A diet that is high in salt is associated with high blood pressure and it may increase disease activity in people living with MS. However, when cutting back on salt, some people find that foods begin to taste bland. Once you have become accustomed to the taste of salt it is easy to miss the other flavors, even when they are there! Sodium is a flavor enhancer but often it can overpower all of the other flavors. Herbs are a great way to liven up your recipes and wake up your taste buds!
How To Season Your Food With Herbs
When used fresh, delicate green herbs like cilantro, dill, chives, parsley and basil add a burst of flavor to foods that their dried counterparts simply do not. When using fresh herbs, add them at the end of the cooking time or use as a garnish. Prolonged cooking time can decrease their flavor.
Some sturdier herbs like rosemary, oregano, bay leaf and thyme really shine when used dried. Dried herbs are best use during the cooking process so that the flavors can develop and consider a richness of flavor to the recipe.
Consider using both in a recipe. The dried herbs during cooking and then topped off with a sprinkle of the fresh at service to really punch up the flavor.
Substituting Fresh Herbs For Dried (or Vice Versa)
Dried herbs are more concentrated so a good rule of thumb for substituting is 1TBS of fresh = 1 tsp dried (or 1/3 of the amount of fresh).
Fresh herbs should be washed and refrigerated as you would any other leafy green vegetable. After washing, wrap loosely in a paper towel and store in a plastic bag until you are ready to use them. They will stay fresh in your refrigerator for 4-7 days depending on the herb.
Dried herbs have a longer “shelf life” than fresh but they do not last forever. When you open the jar and cannot smell them any longer they will no longer be contributing much taste to your recipe. Dried herbs should be stored in a tightly sealed jar, away from sunlight and replaced after 1 year or sooner if no longer fragrant.
Soaking Dried Herbs Can Develop Flavor
To develop the flavor of dried herbs, soak them for several minutes in a liquid that can or will be used in the recipe such as stock, oil, lemon juice or vinegar.
When using herbs in salad dressings, allow the flavor of the combination to develop by soaking for 15 minutes to an hour before use.
Eat better, feel better. Savor the taste of taste!