Why herbs & spices?
One of my recent meal prep classes focused on using herbs and spices to flavor up vegetables. I love cooking various vegetable dishes. I love it even more when I not only see people eating their veggies, but also LOVING their veggies.
Much of our medicine, historically, came from herbs and spices, before the days of big pharma. Herbs and spices often carry higher concentrations of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other micronutrients that help to fight inflammation, ease gastrointestinal distress, soothe skin, control blood sugar, lower blood lipids, strengthen the immune system, delay Alzheimer’s, and kill bacteria, among other things.
It’s a good idea to start thinking of ways to incorporate these foods into your everyday meals, if you aren’t already.
Spicing things up…a guide to adding flavor-
alt & pepper, easy. Onion and garlic, got it. But what about all these other herbs and spices? There are so many. Which go together? Am I using enough?
I hear you. I still have to look up what spices go together in different cuisines. I am a self-taught cook from South Louisiana. I knew, “Slap Ya Mama” (that’s a spice mix, for you non-Southerners), and file’. If you are just starting out, start simple. Using any herb or spice is better than none.
Following are a few blends based on cuisine. I included just a sampling of herbs and spices for each cuisine, so as not to overwhelm. Don’t feel tied down to only those spices, and you don’t have to use all of them. Feel free to experiment!
Cajun cuisine: cayenne, paprika, garlic, black pepper, oregano, thyme, bay leaf
Mexican cuisine: Chili powder, cilantro, coriander, cumin, garlic, lime, onion
Italian cuisine: Basil, fennel seed, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, red pepper, onion
Mediterranean cuisine: Dill, garlic, lemon, oregano, cardamom, sumac, cumin, thyme,
French cuisine: chervil, chives, herbs de provence, garlic, onion, oregano, rosemary, thyme
I’d love to hear about your favorite spice mix/spice uses in the comments below!