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Spice it Up (Food, that Is)!

By Sara Butler

What if you could make your meals taste better without adding salt or fat? No, there’s not some new product on the market for you to try, you simply need to get on board with adding some spice to your life! Cooking with spices and herbs is a great way to boost the flavor of your dinner without piling on fat and calories. Plus, they smell fantastic! Here are a few tips to help you effectively use herbs and spices in your healthy cooking!

Tips and Tricks

You don’t have to go to culinary school to understand the best way to maximize flavor with herbs and spices. You’ll find out through experimentation what flavors you like and what you don’t, but the key is to not be afraid to try new things. A few general spicy tips include:

  • Start slow – Don’t overwhelm a dish with too much seasoning at once. Choose one or two herbs or spices to try together with one being a milder flavor and the other being strong.
  • Know when to use dried or fresh – The rule of thumb is to add fresh herbs near the end of the cooking process for the best flavor and use dried herbs early in cooking to bring their flavor out.
  • Let herbs marinate – If you’re making a cold dish, then make sure to add the spices and herbs a few hours before you’re going to service it to allow flavors to combine well.
  • Chop it fine – When using fresh herbs, chop the leaves finely so that more flavor can be released.
  • Dried herbs pack a punch – When using dried herbs, understand that they add more taste than fresh, so you don’t need to use as much if substituting in a recipe.

Keeping Spices and Herbs Fresh

If you want to keep your spices and herbs flavorful, then you must know how to store them. Dried herbs should always be kept in a cool, dark, and dry place. The air, light, and heat can destroy the flavor after a time. You also want to store them in tightly sealed containers and throw any dried herbs out that you’ve had for longer than a year.

Fresh herbs need to be kept like a bunch of flowers. Cut the ends off and put them in a cup of water in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. You can always freeze herbs to keep them for longer too, just make sure to use a freezer bag.

You don't need a culinary degree to experiment with flavors! Channel your inner chef and get healthy at the same time with spices and herbs.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Englewood, Colo.

 

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