In honor of the last day of National Nutrition Month, I thought we’d send off this year’s theme of “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” with some tips for using spices and herbs. Early in my career, I worked in a hospital setting and frequently provided diet counseling for those with congestive heart failure (CHF). With CHF and other heart-related conditions such as hypertension, reducing sodium intake is a must. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with taste buds that can adapt to a tapering of salt/sodium. Check out my tips below!
- Conversion: 1 tbsp fresh herb = ½ tsp dry = ¼ tsp powdered.
- Use sparingly – ¼ teaspoon per pound of meat or pint of sauce. You can always add more.
- When doubling a recipe, add only 50 percent more seasoning.
- “Freshen” herbs by crushing or rubbing between your fingers before adding to recipe.
- In dishes requiring long cooking times such as stews, add herbs toward the end of cooking.
- In chilled foods such as dips, salads and dressings, add herbs several hours ahead.
- For maximum freshness, purchase in small quantities, keep in airtight containers.
Seasoning suggestions for Meat
Beef Bay leaf, dry mustard, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme
Chicken Dill, mushrooms, paprika, parsley, sage, thyme
Fish Bay leaf, curry, dry mustard, lemon juice, paprika
Lamb Mint, mint jelly, garlic, rosemary
Pork Garlic, onion, sage
Asparagus Lemon juice, toasted sesame seeds
Broccoli Lemon juice, oregano
Cabbage Dill, caraway seeds, savory
Carrots Mint, nutmeg, parsley
Cauliflower Nutmeg, tarragon
Corn Chives, green pepper, tomatoes
Green Beans Dill, lemon juice, marjoram, nutmeg, unsalted French dressing
Potatoes Chopped green pepper, mace, onion, parsley
Squash Ginger, mace, nutmeg
Tomatoes Basil, green pepper, onion, oregano, sage
Indian Cardamom, cayenne, coriander, cumin, curry, garlic, ginger,mustard seeds, turmeric
Italian Basil, bay leaf, cayenne, garlic, onions, oregano, thyme
Mexican Cayenne, chili powder, chorizo, coriander, cumin, fresh chilies – green and red, garlic, oregano
Oriental Cayenne, cumin, garlic, ginger, green pepper, sesame, sherry
Creamed Bay leaf, dill, marjoram, paprika, peppercorns, tarragon
Vegetable Basil, bay leaf, curry, dill, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, wine
NOTE: Tomatoes and mushrooms used for seasonings should be fresh or unsalted canned. Also always make sure to use something listed as a powder versus a salt such as garlic powder instead of garlic salt.
What are your favorite herb/food combinations? Let’s chat!