Spicing Up the Dinner Table

 Spices have flavor and health benefits!

Spices have flavor and health benefits!

Spices are fascinating, tasty additions to the family diet – yet they are still elusive to so many families.  They tend to be intimidating (especially the pepper family), and someone who hasn’t learned to cook formally may not have any practical knowledge of how to use spices appropriately.  So, this post is meant to be a short and easy crash course in the spice world!  Here are some common flavorings, and the ways they can be used to “spice up” your family meals:

  • Bay leaves – This slightly bitter yet aromatic herb  contains many strong oils and is widely used in soups, stews, pot roasts, as well as with most meats.  Bay leaf has been used medicinally over the years to treat high blood sugar, migraine headaches, bacterial infections, and ulcers.  It is a strong herb, and shouldn’t be overused, since its qualities are potent.
  • Basil – Aromatic, but not too strong, basil is a gentle, delicious addition to many dishes such as vegetable medleys, soups, pastas, and meats.  Easy to grow anywhere, this herb is commonly found all over, and is used in pestos and sauces.  Like many of its herb cousins, basil is a digestive aid, so it adds more than just sweet flavor to food.

The spices listed are just a few of the most commonly used, but provides a great starting point.  Adding more than just flavor, these herbs and spices will assist digestion and enrich bodily functions.  They’ll give great benefits to the dinner plate, with very little effort and cost!