Seasoning Tips for Tasty Meals & Health

herbs, seasoning, Seasonings -

Seasoning Tips for Tasty Meals & Health

Want to bring out the flavors in your food without excess salt or fat?
Mild herbs and spices used in traditional or creative ways can enhance flavor or provide taste-tempting variations.  Some useful tips:

  • Add salt to soups at the end of cooking and to dried beans and peas after they have already softened.
  • Cold foods may require more seasoning than hot foods.
  • When doubling a recipe, don't double the seasonings.  Increase by 1 1/2 times, taste, then adjust as necessary.
  • Fresh herbs infuse foods with a greater depth of flavor than do dried.  Microgreen basil or cilantro are even more potent in flavor.  Store fresh herbs in the refrigerator, wrapped in a paper towel, inside a plastic bag.  Basil keeps best in a bag on the counter or placed in a glass of water, stems down like cut flowers.
  • When using fresh herbs, use only the leaves and tender stems.  Adding them during the last 10 minutes of cooking enhances their flavor. 
  • Use 2-3 times the volume of fresh herbs as you would dried herbs.
  • Dried herbs can cost less and are more convenient.  Use 1/4 to 1/2 the volume of dried herbs as you would fresh herbs.
  • Experiment to find which herbs you like with which foods.  Use a small amount to start, then adjust as necessary.
  • "Some common spices are irritating to both the gastrointestinal and the genitourinary systems.  Some cause irritation to the nerves, increased blood pressure, or break down mucus barriers in the stomach and bowel.  Some may be linked to cancer of the liver." (Newstart Lifestyle Institute)  Instead, using mild herbs and seasonings are kinder to your system.  Here's some suggested substitutions:

Irritating Seasonings           -------->          Replace With

Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg ----> 2 parts coriander + 1 part cardamom
Black, white pepper ----> Dried sweet basil, seasoning salt
Cayenne pepper, chili pepper ----> Paprika, cumin, bell pepper
Hot curry powder ----> Mild Curry Powder
Mustard ----> Homemade "Mustard" (recipe coming soon!)
Vinegar ----> Lemon or lime juice