Let's Add Some Flare!

What is a great way to add some flare or flavor to your cooking? If you started thinking about adding a spice or herb, you would be correct! Spices and herbs are an excellent way to add flavor to a dish, take you on a trip, or mix things up. Additionally, herbs and spices are great additions to dishes to help cut down on salt if you’re watching your salt intake. You can also get spices/ herbs in different forms from fresh, frozen, and dried.

However, spices and herbs can sometimes be a bit spendy, especially when a recipe calls for something that you will only use that one time. Then trying to decide what spices and herbs might be essential to keep on hand as staple items might feel overwhelming and expensive. This does not have to be the case, as many spices and herbs have substitutions that you could use with ingredients you already have in your home. Additionally, Purdue University Extension (2012), as part of their Family Nutrition Program, has identified some pantry staple seasoning that might be a start for those of you trying to decide what seasoning to keep on hand. These seasonings suggestions are listed below:

• Black pepper and salt

• Bouillon (whatever kind you prefer, vegetable, beef, chicken, etc.)

• Chili powder

• Cinnamon

• Garlic powder

• Italian seasoning

• Onion flacks

• Paprika

• Ginger

These are a few of the suggestions from Purdue University Extension. Additionally, many people have some other staple spices that they use all the time and are not a part of this list, such as taco seasoning, nutmeg, etc. Everyone’s choices of spices and herbs are unique to what they are comfortable with, what they used or saw other use while growing up, or the types of cuisines they are comfortable with. What is important is finding the types of spices and herbs you like to use and remember if you do not have something, there might be a substitution for that!

For more information about spice and herb substitutions, make your own mixes, and more, check out the Richland County Nutrition Coalition Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/1rcnc1, and the Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/1rcnc1 throughout June for more information.


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