You know one of the keys to eating healthy is adding more add herbs and spice to your cooking (instead of fats and salt). But you’re afraid you’re going to waste most of that bunch of basil or head of garlic. We’ve got several solutions for you. Will these eliminate all fresh herbs from our kitchen? No. But when you’re in a pinch or in a hurry, these are great to have in the freezer or pantry.
Dorot’s Pre-Portioned Fresh Garlic and Herbs
Love garlic. Hate peeling it. Hate chopping it. That’s me. Then I tried Dorot’s Chopped Garlic Cubes and now garlic is easy to use. Purchase a package from the frozen vegetable section of your grocery store. Keep it in your freezer. Need garlic for a recipe? Pop out what you need. 1 cube = 1 clove and each tray holds 20 cubes of seasoning. They’re not just available in garlic. There’s basil, cilantro, parsley, chili or ginger. All those flavorings that if you kept them fresh, might spoil before you could use them. Know that each doesn’t taste exactly like your own fresh chopped garlic. For example, there’s oil and salt in the frozen garlic mixture, but for most uses, they work great. $2.99 per package. Available at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Winn Dixie. http://dorotgardens.com
Simply Beyond Spray-On Herbs and Vinegars
These innovative spray-on herbs are fun to use. Each can of herb spray has only two ingredients – herb essential oil and canola oil, both organic. You can spray before, during and after cooking. So we tried the garlic spray on avocado toast. And the basil spray on a pasta salad as we mixed it together. And the rosemary spray on chicken breasts before sauteing. All were “yum.” The sprays come in seven herb varieties – garlic, basil, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, thyme and lemongrass. There’s also spray-on vinegar in pomegranate or cranberry balsamic flavors which seem perfectly designed to spray on salads, and we went out on a limb and used them to add a little tart sweetness to that old-school cocktail, the Cosmopolitan. $10.99 per 3-ounce recyclable aluminum can. Price includes shipping and handling. Available at Amazon and http://simplybeyondfoods.com.
Not that many years ago we didn’t know salsa from mayonnaise. Now we’re stirring the spicy stuff into everything. This year’s “salsa” is harissa, the spicy North African condiment made with chili peppers, garlic, olive oil and herbs. Traditionally used in tagines and to flavor couscous, you’ll find it on local menus where chefs use it to add another layer of earthy spice to their dishes. Making your own involves soaking and toasting and using a mortar and pestle. Or you can use Mina Harissa, now widely available at local grocers. They offer a mild harissa and spicy red and green varieties. Stir it into your hummus or tzatziki. Add some to yogurt for a dip for vegetables. Use it to spice up your grilling sauce. $7 per 10-ounce jar. Available at Kroger, Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and Target or from http://casablancafoods.com.