Dried rosemary is one of the most common spices used in dishes like roasted chicken, stews, soups, and many more. It can turn a simple, regular-tasting dish into an extra-ordinarily delightful delicacy. Rosemary removes the blandness of recipes that have white meat and makes it even better.
This perennial woody evergreen herb has its origins in the Mediterranean and now found its way into kitchens all over the world. The warm and bitter taste of dried rosemary is not easy to replicate, but when it is not available, substitutes are mandatory.
While choosing the substitute for dried rosemary, it is essential to look beyond flavors as it has lots of impressive health benefits.
Rosemary enhances the immune system, works as a pain reliever, stalls cancer, boosts memory, and even prevents aging symptoms.
The substitutes that have made it to our list come with excellent health benefits too, just like rosemary!
1. Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are vastly used in different variants of bread, spicy curries, and soups. Being known as meridian fennel, caraway seeds can improve the taste of any dish just like rosemary.
If you want to prepare a meal with caraway seeds instead of rosemary, then it is recommended to apply a maximum of one teaspoon. The strong nutty, peppery, and earthy flavor of caraway might ruin the whole recipe if used too much.
Caraway doesn’t fall short on health benefits either. Mothers having newborn babies can see an immediate improvement in the production of breast milk by having caraway seeds regularly. It also helps to keep allergic reactions in check. Besides, its anti-bacterial attributes can give comfort to those who have coughs.
Thyme is a prevalent member of the mint plants family. Like rosemary, thyme makes roasted chicken much better if applied in the right proportions. The pleasant scent carried by this ingredient makes your food smell better as well.
You can easily substitute dry rosemary with thyme while preparing meat curries or soups. Thyme’s distinctive aroma will remain in the food once it’s cooked, so don’t apply it in the same proportion as rosemary. If the regular recipe requires one teaspoon of rosemary, the substitute thyme should not exceed more than a quarter teaspoon.
During the age of the Black Death, Europeans widely used thyme to stay away from the epidemic. Thyme is also used in its herbal or oil form as a medicinal herb. Ailments like coughs, sore throat, bronchitis, arthritis, etc. can be treated by this.
Savory is another broadly available ingredient you can find in neighborhood grocery shops. Day-to-day grocery shops usually have two variants of savory: the summer savory and the winter savory. But to use as a substitute for rosemary, only the former would be appropriate.
Many Canadian dishes like ground pork include savory as a significant ingredient for its delicate flavor.
It can be used in dishes that require rosemary as a substitute. Additionally, summer savory is an excellent natural antiseptic and is commonly found in toothpaste and soaps as an ingredient.
People who are lovers of French Cuisine would find tarragon very familiar. Originated in Eurasia and North America, this herb is a ubiquitous ingredient in countless French recipes. Interestingly, tarragon’s flavor is almost identical to dried rosemary.
It is possible to replace the rosemary with tarragon in the same proportions in many of the dishes because of the similarity in flavor. Tarragon is also used as an ingredient to create vinegar. It lowers blood sugar and works as a very effective antioxidant.
5. Bay Leaf
The origin of the bay leaf is the Mediterranean region. It has been collected from the laurel trees since ancient ages for cooking and perfume production. Though it is known by various names in different parts of the world, its smell and taste are easily recognizable.
Bay leaves can be found in both whole and powdered forms, presenting you with multiple options to apply them to your recipe.
The leaves are usually applied in dry form to replace bitter flavors with sweet scents, while the powder is used as the main ingredient in recipes. As bay leaves have a very close taste to rosemary, it can be a quite convenient substitute.
Though dried rosemary can be found in most grocery stores, you should try planting it in your backyard if gardening is your hobby.
This way, you will be able to enjoy both culinary and medicinal benefits without paying. Planting the herbs will also allow you to create a DIY air freshener due to its fragrant smell.
Having so many benefits, dried rosemary is indeed one of the healthiest food ingredients out there!