Herbs in the Kitchen
Anyone who has ever done any type of baking or cooking knows that the food just tastes better with seasoning. This can be as simple as adding salt and pepper, or complicated as using a blend of spices for the perfect taste.
What is surprising to some people is pepper is an herb. Pepper is a berry from the Piper Nigrum plant. Black and white pepper are made from the same plant.
The un-ripened berries are used for the black pepper while the red, ripe ones are used for the white pepper. Along with the natural herb, pepper, many other herbs are used to create culinary masterpieces. Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are common varieties of herbs used in the kitchen.
Sage, oregano, and basil are three more. As more and more plants were discovered for their pungent flavor, people started making extraordinary dishes.
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What would a roast beef sandwich be without horseradish?
Try making a good breakfast sausage when there is no sage around. Herb bread would just be bread if it were not for the flavorful little buggers.
One of the most beneficial attributes is that herbs have no calories, have no fatty acids, no cholesterol, and generally no bad things at all.
They just have a unique taste that wakes the taste buds in all of us. When using herbs in cooking, it is important to remember a little goes a long way. Too much can actually distract you from the natural flavor of the food. The entire concept of using herbs is to highlight the natural flavors.
Too much can overpower the food and result in a ruined meal. There is even an herb which adds the sweetness of sugar without all the calories. This is an herb called STEVIA.
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Although this herb cannot be sold as a sweetener for foods, it can be used in place of sugar. One leaf has enough sweetener in it to sweeten a glass of lemonade. You can use this herb in sauces or salad dressings instead of sugar to cut down on the calories.
Many of the meat marinades on the market get their flavoring from natural herbs. You can use dill with lemon for fish. Saffron in your rice is always a good choice. Putting rosemary on a pork roast or lamb results in a mouth watering treat.
With so many different herbs that this planet has, there is something for every dish you create. Having herbs in the kitchen is a wonderful experience for the novice cook to the master chef. With the right blend of herbs you can make meat rubs, soup and stew bases, or even a new flavor of coffee.