If you’re looking for an easy way to spice up your favorite recipes in a heart healthy way, head to your spice cabinet. Spices and dried herbs add a variety of savory, sweet, spice and heat so dishes go from blah to booya! And they will add a nutritional boost.
Here are some common herbs and tips to get you started on your seasoning journey.
Basil: This sweet, earthy and fragrant herb is fabulous, both fresh and dry. Basil pairs well with all cuisines because it adds a depth of flavor like no other. Add pasta sauces, pizza, veggie stir fry, Mexican fare and any soups and stews in your recipe collection.
Cinnamon: This amazing spice is both sweet and spicy and pairs with both sweet and savory dishes. Mix with sugar for a topping on toast, pancakes and waffles, sprinkle on toast, cereals, and add to cookie and cake recipes. Cinnamon also adds depth of flavor in smoothies, savory sauces, casseroles and cheese dishes. Add to coffee and tea for a touch of heat.
Curry Powder: Curry Powder is a blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper and chili peppers to create a deliciously spicy addition to Indian, Mexican and Asian Fare. All the ingredients are heart healthy, inflammation fighters and add a touch of nutritional value to any dish. Think breakfast egg scrambles and omelets, whole grains, potatoes, meat rubs, tofu and more.
Cumin: Earthy, toasty and full of spice, cumin is awesome added to Mexican dishes including salsa, refried beans, tacos and veggie dishes. It also adds depth of flavor to soups, stews, casseroles and meat rubs. This amazing nutrition-packed spice aids in digestion and nervous system health.
Rosemary: Woody, hearty and fragrant, rosemary is a wonderful herb to add to meat rubs, marinades, salad dressings, fish dishes, infused oils, roasted meats, mushrooms, vegetables, potatoes and butternut squash. Rosemary is full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, folate, and copper, all necessary for optimum health.
Smoked Paprika: Smoky, woody and a touch of heat, smoked paprika is your go to for spice rubs, taco seasoning, shrimp seasoning, soups, casseroles, egg dishes. Sprinkle a touch into tomato juice to create a delicious beverage or onto mixed nuts or popcorn for a healthy snack. Smoked Paprika is loaded with nutritional value, including capsaicin that reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system and assists in healthy eyesight.
Thyme: Thyme is earthy, with an almost citrusy note. It is extremely versatile and blends well with other herbs. Think about the song lyrics, “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.” This is why it is perfect in a bouquet garni to flavor soups, stews, meat dishes, etc. It is not that fragrant, but adds dimension to different recipes and ethnic cuisines. Think Italian, Mexican, Indian and Chinese dishes. Thyme is a mood booster, aids in respiratory health, and promotes heart health. It is also rich in fiber, Vitamin C, calcium, and iron.