Skip the salt, not the flavor

herbs and spices_482x414According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, most Americans should consume less sodium. Most of the sodium we consume is in the form of salt, and the vast majority of sodium we consume is in processed and restaurant foods. Your body needs a small amount of sodium to work properly, but too much sodium is bad for your health.

For example, when you have high blood pressure, it’s important to limit your salt intake. That doesn’t mean you have to eat bland food, though. Herbs and spices—fresh or dried—can liven up almost any dish. Here are a few delicious pairings:

  • Basil. Team sweet basil with any Italian food, such as pasta with red sauce or lasagna. It’s versatile too. Try it with berries, peaches, apricots or other fruits.
  • Cinnamon. Add this sweet spice to whole-grain muffins, toast or pancakes. It matches well with meat dishes such as lamb or beef stew too.
  • Smoked paprika. Use this to add the smokiness of bacon to egg dishes. Paprika can also perk up tomato sauce or even a fruit salsa.
  • Thyme. This earthy herb blends well with bean dishes and roasted veggies.
  • Cumin. This spice adds a toasty flavor to Mexican food and fish, such as tilapia. Fish tacos, anyone?
  • Rosemary. Woody and lemony, rosemary complements roasted root veggies; oily fish; and roasted chicken, lamb or salmon.
  • Mint. This herb adds a sweet, cool taste to fruit cups, carrots, cucumbers and iced tea.
  • Parsley. Flat-leaf parsley is light and fresh, while its curly cousin is slightly peppery. Add either to egg dishes, seafood, salads and potatoes.
  • Curry powder. This blend of spices usually includes cumin, coriander and turmeric. Try it in Indian food (like lentil potato stew), eggs scrambled with veggies, or tuna salad with celery and low-fat yogurt.

Now that summer is around the corner, pull those herbs from your garden, the farmers market, or even your supermarket’s herb aisle and enjoy the flavor herbs bring to your food.

Source: American Heart Association




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Gabriel Padilla