Cooking tips for the caring cook.
Herbs: SO Much More Than Flavor!
Herbs are a fantastic addition to recipes for flavoring, but they provide any number of health benefits, as well. So stock up on fresh herbs and spices and you'll "healthy-up" as well!
Regional Spice Selections
- Chinese: Ginger, star anise, chili flakes, sesame seeds, five-spice powder
- Thai: Lemongrass, ginger, basil, cilantro, mint, kaffir lime leaves
- Italy: Basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano
- Mexico: Cilantro, chili powder, oregano, cumin, cinnamon
Using Herbs in Your Cooking
- Fresh herbs give a dish pizzazz that dried herbs cannot always match. When buying freshly cut herbs, choose those that have a clean, fresh fragrance and bright color; avoid herbs that show signs of wilting or browning around the edges. Alternatively, consider buying herb plants or growing your own from seeds. Then just cut the amount you need and keep the remainder as a windowsill or tabletop decoration.
- When using fresh herbs in a recipe, use 3 times as much as you would use of a dried herb.
- Wash herbs when you are ready to use them. Wash smaller amounts of herbs thoroughly under running water. Shake off moisture or spin dry in a salad spinner. Pat off any remaining moisture with clean paper towels.
- Fresh herbs can be stored in an open or a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer for a few days. If you don't have access to commercial perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a regular plastic bag.