Getting healthy? Itís time to spice up your life!
Thursday, 13 September 2012
Do you love the taste of a home cooked meal prepared from scratch? Cooking your own meals can taste different without the extra ingredients and additives which readymade meals contain, however there’s a quick and easy way to add flavour to any dish you prepare – add herbs and spices.
Schwartz have spices to complement any dish, whether you’re making chilli con carne or you’re following this moussaka recipe, their range of herbs and spices, seasonings, blends and classic sauces all mean that you can choose from a variety of different flavourings to bring your food to life.
While cooking from scratch can be a healthy and delicious alternative to ordering takeaway food, many foods which sound healthy and can easily be prepared at home may actually be bad for you – for example, recently there have been a lot of health warnings over the use of excess salt in readymade pasta sauces.
Government health advisors have warned that a diet high in salt can raise blood pressure which increases the risk of strokes and even heart disease. Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH) wants to see a reduction of salt in processed foods as the group’s research revealed that there are inconsistencies in labelling and portion sizes of sauces. “We urge manufacturers to reduce their salt content and improve their labelling immediately,” says Katharine Jenner, CASH nutritionist, in this BBC news article.
If you need to stick to a low-sodium diet for health reasons, but still want to enjoy a tasty pasta dish, it’s a better idea to use chopped tomatoes as a sauce for the pasta and add in herbs such as basil and oregano to flavour. Schwartz has an excellent range of range of garlic and herbs for making all of your favourite pasta dishes such as Spaghetti Bolognese, lasagne or seafood linguini.
Top tips for reducing salt
Herbs and spices are fantastic alternatives to using salt in your cooking, but sometimes a recipe requires it. If you have to use it, add sparingly, as too much salt can drown out the flavour of the food and usually a pinch or two of salt is usually enough to enhance a whole dish. If, for example, you’re making pasta, it’s best to add salt to the boiling water rather than after cooking, as this keeps the salt to a minimum while still giving enough flavour to the pasta as it cooks.
A great tip for increasing flavour in vegetables as they simmer is to use rosemary, garlic or chillies when cooking with olive oil. If you’re cooking with meat and want to bring out a barbecue flavour, you can do this by rubbing the meat with a herb rub before cooking. Schwartz has an excellent range of BBQ marinades including Smokey Texan, Cajun, Deep South Brown Sugar and Mojito Lime marinade mix which are delicious when rubbed onto steak, pork or chicken dishes.
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