One of the biggest mistakes I find people making when they begin eating better is the tendency to eat boring, flavorless food. They think in order for the dish to be “healthful,” it should also be bland. To prevent this tasteless disaster from happening in your kitchen, jazz up your meals with fresh herbs and dried seasonings. Besides making food tastier and more exciting, they actually enhance digestion by stimulating our senses and promoting the production of digestive juices.
Unrefined non-iodized sea salt, freshly ground peppercorns, and both fresh and dried herbs like basil, bay leaves, dill, sage, rosemary, thyme, and oregano are good choices. Spices like cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, coriander, curry, and cayenne pepper can help jazz up meals. Spices, both whole and ground, do have a shelf life. Over time, spices lose potency and flavor, and then you are right back where you started eating lackluster food. Ugh!
Ideally, purchase spices whole and grind them yourself to extend their shelf life. If they have not been cracked or ground (exposing them to the air), they can last up to four years in an airtight container.
If you don’t have the time or desire to buy and grind your own whole spices, you can buy ground spices, which have a shorter shelf life, usually between two and three years. Spices should be stored in a cool, dry place and not directly above the stove in a spice rack. This is a common mistake many people make. The more heat and light the spices are exposed to the more they lose their pungency and aroma.
Dried herbs keep for less time than dried spices. Most dried herbs last between one and two years. You can test herbs by crushing them lightly in between your fingers or in the palm of your hand. If the herbs smell flavorful, they are still good. If they have no odor after crushing, toss them into the trash and send them back to the earth. Since dried herbs and spices can keep for such long periods of time, consider them long-term investments in creating flavorful food.
Here’s a delicious Spiced Sweet Potato Soup to help you make something sassy with your seasonings.
And, check out this fun Video with a special surprise guest to learn why Sweet Potato Soup is not only delicious, but good for your health too.
The above blog excerpted from Health is Wealth – Make a Delicious Investment In You!