Spice it up!

Spice it up!

Herbs and spices are easily overlooked when we think about nutrition. The great news is that herbs and spices are little nutrition powerhouses and are an easy way to boost the flavour of your meals.


Herbs and spices – the back story
Herbs were traditionally cultivated for their healing properties and used as natural preservatives for foods and drinks. The use of herbs to flavour food is relatively new. Spices were used in medieval times to disguise food that may have spoiled and also for their unique flavour.

Three reasons you should eat more herbs and spices

  1. Health benefits of herbs.
    Herbs contain many vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin C, iron and folate. Herbs are generally very high in antioxidants, with some herbs containing up to 1000 times the antioxidant content of fruits and vegetable.
  2. Health benefits of spices.
    Spices are a richer source of polyphenolic compounds, which act as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents, than the much-researched red wine, tea and cocoa.
  3. Help decrease your salt intake.
    Use herbs and spices liberally in cooking to give flavour without the need to add salt. Try these famous food and herb/spice partnerships tonight: tomatoes and basil, salmon and dill, apple and cinnamon; and pumpkin and cumin.
Fresh vs Dried

Fresh herbs straight from the garden are lovely but the good news is that dried herbs actually contain a more concentrated level of antioxidants due to the absence of water. Dried herbs also have a longer shelf life (but remember that they don’t last forever) and therefore can be a more cost-effective option than purchasing fresh herbs.

This goes with that flavour table

Choose one or more of the ingredients to rub, sprinkle, stir-fry or add to your favourite dishes.

DISH

FLAVOUR IDEAS

Beef

Garlic

Rosemary

Sage

Thyme

Ginger

Mustard

Paprika

Pork

Onion

Black pepper

Apple

Applesauce

Thyme

Sage

Oregano

Garlic

Rosemary

Lamb

Turmeric

Cumin

Rosemary

Garlic

Black pepper

Oregano

Poultry

Lemon

Tarragon

Basil

Paprika

Shallots

Thyme

Garlic

 

Fish

Lemon

Ginger

Black pepper

Basil

Chives

Green onions

Parsley

Fennel

Legumes

Black pepper

Thyme

Cloves

Onion

Chives

Parsley

Pasta

Oregano

Thyme

Marjoram

Basil

Parsley

Mint

Lemon juice

Olive oil

Cooked vegetables

Thyme

Parsley

Oregano

Black pepper

Garlic

Ginger

Salad vegetables

Extra virgin olive oil

Red wine vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Lemon juice

Mint

Basil

Coriander

Chives

 

Click here to download this fact sheet as a PDF