A table with bowls of seasonings and spices alongside various green herbs, red peppers, roots, and flowers.

Herbs and spices can add flavor and variety to food - using them when cooking is particularly helpful to remain within guidelines for recommended daily sodium intake. Use a little at first and then add more when you are sure you like the flavor.

Substitute Dry For Fresh

Use 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed or dried for 1 Tablespoon fresh.


Herbs and spices lose flavor and can spoil if kept longer than one year. If you use them slowly, buy small quantities or store them in the freezer.

Many seasoning mixes contain a lot of salt

Use the following sparingly and look for them as ingredients in seasoning mixes.

  • Garlic salt
  • Seasoned salt
  • Onion salt
  • Celery salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Spices, herbs, and seasonings and their uses

Herbs, Spices & Seasonings
Tomato and egg dishes, stews, soups, and salads
Black Pepper
Soups and stews, meats, seafood, and vegetable dishes
Chili Powder
Meats, casseroles, vegetables, soups, and eggs/egg dishes
Cider Vinegar
Chili, bean and rice dishes, sauces, dips
Salads, vegetables, and sauces, Mexican foods, salsas, salads, slaws, and marinades
French toast, fruit salad, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and winter squash, ham or pork chops, and baked goods
Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Indian dishes, beef, lamb, and bean dishes, chili and tomato sauces
Tuna or salmon salad, potato salad, pickles, dips and sauces, vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and green beans
Italian, Mexican, and Oriental dishes, salad dressings, stir-fries, and with tomatoes and potatoes (Can use fresh or dried - crushed, minced, or powdered)
Asian dishes, marinades for chicken or fish, fruit salad dressings, gingerbread, and pumpkin pie (Can be used fresh or dried/ground)
Italian Seasoning
Italian seasoning is a mixture of marjoram, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Use in Italian dishes like spaghetti and pasta salads.
Lemon Juice
Fruit salads, blender drinks, fish, and vegetables
Cooked fruit, pies, desserts, baked items, spinach, and sweet potatoes.
Any dish where onion flavor is desired - chili, casseroles, stews, salads, sauces, and vegetables (Can be used fresh or dried - minced or powdered)
Italian dishes, chili, omelets, beef stew, meatloaf, pork, and vegetables such as broccoli and tomatoes
Meats, soups, and vegetable dishes (Adds color and brings out the flavor of dishes)
Meats, vegetables, and soups
Stuffing, poultry, Brussels sprouts, and soups
Fish, poultry, meats, soups, stews, rice, and vegetable salads

Featured Recipes

Baked Tofu

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.Drain water from tofu. Wrap tofu in paper towels. Let set for about 5 minutes.While is tofu draining, combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and vegetable oil in a small bowl.Slice tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place tofu slices on foil lined baking sheet.Pour soy sauce mixture over tofu. Using a spatula or pancake turner, gently turn slices over to coat both sides with sauce.Bake tofu for 15 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for another 15 minutes. Tofu should be light golden brown and firm. Serve hot in place of meat or cut into slices or cubes and add to a stir-fry, fried rice, soup, or salad.

baked tofu

Garlic Beef Stir Fry

Prepare rice according to package directions, allowing about 15 minutes for instant rice or about 45 minutes for regular brown rice. Keep hot (above 135°F).Stir together the cornstarch, 1 Tablespoon of the dressing, and the garlic in a bowl or pie pan; mix well. Add the beef strips, tossing to coat meat with dressing mixture.Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat on Medium-high heat.Add beef mixture; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until beef is cooked through. Remove from skillet; cover meat to keep warm.Add vegetables, remaining dressing, soy sauce, and ginger to skillet.Return beef to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute or until beef is heated through and sauce is thickened. Serve over rice.