9 Benefits of Cooking with Herbs and Spices

“Good cooking is an art, as well as a form of intense pleasure… A recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.” – Madame Jehane Benoit, chef

a mortar and pestle with fresh herbs1. The first and most obvious reason for cooking with herbs and spices is that they can transform your ordinary recipes into exciting culinary experiences. But there are even more good reasons to master the magic of cooking with herbs and spices.

2. They will stretch your budget. By using herbs and spices in your everyday cooking, you can turn cheap staple ingredients into tasty dishes.

3. They offer you variety and gastronomic delight for every individual in the family.

4. You can easily make your own connoisseur pantry products like herb oils, vinegars, and mustards, which make great gifts. You can even turn this into a part-time or full-time business venture.

5. It is always a pleasure to receive compliments for our culinary creations. Herbs and spices will certainly earn you compliments when entertaining friends and family. Used skilfully they really are the ‘cherry on the cake’ for all your dishes.

Then for the more health conscious amongst us, there are many more advantages:

6. Fresh herbs especially are wonderful sources of concentrated micro-nutrients, like antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. All of these are in an unadulterated natural form.

7. In these times of ‘instant’ vegetables – in tins and frozen packs – it is clear that herbs and spices can do much to improve the taste and nutritional value of our veggies.

8. Certain herbs and spices will stimulate your appetite and improve your digestion and general health and well-being.

9. They are vital in special diets such as low salt and low fat diets.

One can truly say that herbs and spices give your cooking that ‘something special’!

What do you regard as the most important benefit of cooking with herbs and spices?

This article is also available in Afrikaans.

Comments

  1. Claire Winson says:

    Since we became vegan we use a lot of fresh and dried herbs and spices. Firstly, because it adds flavour, secondly we can change the taste of the dish (spicy Indian to warrm Italian) without changing many ingredients, so our budget goes farther at the end of the month, and finally because there really is an amazing amount of vitamins and nutrients packed in – for example several dried herbs have 40-50mg of Calcium per tablespoon! As vegans we have to be wary of the vitamin and mineal intake, and herbs and spices help us reach our goal and stay healthy!!