August 29th is More Herbs, Less Salt Day! Eating less salt is a good idea for everyone regardless of age or overall health. Most Americans eat more processed foods than they should, which is the #1 culprit of adding unnecessary salt to our diet but reducing salt is easier when you add more flavor with fresh herbs!
If you DON’T have an herb garden, the good news is most grocery stores stock fresh herbs in the produce section. This time of year is perfect for fresh basil, parsley, and cilantro, but you can also find fresh rosemary, sage, dill, and others to add flavor to every meal! Here are some of the best ways to use some common herbs:
Parsley – This mellow herb gives a bright, grassy flavor that lets other flavors shine through. It mixes well with garlic and basil and is great to add as a finish to soups, pasta, and fish.
Sage – This strong, woody herb is delicious with mellow or sweet veggies like carrots and squash and is fantastic with poultry. It adds a classic flavor to soups and stews as well as stuffing and potato dishes.
Rosemary – This fragrant, spiny-leafed herb is most commonly used in Mediterranean cooking and is delicious with lamb and chicken. Infuse in your favorite olive oil and use as a dip for fresh, crusty bread, or roast cubed potatoes in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper for a tasty, classic potato dish.
Cilantro – Love Mexican food? Chances are you’ve eaten a lot of this herb. It’s great in fresh salsa, chopped and sprinkled in tacos and in quesadillas.
Basil – A classic Italian herb, basil comes in a few varieties such as Thai basil, lemon basil and regular. It’s delicious chopped and added to salads, marinara sauces or on pizza, and it is the main component in pesto.
Dill – This mellow herb isn’t just for pickles! Fresh dill is delicious with fish and in potato and mixed green salad. Stir into vegetable soups or homemade dip. While it’s not strong, it has a distinct, almost sweet flavor that complements proteins and vegetables alike. Here’s a great recipe for a Mediterranean Pasta Salad for something different that is also a bit healthier for a summer night or a Labor Day gathering.
Herbs add flavor to dishes that will satisfy without salt, and they have health benefits, too. Find out what the healthiest spices are here. Our recipe for Veggie Lover’s Lasagna is just packed with fresh basil, oregano, and parsley, and loaded with tasty fresh vegetables to give you a lot of flavor without too much salt. This tasty Spicy and Cool Pasta Salad will have you enjoying fresh cilantro and chives with the added punch of mango salsa!
Today, put down the salt shaker and try adding some fresh, healthy herbs to your meals! You’ll find you won’t miss the salt and enjoy the flavor more!