Cooking with Herbs

Herbs, dried or fresh, can lift a dish's taste from ordinary to special, and can help you stay away from extra salt, fat, and sugar!

Try with different herbs to find what you like the best.  Basil and oregano go well with tomato dishes; chives are delicious with potatoes; cinnamon makes apples and squash taste sweet without added sugar; dill can perk up cauliflower; ginger and nutmeg are great in desserts; parsley or an Italian herb blend works well in pasta dishes; rosemary goes best with stuffing; and sage is used most often with meats.  The blend of herbs in dried Italian seasoning can also be used in many dishes.

Here are some tips for using herbs when you cook and bake:

  • If you use fresh herbs, use three times as many as dried.
  • Store fresh herbs in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and plan to use them up within a few days.
  • You can buy herbs at grocery stores or local farmers' market, or you can grow them yourself in small pots.
  • Dice up and freeze extra fresh herbs if you can't use them all right away.
  • Store dried herbs in a cool, dry place.  Don't hold the whole container of dried herbs over a steaming pot of food -- the moisture will get into the container.  Instead, measure out what you need and add it from your measuring spoon.
  • Add great flavor without adding salt by using powdered garlic and onion instead of garlic salt and onion salt.
  • Try our Eat Smart Seasoning Mix that is sure to taste great on meat and veggies!
Did you know you can grow your own herbs from leftover herbs at the grocery store? Check out our previous blog on growing your own herbs inside.  

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall