Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

spicesHappy Nutrition Month! This year’s theme for national nutrition month is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”. There are many ways to spice up your dishes, and that’s exactly what I am going to tell you how to do. Dealing with spices can get overwhelming. If you’ve ever walked down the spice aisle at the grocery store, you know what I am talking about; there are so many to choose from… and some you’ve never heard of! How do you know which spices to pick? Which spice tastes good with which foods? It takes a lot of practice to get the hang of spices and their flavors, so start out slow!

Reach for a bottle of garlic powder. This is a wonderful substitute for fresh garlic in recipes and is one of the most commonly used spices. Garlic powder is good to use when cooking vegetables, chicken, or pasta. Next, grab a bottle of shredded green leaves called basil. Basil goes together well with oregano (another green leafy spice), and is good with tomato sauces, chicken, soups, or on pizza. Oregano is also a great topper for fish. The next bottle to experiment with is rosemary. Rosemary has the appearance of small pine needles and has a lemony, bittersweet taste. It can be used in a wide variety of dishes such as soups, fish, dressings, and vegetables. Cinnamon is another great spice to use; it’s available in either stick or powder form and has a strong flavor and a very sweet smell. It’s a perfect addition to your morning toast, or even on baked apples for a sweet treat! The last spice to try is dill. Dill is a feathery green leaf with a soft and sweet taste. It’s a perfect addition to fish and salads. You can also combine it with plain yogurt and cut up cucumbers for nice light dip.

Not only are spices wonderful additions to meals to make them taste great, they also contain health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties, they can boost your immune system, and they have antioxidant benefits. These benefits are an added bonus for an extra healthy meal!

Most dried spices are also available fresh in the produce section of the grocery store. However, these tend to be a bit more expensive and don’t last as long as the bottles of dried spices. Dried spices usually last a couple of years, which is why they’re more commonly used. Whether you use fresh or dried spices is a personal preference. Some spices work better dry (such as oregano) because they keeps their flavor longer. On the flip side, some taste better fresh, including basil and dill. It’s all up to what you think tastes good, which supports the theme, “enjoy the taste of eating healthy!”