While maintaining your whole foods diet, one of the most difficult parts may be to find food that tastes great and is natural, healthy, and affordable. Thankfully there is an easy way to add flavor that is basically calorie free and is all natural: Spices.
One of the most common ways for any cook to make food taste better is to add salt. When used properly, salt brings out the natural flavors in food. Something having a salty flavor is a sign that your dish has been seasoned too heavily. Unfortunately, salt has side effects and is something many people want to limit. Diets that are high in sodium have been linked to high blood pressure, water retention, and even heart failure and kidney disease.
There are many spices available at most grocery stores, specialty stores, or online that can add flavor without the negatives of high sodium. A well-stocked spice rack is essential for any cook. Most of the flavor in spices is from essential oils that are released when they are ground and cooked. These oils lose their flavor over time so freshness is very important. When buying spices it is important to only purchase enough for about 3 to 6 months of use.
The next consideration is storage. Like many other pantry items, spices are best when stored in a cool, dry and dark place. Air tight containers in a pantry or cupboard are perfect for spices. The racks that many stores sell or shelves may look nice but your spices will stay fresher longer if you keep them out of the light.
Last, learn where to buy your spices. The most affordable way buy spices in small quantities is to look for stores that let you them buy from a bulk section. While the per pound price of these spices may seem high, keep in mind that you will only be buying an ounce or two of each spice at a time. This is much less expensive than buying containers of prepackaged spices because you can simply buy as much or as little as you need of each spice.
Spices should be an important part of your whole foods diet. They add flavor, are natural, and have almost no calories. A stocked spice rack is an important part of any cook's pantry.
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