Article posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi, June 4, 2012,
Plan ahead for a small rotation of fresh, healthy meals. That is my motto. It keeps me sane when things get hectic and keeps me from popping by the local sandwich shop too many times a week. But that small rotation, although delicious, can get a little boring. Herbs and spices to the rescue.
Adding herbs and spices to your meals can not only alter the flavor of your favorite meals, they are also a tremendous source of antioxidants that can rival even the most nutrient fruits and vegetables.
Here are my 5 Favorite herbs and spices to add to your meal planning rotation.
1. Cinnamon. This little spice can help lower cholesterol, and control blood sugar. When you are craving something sweet, try cinnamon as it can satisfy most sweet tooth moments.
Try This: ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp. of nut butter, 2 tsp. of cinnamon. Mix together and use as a dip for apples and bananas.
2. Garlic. Never enough of this I say ( I am Italian after all). Garlic contains properties that can help fight against the formation of cancer cells. Its amino acid formation makes garlic an overall immunity powerhouse.
Try This: Roast whole garlic cloves in the oven for 30 minutes at 425. Once soft, use the cloves to spread on whole grain bread for sandwiches. No need for butter or mayo when you have garlic around.
3. Ginger. Not only does it aid in digestion, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the pain of arthritis and other muscle pains.
Try This: Add fresh minced ginger to roasted vegetables. Use it as a topper to baked sweet potatoes and garnish any fish dish with fresh ginger.
4. Cilantro( coriander). No salsa is complete without it. Rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber, this herb can help lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good in your body.
Try This. Blend Cilantro with some garlic, olive oil and pie nuts for a delicious, cleansing pesto. Toss the leaves in a salad or use as a garnish to fish or chicken.
5. Turmeric. Contains antioxidants that calm inflammation, easing conditions of arthritis and allergies. It as also been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. That is one powerful spice!.
Try This: Mix ½ tsp. of turmeric with 3 Tbsps. of pine nuts, 3 Tbsps. of olive oil, 2 large finely chopped onions and 3 Tbsps. of raisins. Mix with 2 cups of rice and bring to a boil. Simmer until liquid is absorbed.
This is a great time of year to experiment with herbs and spices as they are easy to grow and you can enjoy them fresh from your garden. It is a simple way to change up your everyday meals, not to mention adding body boosting properties to keep you in tiptop shape this summer.
Posted by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
Ph: 503 621 7549