Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Buzz from..........BIKINI BOOTCAMP

Spice It Up
Bikini Bootcamp is all about delicious, flavorful food — but the flavor doesn't come from a lot of excess fat, salt, or sugar. The real secret can be summarized in one word: spice. Herbs and spices add flavor without adding a lot of calories or other unhealthy elements to your meals. Here's how a few simple additions can make your food more delicious without making it less healthy.

Basil: In Mediterranean cuisine, this fragrant herb is common in pasta dishes and tomato-based sauces and with fish. In Asia, it's a common part of stir-fried dishes. While dried herbs are fine in a pinch, basil is especially good when used fresh.

Dill: The fine, feathery leaves of the dill plant have a fresh, light taste, especially when paired with fish, potatoes, eggs, and cheese.

Cumin: This intense, earthy-tasting spice is common in Indian, Vietnamese, and Mexican cuisines. Try it in chili and bean dishes, or toss it onto raw veggies or popcorn for an added kick.

Cayenne: This fiery red spice is the perfect match for fish, cheese, and eggs. It's made from the whole pepper, including the seeds and membranes, which impart the signature heat.

Cardamom: One of the most popular spices in the world, cardamom is used around the globe in both sweet and savory dishes. For an entirely new taste, try mixing a little bit into your ground coffee!

Go for Whole
You can buy spices already ground in little canisters, but whole spices will give you a new appreciation for these flavor boosters. Spices like saffron, cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon are especially good when bought whole. Buy a tiny spice grater or a mortar and pestle, or use a rolling pin or the back of a spoon to crush spices for cooking.

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