Herbs & Spices Day

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Herbs and spices add flavor to foods without adding calories, fat, or salt. Use these tips and add a little spice (& herbs!) to your day!

  1. A recipe calls for a fresh herb and you want to substitute that dried variety you have in your cabinet.

    Approximate equivalent amounts of different forms of herbs are: 1 tablespoon finely cut fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon crumbled dried herbs = 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground dried herb. Start out small. It is much easier to add more than it is to remedy a food which has more spice than you like.

  2. When should herbs be added to the cooking process?

    As a general rule, add fresh herbs near the end of cooking or just before serving. Prolonged heating can cause flavor and aroma losses. More delicate, fresh herbs can be added a minute or two before the end of cooking or sprinkled on food before serving. Examples include basil, chives, cilantro and dill leaves.

  3. My family loves tacos, but the taco seasoning you get at the grocery store is high in sodium. Is there a recipe to make your own?

    Try this quick and easy recipe from North Carolina Cooperative Extension Med Instead of Meds.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix


  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons paprika (you may want to use 1/2 smoked and 1/2 hot)
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano (regular oregano will work as well)
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (more if you want it really hot)


  • Combine all ingredients and store in a plastic container. Freeze for longer storage. Can be used for tacos, bean burgers, beans and rice, and whatever else you want to give Mexican flavor.
  • Start off with about a tablespoon of the seasoning mix and adjust amount to your flavor preference. 2 tablespoons would be suggested for use with 1 lb. of ground meat.

Serves 16
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Med Instead of Meds

Flavor That Food – University of Nebraska Lincoln, Cooperative Extension