There are many fresh foods that are delicious enough on their own, but when it comes to modifying recipes to lighten them up, it’s important to understand how to retain flavor when reducing fat, sugar or sodium.
Adding spices, herbs or other flavorings such as lemon or lime juice are great ways to accomplish this. Some recipes utilize aromatic vegetables such as garlic, onions or celery while others will add herbs and spices to season up the dish. Here are 3 tips for storing and using spices.
- Dry vs. Fresh: Dried herbs do not always taste like their fresh counterparts, so sometimes they are not always interchangeable in a recipe. Substituting one part dry herb for three parts fresh will work in a pinch.
- Shelf Life: Dry herbs and spices have a shelf life, and most should not be kept for more than a few years, especially if they have been opened. Store your dried herbs and spices in airtight containers in a cool, dark place like your cupboard or pantry – not your counter.
- Seasoning: It’s much better to under-season and add more spices than over-season. Taste and season your recipe throughout the cooking process.
Pre-made blends can be nice to have on hand, but check the ingredient label, as you will want to avoid the blends that are filled with sodium. Some recipes may call for specific herbs and spices but the list below is a great place to start outfitting your spice rack. You can also grow your own herbs with a seed kit. It’s easy to do and kids will have fun watching them grow.