Some foods are delicious, tasty and require no seasonings while some other foods require tinkering to spice up the recipes. Let’s understand the ideology behind maintaining the flavor of the dish with sparse fat, sugar and sodium usage.
We mainly use spices, herbs, flavorings or aromatic vegetables to infuse taste into dishes while retaining all the good health and nutrition of the food. Flavorings include citrus juice, vinegars, dried fruits and cheese and there are people who layer flavors with herbs or spices for that “extra” effect on the dish. Aromatic vegetables comprise of onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, leeks, peppers or celery and are a value addition to soups, stews, sauces and stir-fry recipes. Aromatic vegetables and their health benefits are dealt in detail in the link www.firsteatright.com.
Stock your Spices
Freshly ground black pepper, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, turmeric, oregano, cumin, garlic powder (don’t confuse with garlic salt), onion powder (not onion salt), curry powder, thyme, paprika (smoked paprika is a trendy one), nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, chili powder and Italian herb seasoning blend are some of the commonly used herbs and spices.
How to Use your Seasonings?
- Fresh herbs taste anytime better than their dry counterparts and are not so easily interchangeable in recipes. But in a pinch, you can substitute one-part dry herbs for three parts fresh ones.
- Dry herbs have prolonged shelf life but maintain a discipline of not using them after a few years, mainly those that have been opened. Take care to store dried herbs and spices in tight containers to prevent moisture attack and place the containers in a cool, dark cupboard or pantry.
- Instead of adding the entire quantity of the seasoning at one go, taste and season throughout the cooking process. This is the best approach as we can modify an under-seasoned dish by adding more seasonings but we cannot do anything to an over-seasoned sabotaged dish. Be cautious to add salt only at the very end of the dish preparation as you might not even be needing it after all the dressing up.