The Secret to Herbs and Spices

Herbs give your food that essential flavoring and taste. They are used across the globe for spiritual purposes and medicine, apart from cooking. Using the right herbs when cooking can accentuate just the right taste and take it from bland to flavorful, savory food. Research also shows that herbs contain antioxidants that protect you from cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.

Here is a list of some herbs that are a must-have in your kitchen:

– Basil
– Oregano
– Rosemary
– Bay leaves

Spices on the other hand are found in the tropics and sub-tropics. They come from berries, fruits, roots, bark and stems of varied plants. Their influence on the flavor of food is much stronger in the form of powder, while heat and moisture is vital to release its essential oils.

Spices that should be in your kitchen include:

– Cloves
– Allspice
– Paprika
– Cinnamon

Here are a few important tips to keep in mind when using herbs and spices in the kitchen:

– Herbs and spices should be stored in airtight containers, so that its maximum flavor is preserved.
– Over-powering flavors can result in cooking spices for too long.
– Crush herbs prior to adding to your cooking.
– Add herbs and spices an hour or so before you serve the dish prepared.
– Do not use more than three varieties of herbs and spices in one dish, unless the recipe insists you do.
– Experiment with herbs and spices you have in the kitchen – you will be amazed at what you come up with.

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submit on January 31st 2010 in Health

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