This episode is all about simple ways to add flavor to your meals with herbs and spices. We share our favorite herb-food combos, fresh versus dried herb tips, health benefits of spices and more.
To start, as a general rule, whole spices will stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for about 2 to 3 years and dried herbs for 1 to 3 years. Spices and herbs never really spoil if kept in a cool, dark place, but will lose potency. To test whether a spice or herb is still potent enough to add flavor, rub or crush a small amount in your hand, then taste and smell it — if the aroma is weak and the flavor is not obvious, the herb or spice should be replaced.
Spices like turmeric and cinnamon have health benefits along with great taste and adding a pop of color to dishes. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding a teaspoon into scrambled eggs, soups and chili, or barbecue sauce. Cinnamon may help improve my blood sugars slightly. Add cinnamon to oatmeal healthy baked goods, unsweetened applesauce, or a banana smoothie.
Some of our favorite combos are: tomato and basil with balsamic vinegar, fresh dill for baked fish or in cucumber salad, fresh mint in tea with lemon, rosemary, garlic and sea salt on potatoes, basil with your favorite spaghetti sauce and cilantro in guacamole or black bean salad.
To buy dried herbs and spices in bulk, check stores like Penzy's, Fresh Thyme and Whole Foods.
Listen to the full episode here to learn more about substituting dry and fresh herbs, keeping fresh herbs and drying your homegrown herbs.