“Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme” sang Simon & Garfunkel back in 1966. We love that song – and we also love the tasty health benefits of these and other herbs and spices. If your spice cabinet contains only salt and pepper, get the dish on how to spice up your life with super seasonings!
One of the key health benefits of herbs and spices: You can use them to add superb flavor to your food without calories. For example, cinnamon and ginger with a packet of stevia turn a dish of plain non-fat Greek yogurt at 60 calories into a dessert – with the same number of calories, sugar and fat! In addition, multiple studies have shown an excess of sodium is detrimental to health. By using herbs to replace salt, you can dramatically cut down on the sodium content in your food.
Ready to stock up your spice cabinet? Try these to flavor your life:
- Garlic can add zest to a range of foods. Try sprinkling Simply Organic Garlic Powder or Frontier Natural Organic Garlic Powder on salads, veggies, chicken or fish.
- Be tickled by turmeric’s power to transform plain rice into an Indian food extravaganza. Try Simply Organic Turmeric with Lundberg Organic Long Grain Brown Rice mixed with peas.
- Morton & Bassett All Natural Ground Ginger turns plain yogurt into dessert! Just mix ginger powder with plain Greek yogurt and a packet of stevia. Top with blueberries for a sweet treat.
- Cinnamon is sensational for multiple uses. Mix into applesauce, for example, or add a dash to a bread mix. Love coffee? Turn plain coffee into cinnamon-flavored coffee by sprinkling a dash of cinnamon, such as Starwest Botanicals Organic Cinnamon over the grounds before brewing.
- Beautiful basil complements veggies and tomato dishes brilliantly. For a delicious salad, chop romaine lettuce leaves, fresh tomatoes, low-fat mozzarella cheese and, if desired, purple onion. Make your own salad dressing by mixing organic olive oil, wine vinegar and a dash of basil, such as Simply Organic Basil.
- While it’s fun to experiment, sometimes you want to bring on the flavor! For example, when you’re looking at a lunch consisting of plain tuna fish on top of lettuce and tomatoes, life can seem, well, boring when it comes to your palate. Turn up the flavor dial with Bragg Sprinkle 24 Herbs and Spices: This organic seasoning mix can be used with fish, poultry, meat, veggies and even cottage cheese for an infusion of flavor.
- Frontier Culinary Spices Jamaican Ground Allspice is a versatile addition to your spice cabinet. Add a dash to chili to bring out the full flavor. Or, for those who love pumpkin pie but aren’t fond of the calories, try mixing ½ cup of plain canned pumpkin, such as Frontier’s Market Organic canned pumpkin, with a dash of allspice, two packets of stevia and ¼ cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt. Tastes like pumpkin mousse with none of the guilt!
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com,Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.