Cooking With Spices
Spices and herbs are a wonderful way to add flavor to your meals—without adding fats, calories, or extra salt. A nice mini-project is taking a short shopping trip to fill up your spice rack.
New to cooking with spices? Here are 10 spices that can add a little zing to any meal. Some are probably familiar, others may be an interesting change of taste.
Pepper doesn’t always have to be salt’s silent partner. Try it with almost anything for added flavor.
Chili pepper, made from ground chilies is, not surprisingly, spicy and hot. If you’re not used to it, a little goes a long way. Try it in soups, salad, vegetables, and fish.
Garlic powder is a low-sodium alternative to garlic salt. Try it on a baked potato.
Basil is often used in tomato-based dishes. Try it as fresh leaves, added to mashed potatoes. Or in soups, salads, vegetables, fish, and meat.
Oregano is an old favorite you can use in new ways. Try it with zucchini or with soups, salads, vegetables, meats, and chicken.
Cinnamon is a spice you’re probably familiar with in desserts and snacks. Try it on oatmeal, breads, and snacks for a sweet taste without added sugar.
Coriander (also known as cilantro) has a spicy, fresh taste that works well with grilled foods. Try it on grilled chicken or fish.
Cumin’s earthy flavor gives a subtle punch to bean dishes. Try it in chili or bean soup.
Dill has a distinctive flavor that can be delicate or sharp. It can make food seem salty without the sodium. Try it with green beans, pasta, fish, potatoes, soups, or salads.
Rosemary has a fresh, strong tang. Try it with peas, cauliflower, and squash.
When you stock up on spices:
Store dried herbs and spices in tightly sealed containers in a dark, dry place.
Buy them in small quantities and use within a year for the best flavor.
Lots of recipes use these spices, so they really can come in handy. And they may even help you come up with a few recipes of your own.