meats, in soups and sauces, freshens breath
Rosemary
Rosemary

Rosemary

  • Woody, piney notes
  • Used in italian cooking, everyday meals on meats, roasted potatoes or in soups

Dill

  • Mild and fresh
  • Used in Scandinavian, German dishes, great with fish, eggs, vegetables and cream sauces

thyme

Thyme

  • Dry and slightly minty
  • Universally used on poultry, roasted vegetables, soups

Did you know that you should keep your spices in a dark place to slow the loss of flavor and oils?

spices

That’s why keeping them on your counter or in a cutsie shelf on the wall is not ideal. Never put them on that shelf over the stove as the heat will cause them to lose their flavor very quickly. Best practice is to invest in a coffee grinder. Use it just for spices and buy your spiceswhole. Store them in the freezer.

A new trend is to mix loose leaf tea leaves with your spices to make special rubs for your steaks or chops. The grinders come with a jar attached which also serves as a storage container. The uses are never ending as you can make your own spice mixtures or rubs and grind them fresh!

Try some of my DIY Spice Mixes, and keep them handy for quick weeknight meals.

Herbs and spices can do crazy good things for food, as they stimulate your appetite and satisfy taste buds.

Spices can go from  sweet to heat. If you use spices to enhance the natural flavor of food, you won’t even miss the salt. I feel you always need a little salt because it brings out any flavor. Spices can also change the color of a dish. Turmeric and paprika are used in many cuisines to enhance appearance as well as flavor in many dishes.

Seasoning with spices can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with it but, with practice, you’ll be cooking up 

a masterpiece in no time!

Experiment with these herbs on dishes that you make regularly. A a pinch of an basil to your spaghetti sauce, even if you use jarred sauce, adding in your own fresh herbs changes it, spice it your way! When you make chicken noodle soup, chop up some fresh herbs, what ever you have, parsley and cilantro always work, and garnish your soup. you’ll be so surprised how it can elevate this simple dish! Once you get started, you’ll want to put fresh herbs on everything!

Try something new tonight, you never know what you’ll discover! Please let me know what you find. Thanks!

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