Consuming a healthier diet doesn’t have to be doing away with tasty, vibrant foods and flavors. Herbs are the easiest way to use nature's ready-made flavor in your foods and keep them packed with healthy!
How to make foods using herbs as flavoring:
- Change out commercial seasonings – Watch the for sodium, coloring and additives in ready-made spice mixes. Look for the ingredients to be only the spices on the label!
- Don’t Overdo It! Combining too many strong flavors in one dish is sure to overpower your taste buds, making your dinner less enjoyable. As a general rule, keep it to 2 or so herbs per dish. Here are a few can’t-go-wrong pairs: parsley & rosemary, cumin & cilantro, and thyme & basil.
- Give your meat a powerful, natural flavor with fresh herbs – Bake or grilled chicken tastes great with rosemary, thyme, and cumin. Use peppercorns, bay leaves, and coriander seed with beef roasts. Sprigs of thyme and chopped basil or oregano boost pastas. Chop fresh herbs and sprinkle over meats while cooking. Want a stronger taste and smell? Add more fresh herbs just before serving!
- Herbs Make Great Marinades, Pastes & Dips! – Here’s a tasty rub combination that’s sure to please. Mash garlic into a fine pulp and stir in olive oil, lemon juice, chopped parsley, cilantro, basil or other leafy herb of your choice. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of sea salt. Drizzle over your meat before serving to boost the flavor even more.
Take a Trip Around the World! – Create ethnic themed dinners and combine herbs for dinners from around the globe. Please your palate with these combinations and create your own out of the endless possibilities.
Here’s a quick list of which herbs work best together:
Latin Dishes: Mix cumin, crushed red pepper, coriander seeds, cilantro and a squeeze of lime to give it a zesty taste.
Indian Foods: Curry powder (combine turmeric and some of your other favorite flavors), paprika, and chili.
Middle Eastern Dinners: Parsely or cilantro, cumin, celery seed, cardamom.
German Dishes: Dill, parsley, and tarragon.
Italian Foods: Thyme, basil, fennel, garlic and oregano.
These are just a few of the many ways you can add pizazz to your meals and still keep them healthy. Packed with nutrients and healing elements, herbs actually make what you’re eating even healthier!
You can’t go wrong growing your own herbs, either. Don’t have the greenest thumb? No worries, herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow and they can fit in almost anywhere – in a small pot on the patio or even between flowers and plants in your garden.
I’m always up for trying something new and healthy! We’d love to hear some of your favorite blends and experiences with growing your own herbs – share your favorites or tips with me and our other readers here on the blog or over on Facebook in our free support community!