Posted by: Monica Reyes, WIC Nutritionist
Have you tried to be adventurous when it comes to preparing meals for your family? Herbs and spices can help! Studies have shown that the benefits of herbs and spices go far beyond aroma and taste. Many of these ingredients have actually been found to improve health by helping digestion and protecting against heart disease and certain cancers.
Growing up in a Latin American country has exposed me to different flavors of fresh herbs and spices that are often added to meals and desserts. It is a family tradition for me to marinate foods with a natural blend of herbs and spices called “sofrito,” which enhances the flavor of my meals. Besides being delicious, sofrito contains ingredients and spices which have been shown to have health benefits! Garlic is one of the main components of my sofrito. Garlic is packed with a variety of nutrients and vitamins, such as manganese, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, and helps the immune system…it can even help you fight the common cold!
Onions are the second ingredient of my sofrito. Onions are a good source of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, calcium and dietary fiber. Most importantly, onions have a potent antioxidant called quercitin that has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol, and help prevent diabetes and infections. Oregano is also used in my recipe. It has many antioxidants and can help sore throats and respiratory and stomach problems. Green and red peppers are also used in my sofrito. Green peppers are a great source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin A have been linked to improved metabolism, and act as a natural cold remedy. With all of these wonderful qualities that can improve your health, why wouldn’t you want to add more fresh herbs and spices to your meals? Let us know what spices you use!
Here is my sofrito recipe:
I medium green pepper
1 medium red pepper
3 medium red onions
10 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
1 cup of dried oregano
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
- Cut the peppers, onions and garlic gloves into small pieces and put them into a blender with the vinegar.
- Blend all the ingredients until they are liquid.
- Add the oregano and blend the mixture again.
- Place the cooled mixture into a closed airtight plastic or glass container. The mixture will keep for one to two weeks in the refrigerator or for up to six months in the freezer.
Sofrito is an excellent marinade and meat tenderizer, and can be a part of many of your favorite recipes. Use it to sauté meats, poultry, fish, beans and vegetables, or add it to soups, stews and grilled or roasted dishes. Enjoy, or as we say in Spanish, buen apetito!
National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health posted on Apr 25
April is National Minority Health Month – a time for us to highlight the Department’s work promoting the well-being of racial, ethnic and linguistic minority populations throughout the Commonwealth. Spearheaded by our Office of Health Equity (OHE), all DPH programs strive to respond effectively to …Continue Reading National Minority Health Month: A Focus on Oral Health
Don’t Fall Behind – Vaccinate On Time! posted on Apr 24
National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and to celebrate the achievements of immunization partners in promoting healthy communities throughout the United States. This year, NIIW is April 22-29, 2017. One of the …Continue Reading Don’t Fall Behind – Vaccinate On Time!
Weekly Flu Report, April 21, 2017 posted on Apr 21
The latest weekly flu report shows a drop in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past seven days. Even so, we can expect flu to continue to circulate in our communities well into spring – so it’s not too late to get a flu shot …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 21, 2017