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

“Just a note to let you know that you ROCK! You always pour yourself into [The] Webb [Schools] to make the dining experience the very best it can be. I’ve been hearing such positive things about the food quality this year – something I hope you feel really good about. And it is times like this with the Coronavirus that leaders truly emerge. You have been unbelievably accommodating in making last minute changes to how we serve, etc. and all else we do in the dining hall and I just want you to know how much I deeply appreciate your devotion to this special community. You are a key part of it – you model beautifully the very best of Webb. So thank you!!”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“The CulinArt team has been great to work with and has been super flexible. Having worked with other dining services at different institutions, having a dining team that is open to menu changes has been a great resource for our events. ”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“I wanted to take this moment to thank you and your staff for making the Athletic Celebration absolutely wonderful. I cannot say enough great things about the event. The food was outstanding and the service was fantastic. Thank you for your help from start to finish.”

“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.”

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“I just wanted to send a quick note acknowledging the wonderful food and service provided by our new vendor.  The food was delicious and the students consistently commented on how amazing everything was.  What a difference! In addition, the staff and management were so easy to deal with – very professional.  They were punctual, responsive and attentive to our needs.  Thank you again for making a positive change to the quality of life of our students.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

“What a night! You and your team rocked it and made us look like stars. Great working with you and know we will have more chances to work together on future events.”

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