7 Easy Tips for Cooking with Herbs and Spices

Infuse your life, and food dishes, with flavor by learning how to cook with herbs and spices properly. From boosting herb flavor to substituting for household spices that have gone missing, here are 7 helpful tips. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Herbal Flavor Booster

Crushing dried herbs before using them will boost their flavor, as will soaking them for a few seconds in hot water. This also works well for older spices that have lost their flavor.

Awaken Your Herbs

To get the most impact out of your herbs and spices, whether dried or fresh, rub them between your hands before you add them to a dish. You’ll release more of the herb’s natural flavor, making for a tastier meal.

Sweet ’n’ Spicy

Overspiced your dinner? Just add a bit of sugar, honey, or maple syrup. The sweet allows your taste buds to handle more hot, saving your meal.

Crushing Spices

Don’t have a mortar and pestle? A great way to mix and crush spices is to place them in a pan and press then with the bottom of a smaller pan. A dedicated coffee grinder works well, too.

Boost Herb Flavor

Dried spices can lose their flavor quickly. Luckily, it’s easy to perk them back up before using them in your dish. Just toast them in a pan for a minute or two, and their flavors will be revived.

Removing Herbs

If you’re cooking with herbs that will need to be removed before eating, make them easy to remove by putting them all in a tea infuser before you add them to your dish.

Herb Substitution Basics

We’ve all been in this situation: You want to make a particular recipe, but you only have the dried form of the herb called for. Save yourself a trip to the supermarket with this handy rule of thumb. When using dried, use a third of the amount that’s called for of the fresh herb, and vice versa. For example, one tablespoon of fresh oregano equals one teaspoon dried.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.