Description, usage and positive effect on nutrition
Herbs & Spices
From several kinds of sage, the felted, hairy leaves are used as culinary herb either fresh or dried, whole, cut or powdered. They can be harvested almost throughout the whole year, even under the snow cover they remain fresh.
- Sage brings aroma to meat dishes – it is particularly very popular in Italian cuisine.
- It has a disinfecting property and effectively kills bacteria and fungi. Hence sage tea or sage pastilles help against throat and mouth inflammation.
- Besides, lukewarm sage tea is effective against hot flashes.
Basil is available as Thai, red and green basil. They differ in colour, flavour and leaf size. The flavours are heat sensitive and should therefore not be cooked along.
- Goes perfectly with Mediterranean cuisine, tomato dishes, pesto and Insalata Caprese
- Basil stimulates appetite, eases cramps and helps against nausea
Summer savory is found as an annual or perennial plant. The flavours emerge only on cooking, hence summer savory is not suitable for cold dishes.
- With its peppery flavour, ideal for dishes with beans and other legumes
- Summer savory reduces flatulence, stimulates appetite and is antibacterial
Garlic is available in supermarkets in dry form all year long. In spring, young bulbs are particularly fine and less aromatic.
- Particularly delicious in Mediterranean meat and vegetable dishes and indispensable for sauces like pesto and Aioli
- Garlic is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and with regular intake, has a positive effect on blood circulation and blood pressure
- Chewing parsley or drinking milk helps against the odour of garlic
Oregano is also referred to as wild marjoram.
- Very important as seasoning for pizza and tomato dishes, stewed dishes and chilli con carne
- Oregano is antibacterial and is considered an effective natural antibiotic. Here fresh herb is more effective than the dry one
Leaf parsley is found both in flat and curvy form. The flat form is more intense in flavour, while the curvy leaves are decorative.
- It goes well with almost anything and particularly with potatoes and vegetables as well as fresh herb sauces
- Leaf parsley is rich in several vitamins, particularly Vitamin C, and is therefore considered a natural multivitamin supplement
- Thanks to the chlorophyll present, it has a blood purifying effect and helps against bad breath
Peppermint has various name affixes: Moroccan mint, English mint, orange, pineapple and chocolate mint. The different varieties differ partly in shape and aroma.
- Tea made from fresh peppermint tastes better than from teabags
- It refines desserts and lamb dishes and is the base for the English mint sauce
- Thanks to the menthol present, peppermint is antibacterial, cooling and thirst-quenching
Anise is available in dry form as whole seeds, tastes spicy and liquorice-like. Anise is not related to star anise although the flavour is similar.
- The grains are used primarily for baked goods
- To bring out maximum flavour, the grains should be lightly ground
- Anise soothes stomach and intestine and is therefore found in teas along with fennel seeds to alleviate these complaints
Often seen as a single spice only, curry powder is a mix of up to 20 different spices. To this belong, along with turmeric, for e.g., ginger, cardamom, pepper, coriander, paprika and cumin.
- The spice mix is indispensable in Asian cuisine and also as sauce spice for the popular currywurst
- Curry mixes, through aroma and flavour, stimulate appetite and promote the wholesomeness of the dishes as well
Ginger is available fresh as a gnarled rhizome in most supermarkets. Alternatively ginger powder is also obtainable, the flavour of which is not as strong. The root is also popular, candied as refined munchies with or without chocolate coating.
- The lemony pungent flavour and the smell are imperative in Far East cuisine
- Ginger also peps up meat sauces and exotic desserts
- Ginger stipulates the appetite and is an antispasmodic by colic
- Ginger helps by nausea and puking and is therefore considered remedy for travel sickness
Cardamom is available as whole pods and in the form of fruit capsules in specialised shops, and primarily in powdered form in supermarkets.
- Cardamom is predominantly known as spice for Christmas baked goods and for the making of sausages and pastries
- Cardamom is also well suited for refining desserts as well as meat & spice sauces
- Cardamom stimulates appetite and digestion as well as being a mood elevator. A pinch of cardamom in coffee increases its stimulating effect
It is available as whole and in powdered form commercially
- Cumin is an integral part of both oriental as well as south American cuisine; typical usage examples are kebab and chilli con carne
- Cumin has a positive effect on appetite and digestion
Mace is often referred to as nutmeg, although this does not refer to the bloom but to the seed coat of the nutmeg. The vibrant yellow to orange-red seed coat is available whole, in large pieces or powdered and has a more delicate aroma than the nut itself.
- It can be used in the same dishes as the nutmeg, but is particularly good with mashed potatoes, pastries and baked goods
- Mace stimulates appetite and elevates mood, should be used sparingly though, as imbibing large quantities could cause symptoms of poisoning