Preparing food can quickly feel repetitive, especially if you are trying to keep certain parameters. Keep it interesting by spicing up your foods (pun totally intended) with these spices and flavors. They are mostly calorie free, except for lemon and garlic, but they provide an insignificant amount of calories in these situations.
Salt is one of the most fascinating minerals in existence. It is necessary for human survival, as sodium plays a vital role in nerve conduction and fluid regulation. There is a right amount though; not too little, not too much.
The American Heart Association recommends 1500mg of sodium or less, with an upper limit of 2300mg. While people in extremely hot, sweat inducing conditions such as firefighters or athletes in hot climates need more, most people only need 500mg or less. Read here for more. See your doctor for specific recommendations.
Salt has been used as a preservative, a currency, and a flavor enhancer. There are many different varieties of flavor and texture of salt, so break your routine and try a new salt. I am now trying the Murray River Salt Flakes, a product of Australian aquifers.
Black pepper adds an extra little kick to any savory dish. It also adds a finished, seasoned look to a dish.
Lemons are extremely versatile in cooking and baking, as a lemon squeeze adds zing to any flavor. Lemons can be used in baked sweets like pastries and pies, or squeezed over savory dishes like salmon, vegetables, or my favorite, boiled crawfish.
Bay leaves are used to season savory dishes like stews and gumbos. The leaves are typically not eaten, but add flavor during the cooking process.
Garlic is an extremely pungent relative of the onion. It is low in calories but big on flavor. And, a little bit goes a long way!
You could try a different seasoning every day of your life and not run out, with so many talented chefs and cooks sharing their creations. My favorite new find is Nolan Ryan’s Signature BBQ seasoning, found at his storefront Goodstock, in Round Rock, Texas.
Try some of these spices on one of your regular dishes to change up the flavor. Better yet, try an unexpected combo of flavors and see how it turns out. Let me know what you create!