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Exotic Cooking with Herbs & Spices
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by: Cora Aenlle

Does food have to be bland and tasteless if it has less fat and sugar?

Not necessarily so! If you know how to use herbs and spices. They’re exotic, aromatic and full of flavor. The use of herbs and spices in cooking offers the chance to prepare exotic, gourmet dishes or cultural meals and a way to cut or save calories and fat in cooking.

Using herbs and spices can moderate dietary levels of fat, sugar and sodium. The calories in herbs and spices are far less than in breadings, batters, sauces and fried foods. Cost saving is realized by reducing the number of ingredients in preparation and/or by the possibility of dressing up inexpensive foods for a special meal.

The art of using herbs and spices is learning how much to add and how to combine flavors. Several guidelines suggest amount to use in developing recipes: use strong pungent spices such as red pepper in small amounts. More delicate seasoning can be used in greater amounts without ruining the final product. Although the herbs or spice should enhance and not overpower the flavor, cultural preferences will influence one’s decision.

Be creative. As you learn to cook with herbs and spices, be both a scientist and an artist. Start with several herbs and spices, learning to know the flavoring and how it complements different dishes. Look for new ideas by checking labels on spice packages and by collecting recipes on regional and other specialty dishes.

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June 24, 2017

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