March 15th – March 19th is Nutrition Awareness Week

Did you know offers a Monthly Newsletter through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Aging called “Peas and Carrots”? It’s true!

This month’s newsletter focuses on Nutrition Awareness, Gardening Benefits, a crossword and more!

Here is a blurb from the newsletter… 

Nutrition Awareness week is being celebrated this year March 15th-19th by the Areas on Aging across the state of Indiana. The nutrition coordinators have been working hard to ensure a colorful, tasty, and healthy meal in celebration.

The theme, Enhance your plate is meant to encourage the use of herbs and spices for their many benefits to enrich your plate. Herbs are typically considered as the fresh leaves of plants, with examples being oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, and sage. Spices can consist of the stem, seed, fruit, root, flower or bark of the tree or plant, with examples being turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, star anise, and ginger. One example of where a plant can produce both a spice and a herb include the plant, Coriandrum sativum, which produces cilantro (plant) and coriander (seed).

Herbs and spices can be used in cooking to help flavor dishes, act as a preservative, and in some cases as a substitute to using salt as a seasoning. More recently, spices and herbs have been noted for their benefits to health with some having anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, nausea relief, or heart healthy benefits. Chef Nancy at Cancer Wellness at Piedmont suggest cooking with herbs and spices such as cilantro, turmeric, smoke paprika, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, basil, parsley, fresh mint, and rosemary.

The following tips may come in handy when using herbs and spices in cooking: when purchasing fresh herbs, wrap the stems in damp paper towels and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator’s produce bin, use dried herbs in place of fresh herbs if the recipe calls for a small amount to lessen the price and the chance of waste, store dried herbs away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight, add fresh herbs in the last few minutes of cooking (unless the recipe states otherwise), add dried herbs and spices near the beginning of cooking to aid in releasing their flavors, and 1 tablespoon of a fresh herb is equal to 1 teaspoon of the same herb when dried.

Click here to learn more.