What is in your seasoning?

 In Fresh ideas for entertaining and recipe modification, Nutrition

Seasoning is just seasoning isn’t it?

With the herbs and spices aisle at the supermarket bulging with many different options, there has been an area steadily growing over the last few years… the Seasoning section.

Pre-made seasoning’s such as Moroccan and Steak seasoning’s seem like such a convenient and easy option. No having to buy a whole range of individual spices and herbs, the mix contains just the right ratio of herbs and spices to give a great flavour, and lots of different varieties that may inspire your cooking.

So what could possibly be wrong?

Well before I get into that, I firstly just wanted to say that seasoning’s can have their place and that if a little seasoning is what can help your family eat a balanced meal of vegetables, wholegrains and some lean protein instead of takeaway, then that is great.

But what I wanted to draw your attention to was the fact that many people don’t actually know what is in their favourite seasoning, believing it just to be herbs and spices. But seasoning’s can contain much more than that, and sometimes to the detriment of your health.

  • Many seasoning’s first ingredient is salt – meaning that there is more salt in the product than anything else.
  • You may also be surprised to find sugar in your seasoning- another example of where sugar can be lurking in your food without you knowing about it
  • There can also be other ingredients such as rice flour – probably something else you didn’t expect to find!

So as you can see, you may be getting more than you bargin for when using your favourite seasoning.

Now I am not suggesting that you give up on seasoning’s altogether as they can add a lot of beautiful flavours to a meal (and we want our meals to be tasty with lots of fresh foods). So here are some suggestions:

  • Get to know your product. Spend a little time looking at the food labels and understand what ingredients are in there.
  • Use a mixture of herbs and spices to create the same flavour. There are lots of suggestions online and in recipe books on how you can create your own flavours such as Moroccan. While it might take a few extra $$ on your first shop to purchase a range of herbs and spices, they should last you a while.
  • If there is a particular flavour you like e.g. the Taco seasoning sachets you can find in the supermarket then use mainly your own spices e.g. smoked paprika, tumeric and cumin, and then use just a very small sprinkle of the sachet. That way you can get the flavour without a lot of added salt and other ingredients you may not want.

As mentioned, there can be some delicious  seasoning’s on offer, however you should use these occasionally and mostly try and make your own to help reduce the amount of added salt and sugar in your diet, as remember it can all add up.

Seasoning label

Seasoning label

 

 

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