A New Reason to Season

By / Food / March 11th, 2010 / Like

Nutritionists have long recommended spices and herbs as a way to add flavour without fat, salt or sugar making it easier to meet today’s dietary guidelines. But now studies suggest adding more spices and herbs to your diet may not only please your palate, it could enhance your health.

Botanically, spices and herbs are classified as fruits and vegetables. That’s why these plant-derived ingredients are naturally high in antioxidants. And, since they no longer contain the water that makes up a significant part of the weight of fresh produce, spices and herbs offer a big antioxidant punch in a very compact package. Spices and herbs also are rich in phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and other phenolics, which possess health-promoting properties beyond being great antioxidants.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy their taste and health benefits throughout the course of the day.

At breakfast

• Sprinkle Cinnamon on your bowl of oatmeal, yogurt, french toast or muffin batter.

• A dash of Thyme is a welcome addition to scrambled eggs or omelettes.

At lunch

• Stir dried Oregano Leaves or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes into favourite canned soups, chicken/tuna salads or vinaigrette dressings. Sprinkle them on pizza to get a delicious antioxidant boost.

• A sprinkling of Ground Ginger over sliced fresh fruit makes a refreshing dessert.

At dinner

• Wake up the flavours of favourite side dishes with Crushed Rosemary Leaves (a natural with mashed or roasted potatoes) or Curry Powder (perfect for rice dishes or couscous.)

Mango-Blueberry Cobbler

This luscious dessert, courtesy of McCormick Canada offers the comfort of a cobbler with the unexpected combination of mangoes and blueberries – and antioxidant powers – of cinnamon and ginger.

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Mango-Blueberry Filling:  
3 cups sliced peeled mangoes  
2 cups blueberries  
1 tablespoon lemon juice  
1/3 cup sugar  
2 teaspoons cornstarch  
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon   
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger   

Biscuit Topping:  
1/2 cup flour  
4 tablespoons sugar, divided  
1/2 teaspoon baking powder  
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger   
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided  
1/4 teaspoon baking soda  
Pinch salt  
1/3 cup buttermilk  

Mix mangoes, blueberries and lemon juice in large bowl.  Mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger in small bowl.  Sprinkle over fruit; toss to coat well.  Spoon into 11×7-inch baking dish sprayed with non stick cooking spray.  

Mix flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl.  Add buttermilk; mix well.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into 6 portions onto fruit mixture.  Mix remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.  Sprinkle over biscuits.  

BAKE in preheated 350°F oven 35 to 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and topping is browned.  Serve warm.  

Makes 6 (3/4-cup) servings.

Citrus Salmon with Orange Relish

Recipe adapted from McCormick Canada. Fresh oranges and ground ginger pair to make a bold and nutrient-packed accompaniment to salmon fillets. Serve this antioxidant-rich relish with any kind of fish, or with shrimp or scallops.

Prep Time:  20 minutes
Marinate:   1 to 2 hours
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Citrus Salmon:  
4 salmon fillets
1/4 cup orange juice  
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves, divided  
4 salmon fillets (about 1 pound)  
1 tablespoon brown sugar  
1 teaspoon paprika   
1/2 teaspoon salt  

Orange Relish:  
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel  
2 seedless oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces  
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper  
1 tablespoon honey  
1 tablespoon chopped red onion  
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley  
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Stir together all ingredients. Pour over salmon and let marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Discard marinade. Grill, pan fry or bake salmon until opaque, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Spoon over each salmon fillet.

Enjoy with a glass of Pouilly-Fumé from France’s Loire Valley.


Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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