Loaded with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds, herbs and spices bring satisfying flavor to favorite foods.
The holiday season is one of the hardest times of year to resist salty, fatty, sugary foods. Who doesn’t want to enjoy special dishes and treats that evoke memories and meaning – especially during a pandemic? Physical distancing and canceled gatherings may make you feel like indulging is just a way to take some enjoyment out of the season.
But be strong. While that’s okay, frequent consumption of one or two marbled roast beef, buttery mashed potatoes, or chocolate pie can lead to weight gain, and raise blood pressure, blood sugar, and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Instead, skip the butter, cream, sugar and salt and flavor your food with herbs and spices.
The bounty of nature’s tastemakers goes beyond enticing flavors, aromas, and colors. Many herbs and spices contain antioxidants, flavonoids and other beneficial compounds that may help regulate blood sugar, mood and inflammation.
Enhance Holiday Foods with Herbs and Spices
Try flavoring your meals with some of the herbs and spices on the list below. Take on the role of food chemist and experiment with combinations you haven’t tried before. The more herbs and spices you use, the greater the flavor and health rewards. And it’s a gift you can enjoy all year long.
All Spices: Use in breads, sweets and cereals; Goes well with savory dishes such as soups, sauces, cereals and vegetables.
basil: Slice into salads, appetizers, and side dishes; Enjoy pesto over pasta and in sandwiches.
Cardamom: Good in breads and baked goods and in Indian dishes such as curries.
Coriander: Use to season Mexican, Southwestern, Thai and Indian foods.
Cinnamon: Add to fruit compotes, baked desserts and breads as well as Middle Eastern savory dishes.
Clove: Good in baked goods and breads, but also pairs well with vegetable and bean dishes.
Cumin: Accent Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, as well as stews and chili.
Dill: Add to potato dishes, salads, eggs, appetizers and dips.
garlic: Add to soups, pasta, marinades, dressings, cereals and vegetables.
Ginger: Great in Asian and Indian sauces, stews and stir-fries as well as in beverages and baked goods.
Marjoram: Add to stews, soups, potatoes, beans, cereals, salads and sauces.
Peppermint: Flavors savory dishes, beverages, salads, marinades and fruits.
nutmeg: Mix into fruit, baked goods and vegetable dishes.
Oregano: Delicious in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine; It is suitable for tomatoes, pasta, grain dishes and salads.
parsley: Enjoy in soups, pasta dishes, salads and sauces.
Pepper (black, white, red): Season soups, stews, vegetable dishes, grains, pasta, beans, sauces, and salads.
Rosemary: Try it in vegetables, salads, vinaigrettes and pasta dishes.
Understanding: Enhances cereals, breads, dressings, soups and pastas.
Tarragon: Add to sauces, marinades, salads and bean dishes.
carom flowers: Excellent in soups, tomato dishes, salads and vegetables.
Turmeric: Essential in Indian foods; Goes well with soups, beans and vegetables.