The thought of dieting can often feel like a chore to many people, as they have the misconception that dieting means eating boring, tasteless food. However, there are ways to add some stunning flavour to your dishes that’ll make a diet plan a doddle.
Spices are one of the best ways to make a dish really scrumptious, and the great news is that they won’t add on any extra fat – and they can also decrease the amount of salt, fat or sugar you’d otherwise add to the dish. For this reason, we’ve come up with 10 superb herbs and spices that’ll boost the flavour of a range of dishes.
Turmeric is commonly used in many Indian, Thai and Persian dishes as it offers a mild woody spice and is commonly used in savoury dishes. It’s recommended you use the spice in curries, soups or rice, vegetable, chicken or lentil dishes. Add some to your meal to create a culinary sensation that packs a flavoursome punch. It’s also a great way to add an intense colour to your dish.
Black pepper can make practically any savoury dish come alive. It can transform a boring old plate into a taste sensation – which is why it is one of the most commonly used spices across the world. Light but with a touch of heat, black pepper can be added to everything from sandwiches and salads to rice and beef to soups and pasta.
For those who like a little bit of heat, cayenne pepper is a must. It really can alter the taste of your food as it offers a delicious kick. However, don’t use too much unless you like your food really hot, as a little goes a long way.
Every home cook should have ginger in their spice rack or cupboard. It has a wonderful pungent yet spicy flavour that can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. Use it in Chinese or Japanese dishes or give your biscuits or drinks a touch of spice.
Most diets are full of potatoes and onions, and rosemary can therefore be a great accompaniment to their flavours. Sprinkle some onto your potatoes before cooking for a plate of food that you’ll remember for years to come. Rosemary is also a great herb for a variety of meats, including lamb and beef, and it’s thought that the antioxidant compound in the delicious herb can actually prevent meat from spoiling.
Are you looking for a spice that boosts up your fat burning and metabolism? Of course you are. Chile pepper is therefore a must as it adds a superb flavour to a range of dishes, and is best paired up with beef, ginger and beans. However, just like cayenne pepper, be careful how much you use as it can offer a mild to extra hot taste.
Cinnamon is the perfect way to add a touch of sweetness to a dish, and it has been proven to help type 2 diabetes sufferers as it can help control their blood sugar by reducing post-meal sugar cravings. So, add some to some fruit, nuts or maybe even a little bit of chocolate.
You either love or hate garlic. If you love it then you should definitely consider adding some more to your diet, as it can potentially prevent cardiovascular disease and can protect against gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer. It also makes a plate stand out from the crowd. Sprinkle in some sauces, add some to your bread or use in a salad dressing.
Italians are known for their long-life spans and delicious cooking, and basil is undoubtedly one of their favourite herbs – so you can trust it’s the perfect addition to a range of dishes. On top of bringing out the flavour of pasta, pesto, chicken or tomato, basil offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that’ll improve your health.
Cumin is the second most used herb in the world and is commonly used in Mexican and Spanish dishes. Not only does it offer a hot, unique flavour but it has antimicrobial properties and can help reduce flatulence. Use to season curry or to add some flavour Middle Eastern dishes.
Have you tried any of the above spices in your foods? Got a recipe or tip you’d like to share? Add it into the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you.