Here are common herbs and spices and suggested uses to create flavorful dishes without any added salt.

Herbs/Spices

Basil

Sweet basil is bright and pungent in taste. Leaves are green in color, round and pointed. There are a variety of types, but the sweet basil is very common, fresh or dry.

You can use basil in salads, tomato sauces, pesto, marinade for meats and fish, and soups. It pairs well with cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, kale, squash, spinach and tomatoes.

Bay Leaf

Generally purchased dry, but can easily be brown, also known as Sweet Bay or Sweet Laurel. It is highly aromatic and for maximum flavor use dry.

Use in sauces, soups, or pickling solutions and also marinade for meat or fish.

Cardamom

Almost effervescent in smell and taste, hint of pine.

Used prominently in curries, curry powder, and Indian tea (chai). It’s a nice complement to autumn vegetables like pumpkin, and squash. Cardamom is often combined with cumin and coriander seeds.

Cayenne Pepper

Hot, tends to be a sharp peppery flavor.

Often used in Cajun, Creole, Spanish, Mexican, Szechuan, Thai and Indian Recipes.

Cinnamon

One of the oldest spices known, cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of evergreen trees native to Sri Lanka, southwest India and Asia. Sweet and aromatic, cinnamon is available whole or as a ground-up powder.

Versatile spice that complements a wide variety of foods and other spices. Works well with poultry, in curries and with fruit, particularly apples and pears. Add to casseroles or eggplant, squash and carrot dishes.

Coriander leaf or seed (aka Cilantro)

Fresh coriander leaves, aka cilantro, looks like Italian flat-leaf parsley, but the tips of the leaves are a bit blunted, and has a stronger, distinct scent. The seeds, when dried, have a fragrant flavor reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage.

Goes well with onions, garlic, citrus, potatoes, chicken, fish, and lentils. Add to salads, salsas, soups, stews, curries and rice dishes.

Cumin

Powerful peppery flavoring with slight citrus overtones. Integral spice in the cuisines of Mexico, India and the Middle East.

Complements chicken, lamb, beans, lentils, vegetables and rice dishes. Excellent in carrot or cabbage dishes.

Dill

Dill’s green leaves are wispy and fern-like (and fennel like) and have a soft, sweet taste. Both the leaves and the seeds are used to flavor food.

Combines well with salads, fruits, vegetables, fish, pickling, egg and poultry. Add at the end of cooking time, because the heat can destroy its flavor.

Fennel

Mild licorice taste, looks like dill.

Delicious in salads, soups, fish and vegetable dishes. Also complements rice, potatoes, tomato, egg and apple dishes.

Ginger

Fragrant, pungent, spicy and hot. Can be used fresh, dried or in powder form.

Curries, stews and stir-fries. Grate ginger with fresh lemon juice and hot water for a soothing throat drink. Complements poultry.

Marjoram

Member of the mint family. less pungent than oregano. Used in savory dishes.

Great in stuffing, sauces, salads, fish, vegetables, meat, poultry and egg dishes.

Mint

There are more than 25 varieties, tastes range from sweet, cool, to slightly menthol.

Use fresh in salads, marinated vegetables, legumes or tomato based soups or stews. Also good in dips, dressings, yogurt or lamb dishes.

Nutmeg

Seed of an apricot-like fruit native to Indonesia, with a cinnamon and peppery taste.

Can be used in either sweet or savory dishes, including pasta sauces, cheese dishes, cake or milk (or milk alternative) puddings.

Oregano

Also from the mint family, similar to marjoram but stronger with an earthy, aromatic flavor.

Prepared in Mediterranean dishes. Excellent in tomato based sauces and stews. Complements, chicken, fish and meat dishes.

Parsley

Most common types are curly or Italian flat leaf. Mildly fresh aromatic flavor. Supposedly helps keep breath fresh smelling.

Soups, salads, sauces and casseroles. Use with any vegetable, potato or grain dish.

Rosemary

Pine-like, distinct flavor used either fresh or dried. Very strong and savory.

Marinades, vegetables, chicken and fish dishes. Complements roast meats, especially lamb and chicken.

Sage

Silver green, sometimes grayish leaves in color with and earthy aromatic taste that is both sweet and bitter.

As a flavoring for stuffing, good with vegetables, cheese and meat dishes, especially pork, game and liver.

Tarragon

Sweet aromatic herb with a slighter peppery flavor reminiscent of fennel and licorice.

Soups, salads fish, chicken and egg dishes. Also good with raw or cooked tomato dishes. Complements, peas, potatoes, broccoli, carrot and asparagus.

Thyme

Tiny leaves with a minty, tea-like flavor, highly versatile.

Saute this with onions for savory eggs and omelets, stocks, marinades, sups and casseroles. Good with fish, vegetable and game dishes. Used to make bouquet garni with parsley and bay.

Citrus

Lemons, Limes, Key Limes, Clementines, Kumquats

Use the juice to enhance a variety of dishes from grilled meats to curries.