Carrollton 8/11/2011 10:35:40 PM
News / Green

Add Taste, not Calories: Healthy Steps Shares How Herbs Enhance Cool Summer Suppers

Herbs are one of nature’s little surprise packages that contain a lot of flavor without adding calories, says Healthy Steps by Jokari. With a large variety to choose from, you are sure to find several that will become favorites and indispensible to menu-planning. And it’s easy to have fresh herbs year-round: Herbs will thrive in an outdoor garden during warm weather and make good indoor houseplants during winter.

Fresh herbs are the healthy way to add flavor. Use the Healthy Steps Multi-Use Herb Pro when working with herbs – it’s a mincer, stripper and pair of herb scissors in one tool. Remember that a little goes a long way with herbs to take that ordinary meal to an extraordinary experience. Healthy Steps offers these tips to get the most from herbs and enhance cool summer suppers now.

• Grow your taste blasters

Culinary herbs are a mainstay of most herb gardens. The garden-fresh flavors of thyme, basil, savory, oregano and marjoram are incomparable. You can also grow gourmet varieties of these classics – lemon thyme, cinnamon basil and Sicilian oregano, for example – to add to your cooking pleasure.

Herbs can be grown in very little space – along the side of the house or garage, in a container on your balcony or deck, or windowsill planters.

• Soak, rinse, repeat

Place the herbs in a deep bowl of cold water or a clean, water-filled sink. Use a lot of water when washing herbs – too little doesn't allow the dirt to settle or the herbs to float clear. Once the herbs are submerged, stir before leaving them to soak for a moment. Once the dirt has sunk to the bottom of the bowl, remove the herbs by skimming them up and out of the water. (Pouring the bowl's contents through a strainer will result in pouring the dirt back onto the herbs.) Rinse the bowl or sink free of dirt and repeat this process until the herbs are cleaned to your satisfaction. Once the herbs have been cleaned, spread them out on a dry towel. Carefully blot the herbs with the towel before gently rolling it up around them. Let the bundle dry before using.

• Flavor flash

Health conscious cooks have found that herbs contain no calories or fat – a fact of great importance to those on weight loss diets. Doctors even recommend the use of herbs and spices in salt-restricted diets to enhance flavor without adding sodium content. For conversion purposes, 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dry herbs = 1/4 teaspoon ground herbs. If you need to add salt, the Healthy Steps Salt Shaker is a measuring dispenser and tabletop shaker, all in one. It is ideal for anyone wanting to limit the amount of salt in their diet – measure and dispense a precise amount each time.

To test herb combinations, chop the herbs finely and mix together with a bit of soft butter. Spread over a cracker to sample. Add tender herbs (basil, cilantro, chives, dill, fennel, parsley, etc.) at the end of cooking. Add tougher herbs (bay, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.) at start of cooking.

• Better Butter

Make herbal butters and cream cheeses by mixing 1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh herbs to 1/2 cup margarine, butter, cottage cheese, low fat yogurt or cream cheese. Let it set for at least an hour to blend the flavor; then taste test on a plain cracker or Melba round. You will gain a great feel for the dimensions of what the flavor will be good with by taste testing in this manner. The Healthy Steps Butter Pro measures one serving of butter at a time, so you can be confident of portion size, plus its top-rack dishwasher safe for easy clean up.

• Don’t forget the vinegar

Flavor vinegar to use in cooking and vinaigrettes.  Bruise one cup of leaves for every 2 cups of white wine or delicate vinegar. Allow to steep for two weeks. Herbed vinaigrettes are a flavorful touch to salads and other vegetables. The most commonly used vinegars are red or white wine vinegars and cider vinegars. Rice wine vinegar, sherry vinegar and other specialty vinegars may also be used. Distilled white vinegar is easy to obtain and will make a nice herb vinegar, but it will have a sharper flavor than the wine vinegars. Select a white vinegar if the herb will color the vinegar. Use a red vinegar if the herb has a strong flavor. Try these combinations; basil, oregano and thyme in a red wine vinegar. A rich, full flavor that is excellent in salad dressings and marinades.  Rosemary in white vinegar.

Healthy Steps kitchen tools are developed on the principle of portion control. Each stylish utensil provides the perfect measure of ingredients for cooking.

Currently, the Healthy Steps by Jokari line has 30 products with MSP ranging from $2.99 to $14.95. The herb pro and other new products are available exclusively at  A selection of products is available at many different retailers including Hy-Vee, Bi-Lo, Cost Plus World Market, Schnuck’s, Zabar’s, Chef Central, QFC, Big Y, Stop & Shop, Giant Food Stores and the Spartan Stores’ family of grocery stores.

For more information, log on to for products, recipes and nutritional information. Follow Healthy Steps by Jokari on, Twitter at and on YouTube at 

Media Advisory: For more information on Healthy Steps by Jokari or product samples, contact Jane Jarrell at TrizCom, 214-718-4408 or


About: Healthy Steps by Jokari has built a strong reputation since 1974 and is well-known in the industry for creating innovative products for the home and beyond. The company offers a wide range of mostly patented products designed to simplify everyday tasks, create storage solutions and extend the life of common household products such as carbonated beverages and wine.