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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“Thank You for once again going above and beyond to ensure that our programs are a success. Your willingness to customize menus as well as provide your expert guidance to develop a well-rounded selection of offerings is what keeps us coming back! The food is always exceptional! Our programs would not be a success without the CulinArt team!”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“What a difference a top chef makes to student satisfaction and enjoyment of campus life!  At a recent boarding school conference, food was mentioned as a key retention method and it is really true. The comforts of home are found in good food and meals enjoyed with friends. We couldn’t be more pleased with the healthy and delicious daily options presented by our chef and his team. Frank even has a suggestion box, so he is always open to new ideas and he even offers cooking classes for our students!”

“I just wanted to give a huge compliment to the cook at Main Street. Today I had the Salmon Super Bowl and it was amazing!!!! Every day I go in there she always has something that looks too wonderful to pass up! Thank you for always having such a variety of food!”

“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.”

“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.”

“I hope you do the food service in heaven.”

“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.”

“I would like to thank you and your staff for helping to make our Annual Holiday Party a Great Success.  You did an Amazing job from the décor, the food and the service you provided! I have heard nothing but great comments. As always, I enjoyed working with you and your team.”

“The dinner I had tonight at Forman was not only the best meal I have had at Forman in the entire time I have been here, it was the best meal I can remember having anywhere in a long time. [It] was a restaurant quality meal, and it added to the enjoyment that the two young ladies serving me could not have been more charming. What an energizing way to finish a weekend eating a dinner like that.”

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