Having Fresh Spices In Your Kitchen Could Completely Change Your Family’s Menu
USING HERBS AND SPICES
Although spices and herbs have been used since antiquity, they now have a new and significant role in the preparation of food today. They not only give our cuisine distinctive flavors but also color and variety. Some herbs and spices can replace or reduce salt and sugar in cuisine when used alone or in blends.
What are spices and herbs?
Many people interchangeably refer to any item of plant origin used mostly for seasoning food when they use the terms. Strictly speaking, spices are made from tropical plants, whereas herbs are derived from aromatic species grown in the temperate zone. Herbs are often utilized in their leaves, although spices might be derived from bark, berries, flower buds, roots, or seeds.
Do herbs and spices add any nutritive value to foods?
Herbs and spices are only used to flavor or color food; they have very little if any, nutritional benefit. While some of the oil-rich seeds, like poppy and sesame, have a significant number of calories, they are generally low in calories, salt, fat, and cholesterol. Moreover, some seasonings, such as celery or parsley flakes, have a sufficient amount of sodium to count. But because they are used in such small amounts, these components are not a problem unless a recipe calls for an exceptionally big amount or unless the diet limitation is extremely rigorous.
Using Herbs and Spices
Today, the most common piece of advice is, “Use herbs and spices for taste instead of salt.” This raises the question, which spice should I use with which foods? The amount? how are they combined? Here are some places to start:
- Start with some of the simpler herbs and spices because they are less expensive. Americans prefer pepper, basil, oregano, and cinnamon in particular.
- Mix a herb with butter, margarine, or cream cheese, let it sit for at least an hour, then try it on a cracker to get a feel for the flavor.
- Despite the fact that each spice and herb have a unique flavor, some can be combined.
- Strong or dominant flavor- Includes Bay leaf, cardamom, ginger, pepper, mustard, rosemary, and sage. Curry is essentially a combination of spices.
- Medium flavors – Use in moderation (1 to 2 teaspoons for 6 servings). includes marjoram, mint, oregano, savory, thyme, turmeric, celery seeds, leaves, and seeds, cumin, dill, fennel, French tarragon, and dill.
- Delicate flavors – includes parsley, chives, burnet, and chervil. May be blended with the majority of other herbs and spices and used in big amounts.
- The sweet flavor includes cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, cardamom, anise, fennel, and mint. When used in sweet recipes, it may be possible to reduce the amount of sugar.
- Think about the form that will be employed. Because the compounds that provide the distinctive flavor are more concentrated in dried herbs, they are more potent than fresh herbs. Because the flavorful agents may blend with the food more easily in powdered spices, they are more potent than crumbled spices. A good reference is: 2 to 3 teaspoons of fresh ingredients are equal to 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of powdered food.
- Utilize whole spices in recipes that call for extended cooking since there is ample opportunity for the flavor to develop and permeate the dish. Nevertheless, prolonged simmering reduces the flavor of herbs, so add them in the final 45 minutes if the recipe specifies this step. Another method is to use a portion of the herb at the start and the rest subsequently.
- Choose savory or pungent spices, herbs, mixes, and veggie seasonings to reduce the amount of salt in your food. Black pepper, garlic powder or granules, cumin, curry powder, dill seeds, basil, ginger, coriander, onion, tarragon, and oregano are all good options.