Did you know that Oldways updated the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid last year? Well, we did, and one of the major changes involved adding herbs and spices to the base of the pyramid, along with fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes and seeds. Being added to the bottom of the diet pyramid means that spices are incredibly healthy and should be consumed frequently. The reason? I’ll let Barbara Quinn from the Miami Herald explain:

“Besides making foods that are good for us taste even better, herbs and spices are surprising sources of antioxidants — natural plant substances that protect our cells from “free radical” damage and help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.” (via)
Sounds good to me! But I wonder: how can I spice up my life, without listening to that British girl group from the 90s? Here’s a few tips from the McCormick Spice gang:
  • Stir ½ teaspoon oregano leaves and 1 to 2 tablespoons reduced fat feta cheese into ½ cup bottled vinaigrette salad dressing. Viola! Greek vinaigrette.
  • Sauté 1 pound of sliced mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme leaves. (Thyme brings out the flavor of mushrooms.)
  • Add rosemary leaves to vegetables like asparagus, spinach and tomatoes.
  • Mix up a batch of Mediterranean spiced olive oil: ¼ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper and a dash of sea salt. Pour into a small shallow dish and serve with bread. Yum!
With Mediterranean Month only 18 days away, how do YOU plan on using more herbs and spices in your regular cooking routine?  — Alison

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