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Spotlight on Herbs

Judy E. Buss

The joys and benefits of herbs are being rediscovered all around the country. They offer a vast array of culinary, medicinal, and beauty rewards. Their leaves, oils, stems, roots, flowers, and seeds are all utilized.

Herbs are brimming with nutrients and are a source of fabulous flavors. They can transform a mundane meal into a healthy and memorable event bursting with flavor! The U.S. Constitution does not mandate that healthy fare should taste bland!

It is easy to get into a rut when cooking, a fact which can encourage reaching for highly processed and unhealthy “convenience” food, (a.k.a “weapons of health destruction…”). However, with a few new tips and the willingness to try different ingredient combinations, you can breathe new life and excitement into your daily cuisine. In addition, by using more herbs to flavor food, less fat and salt are used – which also contributes to disease prevention strategy.

Because fresh herbs have a less intense flavor than dried ones, their quantity, therefore, should be increased by one third if they are being used. In some recipes fresh herbs are specifically called for and can be easily found in grocery store produce departments, if not in your garden. Dried herbs tend to lose some of their flavor and aroma after a year – CPR will not work! Keep them away from steaming food; measure the herbs at your counter, then transport the measured amount into the saucepan on the stove. When dried herbs are used they should be added in the beginning of the cooking process. Fresh herbs are added at the end. There is no need to restrict a recipe to one particular herb; a combination of two or more presents numerous new delicious and creative possibilities. Fresh or dried herbs can also enliven a sandwich!

Embark on a whole new level of health-promoting deliciousness and remember: a healthy diet impoverishes the doctor!

 Poached Fish

7 oz. fish fillet per person
Dried tarragon
Salt and pepper

Rinse fish thoroughly and place in skillet, skin-side down. Wash hands. Add water to ¼ inch deep. (Fish should not be covered with water!) Sprinkle tarragon liberally, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook gently for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the fish’s thickness. Cook until fork-tender at its thickest part. Drain.

“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipes from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes

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