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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

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TIP OF THE DAY: Freeze-Dried Herbs In Everything

The trick to adding more flavor to everything you eat, with negligible calories—and the ability to cut back on salt—are spices and herbs.


  • Spices are the dried seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark or roots of plants. They are usually of tropical origin.
  • Herbs are the leaves and sometimes the flowers of plants, usually grown in a climate similar to the Mediterranean.
  • Aromatics: In culinary terms, both herbs and spices fall into the category of aromatics. (Now you know what those Top Chef contestants were referring to!)
    Today we’re focusing on herbs.

    A few months ago we received a shipment of Instantly Fresh freeze-dried herbs from Litehouse, and have been happily adding them to just about everything.



    Two of the numerous freeze-dried, “Instantly Fresh” herbs from Litehouse.

    Litehouse freeze-dries every herb you could need for daily cooking: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, Italian herb blend, jalapeños, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, poultry herb blend, red onion, sage, salad herb blend, spring onion and thyme.

    What does all this choice mean? That you have some “herbing” to do!

    Whether you’re cooking breakfast eggs, making soup, mashing potatoes, broiling, roasting, sautéing or simply reheating or microwaving—think of what herb would brighten the dish.

    You don’t have to go exotic. A basic complement of basil, chives, garlic, oregano and parsley will do.



    Cole slaw, potato salad and protein salads
    (chicken, egg, tuna, etc.) all benefit from
    added dill, plus parsley. Photo courtesy
    Cheesecake Factory.



    Freeze-drying is a dehydration process used to preserve perishables. The food is quickly frozen and the surrounding air pressure is then reduced. This allows the frozen water in the product to go directly from the solid phase to the gas phase, avoiding the liquid phase.

    The process delivers more of the taste, aroma and nutrition of fresh herbs, compared to conventional drying.

    And the unopened food can be stored at room temperature without refrigeration for years. The greatly reduced water content inhibits the action of microorganisms and enzymes that would otherwise spoil or degrade the substance.

    When freeze-dried herbs are rehydrated by contact with moisture (the liquid in the recipe itself or other ingredients in the recipe), they reconstitute into a close approximation of their former fresh selves.


    So your task this week is to look at everything you serve and match at least one herb to it (don’t hesitate to use two or more):

  • Bread: create your own bread dippers by adding herbs to olive oil and add a green herb to garlic bread
  • Main Dish: anything goes
  • Pasta: beyond the Italian basics—basil, oregano and parsley—try other herbs like dill, rosemary, thyme and sage
  • Pizza: ditto!
  • Sandwich/Wrap have fun with it!
  • Sauce/Condiment ditto!
  • Side Dish: once you sprinkle herbs onto potatoes, rice and vegetables, you’ll be hooked
  • Soup: what looks like a nice garnish really adds a flavor boost
    When you come across dynamite pairings, share them with us!

    Some plants yield both an herb and a spice.

  • Cilantro is the leafy herb of the same plant that gives us the popular spice coriander seed.
  • Dill weed (an herb) and dill seed (a spice) also come from the same plant.

    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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