Herbs and Spices in Cooking - A guide to understanding the basics

Photo Credit: Instructables

Food ideas are always better when they are properly seasoned. You'll enjoy cooking a lot more once you have mastered the herb and the spice basics. The food ideas will taste better, smell better, and impress your friends and family. When it comes to seasoning food ideas there are few tips that you can follow that will help to ensure cooking success. You'll want to take a look at the Instructables site for the full list of how to use herbs and spices. The following are just some of the fresh herbs and spices ideas you'll find on the list.

Herb basics. Most herbs can be found either dried or fresh and can be used either way in your food ideas and recipes. Herbs are considered to be the leaves and the greener parts of the plant. The seeds, the bark, roots, and more are normally considered to be spices. Some plants have both. Fresh herbs are great in your food ideas as garnishes, and they provide bold flavor in recipes. Fresh herbs have great aromatic qualities and work well for roasting recipes and sauteing food ideas, or for chopping and mixing into food ideas such as mashed potatoes. To store fresh herbs, you can put them in the fridge in a Ziploc bag with a slightly damp paper towel that is wrapped around the stems. Parsley, basil, and cilantro, fresh herbs will stay nice and fresh with this method. Dried herbs are best when they are used with oil, butter, fat or water as this way they can infuse the oil or the cooking liquid. You want to make sure to crush the dried herbs with your fingers or to saute them a bit to help wake them up. Crushing a bunch of dried herbs in a mortar and pestle also works well. Most dried herbs lose a significant amount of intense flavor when dried especially herbs such as basil, oregano and sage. Rosemary and thyme are dried herbs that hold up a little better.

Spice basics. Spices are almost always used in their dried form. Spices can be found whole to include peppercorn, various seeds and roots, nutmeg, strips of cinnamon bark, or ground. Spices are more varied in flavor than fresh herbs and tend to pack a bigger punch when used in food ideas and recipes. When storing both spices and dried herbs in your pantry, it is best to keep them away from air, sunlight and heat. Spices will last longer that way. Basil can be found both as both fresh herbs and dried. There are many varieties of basil, as well, though sweet basil seems to be the most popular and common. Sweet basil has a slightly sweet, bold flavor that has bit of a peppery bite. Sometimes sweet basil can be almost minty. The best way to keep fresh herbs is to wrap the bottoms of the stems in a slightly damp paper towel and throw the whole thing in a Ziploc bag. Many other people freeze fresh herbs, and this can be done in an ice cube tray. Ginger. Ginger can be found either fresh in root form or ground and dried in the spice aisle of your grocery store. You can buy ginger grated or minced in little jars. Ginger can also be pickled and dried. Ginger is very versatile. Ginger is hot, sweet and lemony.

You will find these tips on fresh herbs, herbs and spices on the Instructables site. On the site, you will find food ideas, recipes, 3D printing, electronics, sewing, food ideas, craft ideas and so much more. **

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