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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spice It Up With Herbs

spices 200x136 Herbs and Spices Guide For Cooking

Herbs and spices are the perfect partner to fruits and vegetables for bringing out flavor. Chamomile, cayenne, cinnamon and hops all give different flavors to your carrots, or you can spread horseradish or mint spreads on bread for wildly different effects.

Even better, many herbs have doubled through the centuries as healing medications. Today, including certain herbs in your diet can make you feel better. Fresh herbs are best for flavor and for most medicinal purposes (and you can even grow your own in a kitchen or windowsill garden), but dried herbs will do as well. Herbs are primarily made of the whole plant – blossom, root, stem, and seed. Spices are similar, but tend to be stronger, aromatic, and tropical in origin. Spices are also great at preserving food as well as seasoning it.

Herbs are mild and used for more delicate flavors, but spices tend to be bold, even overpowering if used to excess. However, the two terms are often used interchangeably.

Herbs can be dried in the oven, if you don’t allow the temperature to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s setting the oven on Warm. Spread the herbs evenly on a cookie sheet, and keep the door of the oven ajar so that air can circulate. After the herbs have fully dried, keep them away from light, in a relatively cool place and in an airtight container, preferably glass or pottery.

In some way you have linked spices with successful cookery - and now you want to know more about them.

Part of the "mystery" of spices is the inexactness of knowledge about what they are. "Is garlic salt a spice?" "What's an herb?" The word "spice" is used generally to cover the waterfront of spices, seeds, herbs and the vegetable seasonings.


(The information below was reprinted with permission from the www.astaspice.orgwebsite!)