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Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed. (Single Copy)

Celiac Disease Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed. (Single Copy)

This easy to read “survival guide” outlines essential information for people diagnosed with Celiac disease.

Flavor Your Meals: Must-Have Summer Herbs

 

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Must-Have Summer Herbs

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Summer is the season for fresh herbs and nothing can beat them when it comes to flavoring your meals. "Great taste and improving health are two great reasons to use fresh herbs," says Toby Smithson, MSNW, RDN, LDN, CDE, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. Herbs boost flavor without adding sodium and many herbs contain disease-fighting antioxidants. Fresh herbs are abundant in warm-weather months, so now is the perfect time to incorporate these favorites into your recipes.

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Rosemary

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Americans love to fire up the grill in the summer and rosemary is the perfect accompaniment. "There is emerging research that indicates marinades containing certain herbs, such as rosemary, may reduce the development of carcinogenic compounds in grilled meats," say Smithson.

Rosemary is one of Smithson's favorite picks for summer because it is so versatile. "[It] can literally be used from soup to nuts," she says. Try this woodsy herb on meat, vegetables, in bread and even in desserts such as pound cake.


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Mint

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Nothing says summer like a tall glass of iced tea, and adding in some fresh mint makes it extra refreshing. But mint makes an impact in a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. Try it in spring rolls for a cold lunch, add it to a grilled corn salad for a great cookout side dish or toss it with watermelon for a simple dessert.

Keep mint fresh longer by cutting the ends and storing the bunch upright in a glass of water.


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Basil

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Basil is a beloved summertime staple. It's easy to grow and easy to use. What's better than the simple flavors of a fresh tomato and basil salad? But basil has more to offer than the traditional favorites. "There are many options to boost the flavor of your food thinking outside of the ordinary," says Smithson. "For instance, basil and balsamic vinegar drizzled over strawberries."

Basil works best when it's added at the last moment, so cooking doesn't destroy its flavor.


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Dill

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Dill might not get the spotlight as much as other summer growing herbs, but this weedy herb has plenty of punch when it comes to flavor and antioxidants. Think past pickles — there are plenty of places for dill to standout in your summer recipes. Add it to fish (salmon is an excellent pairing), chicken, vegetables, potatoes, salads and even pasta.

This no-cook chickpea salad is a great option for a hot day — and best of all it showcases fresh dill.


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Oregano

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According to Smithson, "One half of a teaspoon of [dried] oregano has as many antioxidants as 3 cups of fresh spinach." Try sprinkling oregano on a grilled cheese sandwich, she suggests.

Fresh oregano (as well as other herbs) can be dried for use year-round. You can dry them easily in your microwave or in an oven. See how »

1 teaspoon of dried herb = 1 tablespoon of fresh


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Thyme

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Thyme is also high on the list of foods with antioxidant power, says Angela Ginn, RDN, LDN, CDE, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson.

Thyme is often used in bouquet garni: a bundle of fresh and/or dried herbs, such as parsley, bay leaf and thyme added to soups, stews and braised meat. But in the summer, fresh thyme leaves lend great flavor to fish and vegetables. For example, thyme shines in this Napa Valley Glazed Salmon recipe. Or, suggests Ginn, add snipped thyme to sweet fresh corn soup.


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Cilantro

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You've seen it in your Mexican salsa and guacamole, but this pungent herb also makes an appearance in other Latin American dishes as well as Asian, Indian and other ethnic cuisines.

Cilantro is best served fresh — added to a dish just before serving. While it's great for perking up your favorite salsa, cilantro can also be a refreshing addition to simple summer dishes. "This herb works well sprinkled over a fresh fruit salad," says Smithson. Or, for a twist, try it in a plum and cucumber salad, suggests Ginn.


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Bee Balm

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Ever heard of bee balm? This herb, also known as bergamot, blooms in large colorful flowers in mid- to late summer. A favorite of hummingbirds, bee balm is becoming a culinary darling as well. It was recently chosen as the 2013 Notable Native Herb by the Herb Society of America. It tastes like oregano and mint, and can be substituted for either in recipes. Try topping a salad with its edible petals, or chop the leaves and add to pizza or meats and fish when cooking. You can even steep the leaves for herbal tea (aka Oswego tea).

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Chives

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A snip here, a snip there — these oniony herbs go with just about anything. Salads, lean meats, veggies — they all get a tasty kick from fresh chives. Just sprinkle on top!

An old standby is a baked potato with chives, but this summer, try adding them to grilled red bliss potatoes, suggests Ginn. You can also mix it up by incorporating them into baked goods. "Add chives to your favorite biscuit recipe," says Ginn. Just mix them into the dough or batter.


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Lavender

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Lavender is not just for scented candles and potpourri. It has culinary appeal as well. For example, "Lavender can be used in salads, custards, flan or sorbet," says Ginn. Its floral flavor and mild sweetness complements fruit, cobblers and smoothies. But it can also give a unique taste to savory dishes as well. Try using it in a marinade for grilled meats, such as lamb, pork chops or chicken.

A little goes a long way with lavender. "Only use a small amount of edible flowers or the dish will be pungent," Ginn advises.


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Lemon Verbena

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If there were a superstar of summertime flavors, lemon would most certainly be a candidate (lemonade, anyone?). Enter lemon verbena: This fragrant herb imparts plenty of lemony, citrusy flavor to a variety of dishes. "Lemon verbena’s long, slender leaves are great to use in tea, delicate cookies and chicken dishes," says Ginn. It can be used in place of lemon zest in many recipes.

Try steeping it with fresh mint and serving over ice for a refreshing beverage.


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