Adding herbs and spices doesn't always require intricate recipies and hard to find ingredients. In this post, we will go over some different herbs and seasonings that you can easily incorporate into your daily cooking. Not only will your food taste better and have more in-depth & layered flavors, but will provide health benefits as well! Adding spices doesn't necessarily indicate "heat" so if you're sensitive to spicy foods, not to worry!
Here are some of my favorite herbs & spices and easy ways to incorporate them into your daily diet:
Fresh Herbs, but dried have the benefits too!:
Basil ~ Roll a few leaves together and chop, add on top of salads, soups, pizza or pasta.
Rosemary ~ I love adding 2 rosemary sprigs to chicken, lamb and roasted potato dishes.
Oregano ~ Adding oregano to soups and salads or on top of fish and chicken.
Sage ~ Pairs wonderfully with rosemary when roasting chicken, pork, beef & even eggplant
Thyme ~ I add thyme to soups, tomatoes, potatoes and fish. Mushrooms love thyme! Marries well with sage and rosemary (yeah I sing the song too lol)
Parsley ~ Use as a garnish for just about anything, add to soups, salads, proteins.
Cilantro ~ It's ok if you don't like cilantro! If you do, add to salsa, guacamole, fish dishes, your green juice.
Chives ~ Chopped chives on scrambled eggs.
If you are just trying out certain spices, and aren't sure if you will like them, quite often you can by them in the bulk section of grocery stores. Just get a small scoop so you don't have to buy the entire jar. Spicely Organics also has tiny bags of spices for sale in stores as well!
My favorite spices:
Turmeric ~ Bright orange and mild, great for soups, on top of sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and on top of roasted carrots!
Curry ~ Sprinkle atop any roasted vegetables, on egg salad, and added to coconut milk as a sauce with chicken and veggies.
Cumin ~ Often paired with Turmeric and Curry. Adding to any meat or vegetable dish for a boost in flavor. Adding some cumin to your next Sunday football chili this Autumn, you can't go wrong!
Ginger ~ Using fresh ginger is powerful and spicy. Adding just a tiny peeled piece in your juice, tea & lemon, or soup is chock full of health benefits & relays a fresh depth of flavor. Here are some combos:
Cinnamon ~ Adding along with nutmeg its always a great Fall combo. Adding cinnamon to your coffee and favorite milk choice is a great way to wean off sugar, maintaining the flavor!
Black Pepper ~ Fresh Ground black pepper and Pink salt are staples to any dish. Black pepper should also be paired with Turmeric to "activate it."
Cayenne ~ A little goes a long way! Add to morning eggs, and anything chocolate. Add to blackened chicken, tacos, rice and turkey burgers.
Garlic ~ Adding garlic powder or fresh garlic to pretty much anything savory has fantastic health benefits and will deepen the flavor. Garlic can be rough on sensitive stomachs so tread lightly at first!
Red Pepper Flakes ~ Not as intense as cayenne, pepper flakes are great on pizza, pastas and eggs, and seafood liks shrimp.
Spices and herbs have been in use for centuries both for culinary and medicinal purposes. Spices not only enhance the flavor, aroma, and color of food and beverages, but they can also protect from acute and chronic diseases. More Americans are considering the use of spices and herbs for medicinal and therapeutic/remedy use, especially for various chronic conditions. There is now ample evidence that spices and herbs possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumorigenic, anticarcinogenic, and glucose- and cholesterol-lowering activities as well as properties that affect cognition and mood. Research over the past decade has reported on the diverse range of health properties that they possess via their bioactive constituents, including sulfur-containing compounds, tannins, alkaloids, phenolic diterpenes, and vitamins, especially flavonoids and polyphenols. Spices and herbs such as clove, rosemary, sage, oregano, and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants with their high content of phenolic compounds. It is evident that frequent consumption of spicy foods was also linked to a lower risk of death from cancer and ischemic heart and respiratory system diseases. However, the actual role of spices and herbs in the maintenance of health, specifically with regards to protecting against the development of chronic, noncommunicable diseases, is currently unclear. This review highlights potential health benefits of commonly used spices and herbs such as chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, fenugreek, rosemary, and garlic.
Jiang TA. Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices. J AOAC Int. 2019 Mar 1;102(2):395-411. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.18-0418. Epub 2019 Jan 16. PMID: 30651162.
Eating the rainbow when choosing foods as well as spices is probably the most balanced way of eating! As a health coach I never prescribe an exact way of eating or meal plans. However my one reccomendation is eating the rainbow and depending on bio-individuality, the Mediterranean Diet! Think "variety is the spice of life" here. No pun intended..
Subscribe and comment below on what spices you love, or want to try!