University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Add Taste to "Healthy" Foods with Spices and Herbs

Compiled by (1995) Alice Henneman, M.S., R.D., Extension Educator 
Adapted from information provided by Iowa State University Cooperative Extension

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Cutting back on sugar, fat and salt can help your health. These three ingredients, however, function as an important source of flavor in foods. One way to add back taste is by using herbs and spices. Here are some suggestions for getting started with seasonings. If you're buying a spice or herb for the first time, you may wish to purchase a small container for starters. 

When adding herbs or spices, take a tip from professional recipe developers. Start with one teaspoon of a mild herb (dried) or spice (such as oregano, basil, cumin, or cinnamon) per six servings. Use only 1/4 teaspoon of a strong herb or spice (such as rosemary, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, mustard, allspice) per six servings.



GRAINS

Pasta: basil, oregano, parsley, pepper, poppy seed



MEAT

Beef: allspice, basil, bay leaf, caraway seed, chervil, chili powder, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, fennel, ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, pepper, rosemary, savory, tarragon 

Fish: basil, bay leaf, cayenne, celery seed, chervil, cumin, curry powder, dill, ginger, marjoram, mustard seed, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric 

Pork: allspice, basil, bay leaf, caraway
seed, chervil, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, ginger, marjoram, nutmeg, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme 

Poultry: basil, bay leaf, chervil, coriander, curry powder, dill, ginger, marjoram, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric



VEGETABLES

Asparagus: chives, marjoram, mustard seed, parsley, tarragon, thyme, turmeric 

Beans, lima: cumin, dill, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme 

Beans, snap: basil, caraway seed, chili powder, dill, marjoram, mustard seed, oregano, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme 

Broccoli: caraway seed, dill, mustard seed, oregano, tarragon 

Brussels sprouts: basil, caraway seed, dill, mustard seed, sage, thyme 

Cabbage: caraway seed, celery seed, cumin, dill, fennel, mustard seed, nutmeg,oregano, paprika, savory, tarragon, turmeric 

Carrots: allspice, anise, bay leaf, caraway seed, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, ginger, mace, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme 

Corn: chili powder, chives, oregano, parsley, sage, savory 

Peas: allspice, basil, chervil, chives, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, poppy seed, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme 

Potatoes, sweet: allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, nutmeg 

Potatoes, white: basil, bay leaf, caraway seed, celery seed, chives, dill, mustard seed, oregano, parsley, pepper, poppy seed, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme 

Squash, summer: chervil, marjoram, parsley, pepper, savory 

Squash, winter: allspice, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, mace, mustard seed, nutmeg, rosemary 

Tomatoes: basil, bay leaf, celery seed, chervil, chili powder, chives, curry powder, dill, oregano, parsley, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme



MISCELLANEOUS

Fruits: allspice, anise, basil, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, fennel, ginger, mace, mint, nutmeg, rosemary 

Soups and Stews: allspice, basil, bay leaf, caraway seed, cayenne, celery seed, chervil, chili powder, chives, cloves, coriander, curry powder, dill, ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, tarragon, thyme 


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