Growing up in the Caribbean in the early ’70s, much of the flavor in foods and desserts came from herbs and spices. We either grew the herbs in our backyards or acquired it and the spices from the farmers’ market or local grocery store.
My father lived with diabetes, and my mother carried the gene for cardiovascular disease; hence our meals were usually devoid of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Spices not only added an aroma that stimulated the senses, but it was a great way to add bold flavors to food without the added calories of sugar, fat, and salt.
Cooking techniques are another method to enhance the flavor of foods. Grilling and broiling meats and vegetables are easy techniques to add flavor and create a healthier entrée. When paired with the right spices, fruits, and vegetables, these entrées will have your family coming back for more. Roasting, baking, sautéing meat or vegetables are other ways in which dry heat cooking produces complex flavors and aromas.
Spice and Herb Blends To bring life to your meals, experiment with herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, rosemary, basil, bay leaf, parsley, or try blending your own spices. Try mixing together lemon zest, black pepper, oregano, and thyme for your fish and meat rub. Use these spices or herbs dry or fresh. Explore salt-free blends, all-natural spices if store-bought spices are a better option for you.
A word of caution. It is said that too much of anything is “bad,” so try not to over spice your dishes. Remember to follow your doctor’s orders regarding your diet. You can eat healthy without sacrificing flavor.
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