March is my favorite month of the year for so many reasons! I love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (hello…my name is Erin), but it’s also National Nutrition Month! And for a Registered Dietitian, that’s code for celebrating all we do, all month long! Each year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics creates a theme for this month and for 2022 it’s Celebrate a World of Flavors.

One way we love to explore the flavors of the world is by playing with different spices. Making a dish using a new spice or a blend of spices can invigorate your senses and make you feel like you’ve traveled to a new city or country. Plus, spices pack quite a nutritional punch! Did you know that ounce for ounce, dried herbs and spices average the greatest antioxidant amount of all food. So you can feel good about mixing in that little spoonful of goodness!

Creating your own spice blends is easy too. Usually, it’s just a matter of combining spices most of us already have in our pantry to create a flavor collaboration to celebrate! So the next time you’re itching for a new way to spice up a normal weeknight meal, try one of our favorite blends:

Mediterranean Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

Latin Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Middle Eastern Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

For more spice blend recipes and ways to use them at home, check out Rebecca Katz ebook, Power of Yum! 

Happy National Nutrition Month! 

Erin Pellegrin RD, LDN on behalf of the Unite for HER Culinary Nutrition Team