McCormick’s Flavor Forecast predicts what seasonings and spices will be hot in 2015. (Photo by Getty Images)
By Bonnie Taub-Dix for US News & World Report
One of the simplest and most exciting ways to make a dish sing without adding lots of fat and salt is to flavor food with an array of seasonings and spices. Not only do spices jazz up a meal, but they provide a wide range of health benefits, too!
I bet you’re familiar with reliable family favorites like garlic powder, oregano and cinnamon, but perhaps it’s time to shake up your spice rack and try some new flavors to ignite your imagination and your palate.
Now in its 15th year, the 2015 McCormick Flavor Forecast identified eight new flavor trends that will bring global inspirations to your home without even packing a suitcase. Here are some of the bold new combinations that will help you create lip-smacking, delicious meals:
1. Global Blends On the Move
McCormick’s Japanese 7 Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) and Shawarma Spice Blend provide globally-inspired flavor to any dish. Try using the Japanese blend on a veggie and tofu stir-fry and the shawarma blend to liven up your brisket.
2. Middle Eastern Mezze
If you’ve ever traveled to the Mediterranean, you know how dips and spreads take the spotlight at any meal. Now, we can enjoy the same great taste in America. Try mixing these seasonings into Greek yogurt for a lean take on tzatziki or spice up store-bought hummus.
Related: 15 Foods To Add To Your Diet In 2015
3. Sour and Salt
Salt brightens the intensity of any food, and if you watch portions and get imaginative with how you pair it, coarse salt, like the pink Himalayan type, with pickled ginger, sour cherry, dried mango or lemon zest will make you salivate before you even taste it. If you have high blood pressure, consult with your health care provider or a nutrition expert to know how much salt is safe for you to consume.
4. Smoked Spices
The smoked food trend is hotter than ever. In 2015, expect to find more intense smoked spices and herbs to add depth to any dish. My roasted veggies love being tossed with smoked paprika to bring that rich barbecue sensation to your oven.
5. Umami Veggies
Tapping into your “fifth sense” is exciting through foods that are naturally umami-rich, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and seaweed. For a unique spin, add dried mushrooms to any meat or poultry dish – you’ll support your immune system and protect against inflammatory diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
6. Liquid Revolution
Any way to get clients to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables is a win in my book! Using fresh purees in sauces, soups and salad dressings is a delicious way to include an extra serving of produce. Try butternut squash puree in pasta sauce or cauliflower puree to thicken any soup.
7. Flavor Worth the Wait
It’s not always what spices you use, but the cooking method you employ that creates flavor. Add your favorite combination of spices and herbs to your slow cooker – a working parent’s dream – that will feel like a warm hug to come home to after a hectic day.
8. Cookies Re-Imagined
Whether it’s chili chocolate chip or pumpkin pie spiced brownies, it’s time to think outside of the cookie jar! Use your mixing bowl as your canvas, add some favorite spices and create cookies that will make your family ask, “Wow, what’s in this?”
I give my kids credit for encouraging me to turn on the heat to our family dinners. McCormick’s chipotle seasoning has become a staple in my turkey burgers and I have a feeling the items above will soon be trending in our kitchen!
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