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Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!

What is the main reason people choose the foods they do? Are you thinking about nutrition, food safety or cost? All of these play a role, but "taste" or "flavor" is the top reason.
Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!

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Flavorful food can be healthful, budget friendly and, of course, safe to consume. During March, which is National Nutritional Month, add extra flavor with herbs and spices when you cook. When you use spices and herbs, you can leave out the salt to cut the sodium.

Herb or Spice: What's the Difference?

Herbs are leaves from low-growing shrubs. Herbs includes parsley, thyme, basil, dill, rosemary and sage. Spices are from plant material other than leaves. Spices may be from bark (cinnamon), buds (cloves), roots (ginger, onion, garlic) and seeds (mustard).

Send Your Taste Buds on an Adventure

Most cookbooks have lots of ways to use spices. If you are not sure where to use the herbs or spices in your cupboard, try a sprinkle to add flavor to veggies:

  • Basil: tomatoes
  • Curry powder: cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
  • Dill: green beans, peas
  • For more ideas, visit and search for recipes by spice.

How to Substitute

Use this general rule when substituting dried herbs for fresh:

1/2 teaspoon dried herbs = 1/4 teaspoon ground herbs = 2 to 3 teaspoons freshly minced herbs

Enhance Natural Sweetness

You can enhance naturally sweet-flavor foods such as fruit by adding cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg. Try a sprinkle of one or more of these spices on baked apples or a mixed fruit salad.

Keep the Flavor

Store spices in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place. Keep them away from heat sources such as a dishwasher or stove.


"Savor the Flavor of Eating Right" is the 2016 theme of National Nutrition Month sponsored by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise March 2016 newsletter (PDF)

Filed under: nutrition, food preparation
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