A wide array of choices makes possible the innovative combinations that provide the synergy of food. Spices and herbs are a wonderful alternative for flavoring. The subtle changes you embrace on a daily basis may enhance your ongoing enjoyment of your meals. Herbs can provide wonderful flavor, without adding excess sodium, calories or fat. Sharing the information and techniques will only enhance the repertoire of chefs and cooks and foster a food renaissance to better health.
Try using nutrient-packed fresh and dried herbs, garlic powder, and ginger to add extra flavor to bread, salads, soups, pasta, vegetables, meat, and fish. Spices such as cayenne, curry, cumin, and coriander add an extra kick to meals. In addition, baking spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom are a calorie-free way to add sweetness to breakfast foods and desserts without adding sugar.
A world of spices and herbs creates unlimited flavors. Familiar meals will never get old and you will be able to enjoy food on your way to better health.
"Flavors for Life"
ALLSPICE is not a mixture of different spices. Rather, it is its own spice and has the flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
BASIL is a fragrant green herb commonly used in Italian cooking. It comes in many varieties, including sweet basil, Thai basil, and lemon basil. When cooking with fresh basil, it is best to add it at the end of cooking so it does not lose its bright green color and delicious flavor. It is a wonderful flavor for meat, fish, poultry, pizza and vegetables.
BAY LEAVES are an herb that can be found fresh or dried and are wonderful in cooking to flavor soups, stews, and other slow-cooking dishes. Bay leaves are not meant to be eaten, so remove the leaves before serving.
BLACK PEPPER should always be available in your kitchen. For best flavor, freshly grind peppercorns right before using. Pepper begins to lose its strong taste and aroma, once it is ground.
CARDAMOM is a spice with a strong fragrance and taste. You can buy cardamom in pods, crushed, or ground. This sweet and savory flavored spice can be added to fish, meat, poultry, vegetables and desserts.
CINNAMON is available in either stick or powder form. Although the ground powder has a stronger flavor, the sticks can be stored for a longer time. Add cinnamon to many of your meals, desserts and beverages for extra nutrients and wonderful flavor.
CORIANDER is the seed of the cilantro plant, although it has a different flavor than cilantro. You can purchase whole or ground and it is commonly used in cooking seafood, meat, stews and omelets.
CUMIN is a spice that can be found as whole seeds or ground. Add to fish, meat and poultry. Found in chili powder and curry powder.
DILL is an herb with fernlike leaves that is used to add flavor to many foods, including soups, dips and pickles. Fresh dill has a much more intense flavor than dried.
FENNEL is considered a vegetable. The leaves can be used as an herb, which can be found fresh or ground. Fresh or ground fennel adds a wonderfully distinctive licorice flavor to salads, dips, soups, stews and sautéed vegetables.
GARLIC has a distinctive taste and is great flavoring for pasta, soups and vegetables. Fresh garlic is also a great addition to meat, fish, poultry and pasta as part of a dry rub.
GARLIC POWDER comes from dehydrated garlic cloves and lasts longer than fresh garlic. It also goes a long way in cooking meat, fish, poultry, rice, pasta, pizza and vegetables. Approximately 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equivalent to one clove of fresh garlic. Garlic powder is a good substitute for sodium, when adding flavor to food. Read the label to see that it is different from garlic salt, which can be high in sodium.
GINGER, in small amounts, may be used in tea, desserts and meals with an intense spicy flavor. Powder seems to last longer than fresh.
HOT RED PEPPER FLAKES (crushed red pepper) are a spice made from hot dried red peppers. They can be added in cooking to give your food an intense spicy flavor while cooking or as a dry rub prior to cooking. Some people may be sensitive to spicy foods, so start with small amounts when using.
MINT is an herb that comes in many varieties such as peppermint, spearmint and is best used in fresh form. Mint leaves are often added to beverages, lamb dishes and other recipes and are used as a garnish for desserts. Adding crushed fresh mint leaves to unsweetened iced tea or water can create a delicious drink, without adding unwanted calories.
NUTMEG is a spice that is often used as an ingredient in dry rubs, baked goods, desserts and some drinks.
OREGANO can be found fresh and dried. Dried oregano tends tohave a stronger flavor than fresh because it is more concentrated. Wonderful flavor to add to meat, fish, poultry, soups, stews, pasta, pizza and vegetables.
PAPRIKA is a spice made from dried and ground red peppers. It can range from sweet and mild to spicy and hot, and is used in cooking to add flavor and color to recipes. Try this spice on poultry, fish, pasta, rice and soups.
PARSLEY is a common green leafy culinary herb. Great to include, when cooking meat, poultry, rice, pasta and soup. Flat leaf parsley is typically used for cooking, and curly leaf parsley is most often used as a garnish.
ROSEMARY is a fragrant herb with needle-like leaves. It can be found fresh and dried. Try adding rosemary to soups, poultry, lamb, rice, pizza and vegetables. A light sprinkle on fresh bread is also delicious. Similar to other herbs, using rosemary is a great way to add flavor to your food, without adding sodium or calories.
SAGE is an herb with a soft, fuzzy grayish-green leaf and a sweet, yet savory flavor. Fresh or dried sage is great in tomato sauce, soups, stews, chicken, pork, and fish.
THYME is a fragrant herb with very small, delicate leaves and a lemony flavor. This herb adds wonderful flavor to eggs, meats, poultry, pizza and vegetable dishes, as well as stews, rice and soups. Thyme can be found fresh and dried.
TURMERIC, sometimes called Curcumin, is a mustard-yellow spice and is wonderful on cooked veggies, fish, poultry, rice, soups and stews.
Using spices and herbs may take you out of your comfort zone in the beginning. Start by adding one herb or spice to a meal. Once you are comfortable with the different flavors, add several to our recipes.
The recipes included in our book will help you to begin to develop your confidence and ease with removing excess sodium.
Mary Jo’s Helpful Hint: Try combining these herbs & spices for a variety of delicious flavors. Basil, bay leaf, oregano and parsley. Basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme. Hot chili peppers, cilantro, cumin and garlic. Chili peppers, cumin, curry, ginger and crushed whole black pepper. Allspice, anise, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Italian oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, and sage.
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