Forget Mrs. Dash and Emeril's Essences!
Learn how to make your own BAM with these 5 herb and spice recipes, courtesy of The Natural Gourmet:
Fresh Curry Blend: This green curry paste works great as a marinade (with some added oil) for meat, tofu, tempeh or veggies. You can also use it as a base for curries, soups, sauces, or stir-fries. Hot and spicy herbs can help cut fat and stimulate digestive juices, so bring on the fire!
3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dry mustard
(Note: stores in fridge, 4 to 6 weeks)
Pickling Spice: You can use this spice blend to give a pickle flavor to virtually any vegetable. Great with Kirby cucumbers, okra carrots, zucchini, and eggplant, just to name a few. Check out this post "How To Make Pickles" on eHow and get pickling!
Add 1 tablespoon of each of the following:
Yellow mustard seeds
Hot red pepper flakes
Crushed mace (or a pinch of grated nutmeg)
2-inch cinnamon stick
2 crumbled bay leaves
1 teaspoon cloves
2 tablespoons ground ginger
Five Spice Powder: This spice mixture gives off a wonderful, sweet-and-spicy aroma and licorice flavor from the anise. Delicious in poaching liquid for pears, apples and plums.
Cassia or cinnamon
Fagara (also known as Szechwan Pepper)
(Note: Used in Asian cooking. Helps dispel gas, relieve motion sickness, and nausea)
Dried Bouquet Garni: Wonderful in long-simmering recipes, including soups and sauces, with roasts, and to flavor vinegars. Also, great combined with garlic and olive oil. (Note: the shelf life of dried herbs is 6 to 9 months; store in a cool, dark place)
1 teaspoon of parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon of thyme
Wrap the parsley, bay leaf and thyme in cheese cheesecloth and tie with natural cooking twine:
Herbes de Provence: Great aromatic herb bundle with Mediterranean cooking, including soups, stews, stuffing, eggplant and lamb dishes.
2 to 3 parts thyme
1 part oregano
1 part rosemary
1 part marjoram
1 part savory
(Optional: lavender and fennel - use both sparingly!)