Herbs and spices More than just color and flavor.

Get it! Herbs and spices have been grown and used since antiquity to preserve and flavor foods.
By: Emily
 
 
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March 31, 2009 - PRLog -- The ability of herbs and spices to delay food spoilage is due in large part to their rich content of antioxidants. The unique flavors associated with different herbs are provided by the aromatic ingredients of their essential oils and oleoresins while their pungency is due to their alkaloids. In addition, some herbs and spices such as paprika and turmetic, add a red or yellow color, respectively, to food. While freshly picked herbs add a rich and vigorous flavor to different foods, dried herbs usually smell and taste somewhat differently from their fresh counterparts.
With the current emphasis on eating more healthful diets that are low in fat and salt, people are turning to various herbs and spices to flavor their food. The culinary herbs and spices that are used to enhance the flavor of vegetables, soups, stir-frys, and pasta dishes can be derived from the bark, buds, flowers, leaves, fruit, seeds, rhizome, or roots of a plant.
However, how to keep herbs and spices good for your foods? It is not very difficult but not easy enough for you to ignore this. Therefore, spend some time on these following tips:
First of all, you had better store spices in a cool, dark place. Because humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor quickly. In spite of the fact that the most convenient place for your spice rack may be above your stove, moving your spices to a different location may keep them fresh longer. And please notice that the refrigerator is a rather humid environment, storing herbs anise seed instead of fennel.
Second, as a general rule, herbs and ground spices will retain their best flavors for a year. Whole spices may last for 3 to 5 years. Proper storage should result in longer freshness times.
Third, if possible, grind whole spices in a grinder or mortar and pestle just prior to using. Toasting whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat before griding will bring out even more flavor. Remember to be careful not to burn.
In conclusion, a large number of commonly used culinary herbs and spices have the potential for use in the treatment of elevated blood lipids and blood glucose, while some provide protection against cancer. Herbs and spices have been regarded as both a friend of physicians and the praise of cooks.

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