April Superfood: Herbs and Spices - CulinArt Group

Eat Well Blog

April Superfood: Herbs and Spices

It’s finally April and this month is all about herbs and spices – how to use them, their health benefits, and great flavors! So what is the difference between herbs and spices? Herbs are actually the leaves of the plant that are used in cooking, while spices are usually dried and come from any other part of the plant – bark, roots, berries, or seeds.

Similar to fruits and vegetables, each herb and spice offers their own nutritional health benefits. Many herbs and spices are great sources of antioxidants. In just ½ teaspoon, herbs and spices provide more antioxidants than ½ cup of blueberries. Check out these herbs and spices that are frequently used in recipes!

  • Turmeric contains a naturally occurring compound called curcumin. It helps to reduce inflammation and risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Look for this spice in Indian and Thai cuisines – you’ll notice it by its bright yellow color. Blend this spice into smoothies, soups, and hummus, or mix into grains and vegetables dishes for an extra nutritional boost.
  • Cinnamon can play a role in insulin activity and may help lower blood sugar levels. Use this spice to warm up any dish. Add this spice to sweet dishes like cookies, pies, hot chocolate, oatmeal, or granola. Or, kick up the flavor of savory dishes like chili, rubs for meat, or roasted vegetables.
  • Garlic can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. To maximize the health benefits and flavor, use fresh garlic! Use in sauces, stir fries, salad dressings, marinades…the cooking options for garlic are endless.
  • Oregano is typically used in Mediterranean, Mexican, and Italian dishes. It is rich in the phytochemicals thymol and rosmarinic acid, as well as, vitamin E. In addition to sprinkling on top of pizza, use oregano in pasta sauces, salad dressings, or scrambled eggs.
  • Ginger gets its spiciness from the compound capsaicin, which is also found in chili peppers. Ginger has been known to help with gastrointestinal problems like nausea and reduce inflammation. Use this spice in oatmeal, veggie sautés, soups, and of course, ginger bread cookies.

Keep in mind, this list contains just a few of the many herbs and spices with health benefits and great flavors! Some others to keep in your pantry: nutmeg, rosemary, basil, mint, cloves, cardamom, sage, cilantro, cumin, thyme, and much more! Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different spice mixtures and fresh herbs!

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  • April 2, 2018

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What our clients are saying

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“You know that I haven't been home (India) for a long time now.  I miss my mama, I miss the food, I miss the smells, I miss the people. Starting yesterday, I started to smell my mama's kitchen at Parker.  I KNEW something Indian was brewing; I could smell the garam masala!  Thank you for the delicious tofu curry.  It made my belly and soul happy.”

“I just wanted to touch base as another school year draws to end. I cannot thank you enough for how smoothly this year went. Chef Felix [Herrera] and his staff made it seamless in a year with lots of wrinkles.    ”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“We were totally impressed by the presentation and care in which these new team members were brought into the CulinArt family. So happy we made the decision to choose CulinArt Group.”

“Thanks so much for a great week of food here at SCH to start off 2021. Everything has been fantastic. The kids were loving the Chinese food and boxes today. The Moo Shu Pork was amazing. Great work!”

“This is EXACTLY the type of service and experience we had always envisioned for our patients at MSK Koch!  Thank you Chef Ryan for going out of your way for this patient and all patients and staff!”

“Thank you so very much for the AMAZING dinner you provided for the President, Dean and Jim & Marilyn Simons. They really enjoyed it!! It was perfectly thought out and delicious. Your expertise and impeccable presentation and taste were truly appreciated!”

“I wanted to recognize the individuals at the Valley Forge Site Café who have been supporting us throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I have been onsite at least a few days every week since June 2020 and I noticed that the team continued to provide quality and timely service for breakfast and lunch.  They effectively packaged the food to maintain CDC guidelines. Thank you!  ”

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