Herbs and Spices 101.
Herbs and Spices 101.
If You Read One Article About Herbs and Spices Read this One
I have always felt pleasure to receive compliments for my culinary creations. Herbs and spices will certainly earn you compliments when entertaining friends and family. Used skillfully they are the ‘cherry on the cake’ for all your dishes. So I decided to share all about it with you.
Herbs and spices are packed with nutrition, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that can add therapeutic value to your food, helping you live a longer, more healthful life. Do you already know that? Alright, bear with me, please!.
The first and most obvious reason for cooking with herbs and spices is that Spices and Herbs can transform your ordinary recipes into exciting culinary experiences. But there are even more good reasons to master the magic of cooking with herbs and spices.
It will stretch your budget. By using herbs and spices in your everyday cooking, you can turn cheap staple ingredients into tasty dishes.
Whether you are trying to flavor up your utilitarian weeknight meal, cook a special fare for guests, or replace fats or other in tolerances in your cooking, spices play a key role.
You can add a whole lot of taste and flavor for very little added calorie by wisely using herbs and spices. Certain herbs and spices will stimulate your appetite and improve your digestion and general health and well-being.
I will tell you the bright sides of some of the widely used Herbs and Spices that you probably didn’t know before!
Fenugreek - It has been noticed that this spice improves the function of insulin and therefore leads to a significant reduction in blood sugar levels.
Garlic - Garlic has various medicinal properties and is very beneficial for heart health as it helps in reducing the total and LDL cholesterol.
Oregano - It is a herb that is high in antioxidants and may help fight off bacteria and viruses, potentially reduce the growth of cancer cells and help alleviate inflammation.
Ginger. It has amazing benefits to our digestive tract. It can help to reduce acid re-flux and other digestive problems, including gastrointestinal distress. Chinese remedy has been using ginger as a means to treat a long range of digestive problems for many many years!
Rosemary: The herb has been hailed since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Rosemary was traditionally used to help alleviate muscle pain, improve memory, boost immunity, and much more.
Cloves - Cloves surprisingly contain a lot of important nutrients like Vitamin K and essential fibers. It is very low in calories but is a rich source of manganese.
Parsley - It is an important herb that is rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for bone health and thus it has been seen that consuming a significant amount of parsley reduces the risk of fractures
Basil leaves - Basil leaves have numerous health benefits. It is good for digestion, easy remedy for headaches and insomnia and it also mixes with the acid to restore the body's proper pH level.
Fennel- Most all spices have antibacterial/antioxidant benefits, it's hard to pick 10 but the reason I'm including fennel as a great antibacterial/antioxidant is that it has nutrients and benefits that can help with the damage done by the standard American/European diet. My mom tells me to eat a handful daily. It has a generous amount of vitamin c.
Coriander powder: Must in Indian spicy curries. Acts as coolant against hot spices like red chilies, cinnamon etc.
“Much Virtue in Herbs, Little in Men” _ Benjamin Franklin.
(Yes Benjamin Franklin said it, I am not making it up. )
Now as you know that spices and herbs have numerous benefits, I will not hesitate to tell you what goes with what, you can always try variations to try and understand the taste chemistry.
Because each herb and spice is unique in its nutritional makeup, the more variety you use, the better.
Oregano on your salad? Cinnamon on your oatmeal? Ginger in your chicken soup? Hell yeah. You better bet on it!
To help you make the best out of spices and herbs, here is our suggestion from thespicegift to use by dish and also by cuisine. You want to take a screenshot of it, trust me!
- Fish: Tarragon, garlic, parsley, dill, fennel, thyme
- Beef: Garlic, hot pepper, chives, cloves, cumin, marjoram, savoury, rosemary
- Poultry: Tarragon, marjoram, parsley, savoury
- Cheese: Basil, chives, dill, fennel, oregano, garlic, sage, thyme
- Fruit: Cloves, ginger, mint, anise, cinnamon, coriander,
- Salads: Basil, chives, tarragon, garlic, parsley, sorrel
- Soup: Marjoram, parsley, rosemary, savoury, bay leaf, chervil, tarragon.
- Vegetables: Basil, chives, dill, tarragon, mint, parsley, pepper, thyme
- Latin American: Chilies, cumin, cilantro, garlic, cinnamon
- Japanese: Garlic, ginger, wasabi
- Caribbean: Allspice, cilantro, curry, garlic, ginger
- French: Chives, garlic, parsley, tarragon
- Indonesian: Basil, chillies, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, curry, garlic, ginger, mint
- Chinese: Basil, ginger
- Italian: Basil, garlic, oregano, rosemary
Indian: Anise, cardamom, chilies, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, fennel, Middle Eastern: Anise, cilantro, chilies, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, saffron.
Herbs and spices will certainly earn you compliments when entertaining friends and family. Used skillfully they are the ‘cherry on the cake’ for all your dishes.
One can truly say that herbs and spices elevate your cooking with that ‘something special!
Everyone should have a good starter set on hand in your spice rack.
Here is our recommendation for you:
Contains 15 unique blends of spice and herbs:
- Indian cloves with Black pepper
- Fenugreek with cumin and curry powder
- Fennel seeds with lemongrass
- Cumin seeds with chilli flakes and ginger
- Coriander seeds with curry powder
- Maca powder with turmeric and ginger
- Chilli flakes with ginger & garlic
- Sweet paprika with Cayenne pepper
- Coriander seeds with turmeric and ginger
- Paprika with ginger and garlic
- Coriander seeds with garlic
- Lemongrass with Basil and Oregano
- Fennel seeds with Basil
- Lemongrass with thyme and Basil
- Parsley with lemongrass and cumin seeds
Still there? Here is a spicy tip from the thespicegift family :
If you’re getting ready to fire up your grill for the summer, it’s time to refresh your supply of herbs and spices. Adding them to your food, either as a marinade, spice rub or right into the meat (of a hamburger, for instance), can help reduce the formation of harmful compounds that are formed during cooking.
Ideally, healthy marinades with high-quality ingredients and spices will help cut down on HCAs and other cooking byproducts. Cloves, rosemary, ginger, paprika, oregano, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic powder and others are all great choices.