Herbs – whether fresh or dried – are a wonderful way to take everyday cooking up a notch, especially if you’re trying to use less salt and added fats. Those fragrant leaves can intensify the flavor of so many dishes, and they’re nearly sodium– and calorie-free too! Oregano, for example, has just three calories per teaspoon, while basil has none, but both offer lots of flavor!
Store dried herbs in a cabinet or drawer to protect them from heat, moisture, and sunlight, all of which hasten spoilage. Before adding, rub dried herbs between your fingers to release their aromatic oils. Keep fresh herbs in the fridge; place stems in water and cover the leaves with a plastic bag. Change the water every other day or so.
Robust dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves hold up to about twenty minutes of heat, so you can add them early. Most other dried herbs have a more delicate flavor that can fade and so require shorter cooking times. Milder, delicate herbs like basil and cilantro taste best if you add after cooking. Dried herbs usually have a more concentrated flavor, so substitute one part dried herbs for three parts fresh. Here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE*, is the author of Diabetes Weight Loss Week by Week. Weisenberger is a paid contributor for The DX. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.
*“Certified Diabetes Educator” and “CDE” are certification marks owned and registered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). NCBDE is not affiliated in any way with Sanofi US. NCBDE does not sponsor or endorse any diabetes-related products or services.
© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience