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Spice Things Up: 4 Simple Ways To Spruce Up Bland Food

When you don’t have time to go all Anthony Bourdain in the kitchen, adding the right herbs and spices to your fare can be an inexpensive way to beef up the taste of bland food and give your body a health boost. While they may be small in size, nature’s add-ons can do big things like help stave off inflammation, heart disease, premature aging, and more.

Related: 3 Surprising Foods That Aid Recovery

Whenever possible, opt for organic herbs and spices; that way you know the products are free from pesticides and herbicides that often creep into products that are not organically grown. For all of you noobs out there, these four herbs and spices can get you started …

#1. Turmeric

Often found in curries, chutney, and other Indian cuisine, tumeric is now wisely being utilized by many gym-goers in smoothies. A big draw is its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to combat symptoms of arthritis. What’s more, research has shown that it also possesses anti-cancer benefits.

What does tumeric taste like?

Tumeric’s flavor is tart, which is why to balance things out it’s often paired with cumin, cardamon, and other spices.

#2. Rosemary 

Rosemary contains numerous antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that work in harmony to calm the digestive system and support immune system function. Even more good news: your brain and heart receive benefits, to boot. Dried or fresh, add rosemary to variety of dishes — soups, sauces, chicken, lamb, pork, fish, potatoes and cheese dips — to take advantage of its benefits.

What does rosemary taste like?

Its tea-like aroma produces a piney flavor with a softness of mint, but nothing too bold or overpowering.

Related: Why You Should Drink More Green Tea

#3. Cinnamon

Often used in baked goods and sometimes as a topper for coffee drinks and cocktails, cinnamon is also a common ingredient in smoothies, on side dishes and salads, and entrees like chicken. Its anti-inflammatory properties can assist in improving or regulating cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

What does cinnamon taste like?

The best way to describe the taste of cinnamon is that it tastes like … cinnamon. Need more? Okay, it’s a hybrid of sweet, spicy, and bitter. Use the right amount and you’ll wonder why you don’t use it for everything. Needless to say, a mouthful isn’t very appetizing.

#4. Ginger 

Ginger has antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, and that can help alleviate muscle soreness and joint pint, as well as the reduction in the severity of migraine headaches. Is that all? Of course not! Ginger can also battle chronic inflammatory diseases, improves carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and eases nausea, motion sickness, and digestive upset.

Fresh ginger unpeeled can be stored in the refrigerator for at least three weeks or in the freezer for six months or longer; add it to water or chop it up and to soups, coffee, or tea. Try sprinkling dried ginger into desserts or onto salads.

What does ginger taste like? 

It’s zesty and juicy and … hmmm. It’s a difficult flavor to explain, but is sometimes referred to as peppery, sweet, savory, strong, mild, and about a million other things. Along with adding spice to your dishes, it’s often used as a palate cleanser between sushi dishes, and that typically involves foods with a neutral flavored element.

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