Flavor Tips For Your New Year's Food Resolutions



Every New Year's millions of Americans commit to eat smarter and better. Or, at least that's what we say we'll do. This year, instead of pledging to bland diets and sodium-free fare, the Spice Islands Test Kitchen is sharing tips for using fresh herbs and spices to maximize the flavor of any dish.

Whether you're vowing to cut back on salt or switch to eating organic food, the Spice Islands Test Kitchen has developed five tips to boost flavor in food and help cooks stick with their New Year's resolutions.

>>Increase the amount of herbs when reducing salt.  For a great flavor punch, increase your spice and herbs by 25 percent when reducing or eliminating salt in a recipe.

>>Crush herbs to release all flavor. For leafy herbs such as rosemary and leaf oregano, lightly crush the herbs to bring out maximum flavor.

>>For soups and stews, reduce the salt and add spices last. For long-cooking soups and stews, reduce the salt. Save about ¼ of the spices called for, and add them at the end of cooking. This will give a more intense flavor to the dish. 

>>Add herbs early in no-cook meals. For salad dressings, fruit dishes or other no-cook foods, add herbs and spices several hours before serving, so flavors can develop and blend. For salad dressings, add seasonings to the vinegar and let stand before adding the oil.

>>Give dried spices a boost. If a recipe calls for fresh herbs and you have dried on-hand, simply use 1/3 to 1/2 as much dry for fresh.