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Posted on: April 6th, 2022

by Isha Soto, MS, RDN, LD

Do you ever get bored of the food you cook at home? 

Well, this month we want to encourage you to experiment with different flavors in your cooking. For National Nutrition Month this year, we are celebrating a world of flavors!

Use Less Salt with Other Herbs & Spices

That’s right! This month we challenge you to try a meal with a new spice or herb. Herbs, whether fresh or dried, are a great way to add flavor to your meals. If you find it hard or expensive to find fresh herbs at your local grocery store, consider growing them at home! Here are a few herbs and spices I recommend you try!

 

Bay Leaf

Bay leaf photo. Bay leaves in a bowl.Dry bay leaves are inexpensive, and their taste can be described as ‘woodsy’, similar to oregano and thyme. They are great in meat marinades and in the cooking process of sauces, stews, and vegetables. However, you will want to use them at the beginning of cooking to let the flavor draw out and remove them before serving. 

 

Bay Leaf Nutritional Benefits

  • Supports your immune system 
  • Antioxidants
  • Can help an upset stomach

Click here for more information from the National Library of Medicine.

 

Rosemary

Photo of rosemary.Not only is it a great name, but the flavor has been described as both lemon and pine. Consider using rosemary when sautéing meat, baking fish, or letting it stew in tomato sauces, potatoes, soups, vegetables, and dressings.

 

Rosemary Nutritional Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Memory boosting
  • Relieves anxiety/stress

Click here for more information from the National Library of Medicine.

 

Sage

Photo of sage leaves.Sage has a bold, earthy taste. It has been described as slightly peppery and minty. It is recommended to use a small amount due to its strong flavor. Sage works well with root vegetables and meats like pork, beef, and sausage.

 

Sage Nutritional Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Supports your immune system (full of antioxidants)

 

Cinnamon

Photo of cinnamon sticks over ground cinnamon.If you thought cinnamon was just for pastries, think again! Cinnamon is a great addition to yogurt, fruit, stews, chilis, or as a meat rub.

 

Cinnamon Nutritional Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Heart health

Click here for more information from the National Library of Medicine.

 

Smoked Paprika

Photo of ground paprika on a spoon.Although there are different versions of paprika (sweet, hot, and smoked), smoked paprika is by far my favorite spice to cook roasted vegetables! This spice is made using smoke-dried peppers; it adds a mild smoky flavor profile. It also pairs well with sauces, stews, and as a rub on grilled meats.

 

Smoked Paprika Nutritional Benefits

  • Antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory

 

Oregano

Photo of oregano leaves and ground oregano.There are two types of oregano; there is regular oregano, an Italian and Mediterranean spice with minty undertones, and Mexican oregano, with a peppery lemon flavor. They both are inexpensive and have a bold earthy flavor. 

Try using regular oregano in pizza, grilled shrimp, roasted chicken, or roasted vegetables. Mexican oregano would best be paired with chili, salsas, stews, and tacos.

 

Oregano Nutritional Benefits

  • Antioxidants
  • Antimicrobial properties

Click here for more information from the National Library of Medicine.

 

Celebrate National Nutrition Month with Flavor

Every bite of food should be filled with flavor, even healthy foods! Let us know how you celebrate a world of flavors at home!

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