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Substituting One Healthy Herb With Another When Out

By Stephen R. Farris

Do you watch cooking shows on YouTube, the Food Network or from public broadcasting channels? What's usually one thing they always do after taking a casserole out of the oven or plating an entree? They top it off with a little parsley. Right!?

Parsley is a great herb to have on hand. Its green, leafy color is a healthy complement to add into -- or on top of -- many of your favorite dishes. Available both fresh and dried, it contains few calories and has lots of nutrients and minerals. But what happens when you run out? Unless you happen to grow your own herbs, then a trip to your local grocery store is in the foreseeable future.

However, there are some great parsley substitutes available. You might even have a few of these in your pantry or spice cabinet in the kitchen. 

Chervil

While closely related to parsley, the flavor of chervil is milder. It's mainly used in French cooking and is an herb high in iron, a nutrient that is good for our blood.

Tarragon

Tarragon is another herb used in French cooking, and is similar in appearance to parsley. The taste is slightly different from parsley, but it's been said that tarragon can help folks reduce their blood sugar levels, especially those who suffer from high blood sugar levels.

Oregano

It's used in a variety of foods, both in them and as a garnish. Many Italian dishes have oregano added to them. It has a strong, minty flavor to it and the health benefit comes from thymol, an antibacterial compound that kills harmful bacteria, according to some researchers.

Chives

While green in nature, chives are more closely related to onion and garlic. They are rich in beta carotene, a strong antioxidant that can help healthy cells thrive and develop. A slightly strong, sort of pungent taste, chives can be incorporated in all types of cooking styles and are great used as a garnish.

Arugula

Arugula is the anti-herb in the list. It's more commonly used as one of the greens when making a salad, or it can be its own salad. It has a peppery taste and is a little on the bitter side, but it's also great as a topper to most dishes and gives them added flavor. Oh yeah, it's loaded with calcium too.

There are a few other herbs that you can substitute for parsley as well. Some of those are endive, cilantro, basil, celery leaves and carrot greens. Bon appetit!

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

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