Introduction to about aromatic herbs, spices and other natural flavorings and condiments. Always natural cooking, using natural ingredients.
Herbs, spices, condiments & flavorings
You will find definitions of all herbs and spices used in the kitchens of international home cooks and easy recipes -with step by step procedures- showing how to use them. Wherever possible, pictures of herbs and spices have been included.
Aromatic and Healthy
Using aromatic herbs and spices not only means new interesting flavors, but also taking advantage of their many good qualities to prepare healthier meals.
Good for digestion - Herbs and spices are rich in essential oils and other phyto chemicals that facilitate digestion of food. Some of them prevent unpleasant fermentations.
"Kill" dangerous bacteria - Most herbs and spices have a strong antiseptic, disinfectant and anti bacterial action. Not only inside of our organism, but directly over food as well, as it is in the case of marinades. Spices help to preserve cooked food, a blessing in hot climates before refrigerators existed.
Less salt and fat - Thanks to the intense flavor herbs and spices impart, there is no need to add so much salt and you can use cooking techniques that require less fat, like broiling or baking food wrapped in foil or an oven bag.
A natural pharmacy - From the beginning, herbs and spices were used for their health-enhancing qualities, as much as for their flavor. Many herbs are attributed therapeutic properties and they can help to prevent several medical conditions.
Life giving nutrients - Although only small quantities of herbs and spices are used at a time -ranging from a pinch to a few tablespoons- they add useful vitamins, mainly A and C, minerals and other interesting phyto chemicals: essential oils, carotenoids, flavonoids and antocyanyns.
Natural herbs and spices
We add herbs, spices and condiments to our food primarily for the flavor they impart. They add an extra something that changes dull food into interesting, mouth-watering dishes. Herbs, spices and condiments are all important in our daily enjoyment of food. The gourmet in of us requires gourmet herbs and spices.
Herbs, spices and flavorings give an incomparable aroma to simple meals, transforming common dishes into something special. Once one have mastered how to use them in their time-honored, traditional way, any creative cook can become innovative. Spices are incredibly versatile.
Usually, only small quantities of any herb are used at a time --ranging from a pinch to a few tablespoons, depending on the recipe. How much to use is a matter of personal preference. Try adding a little more, or a little less, than the recipe indicates and see if this way it is more to your taste. Experiment by combinning your favorite flavors with different foods. Create your own mixes.