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Weight-loss diets that work and produce long-term results usually involve keeping your dishes interesting.  There is no better way to add kick and spice to a meal than to add a Jamaican twist to breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  You may think that the only way to add a Jamaican flair to a meal is to add curry seasoning, but there are several ways to infuse Jamaican flavor into dishes.  These five Jamaican herbs and spices will help you add some adventure to your next healthy weight-loss meal.  Mix and match and play around with the flavors to find your next family favorite!


Allspice: Allspice, also known as Jamaican pepper or pimento, tastes like a mixture of a bunch of spices.  Allspice is said to resemble a combination of pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Allspice is a ripe berry that can be eaten raw or dried.  Dried berries are used to make wine, while unripe berries are typically used for cooking.  In Jamaican cooking, allspice is typically paired with cumin and paprika and used to season meats, such as chicken.  It can also be added to curry dishes.

Scotch Bonnet Pepper: The scotch bonnet pepper is one of the hottest peppers on the Scoville Health Unit (SHU) scale.  You can scale down the heat by removing the seeds and membrane from the pepper before cooking.  If you are not a huge fan of spicy foods but want to give the scotch bonnet pepper a try, a little goes a long way.  Add just a small amount of the pepper to a dish, and it will add good flavor and a little kick.


Jamaican Ginger: Speaking of weight-loss diets that work, ginger is a favorite of medical weight management programs.  Jamaican ginger is another spice that you may find in traditional curry.  Jamaican ginger, unlike traditional ginger, is smaller in size but bolder in flavor.  The flavor of Jamaican ginger lends itself to use in a variety of dishes, from vegetable medleys to a poultry rub.  Tip: If you are feeling adventurous, try this in your decaffeinated tea.


Escallion: Escallions are very similar in appearance to green onions, yet have a stronger flavor.  Escallions can be used in soups, to season meats, or added to veggies when steaming or sautéing. 


Jamaican Thyme: Over 100 varieties of thyme are grown in Jamaica!  Thyme is considered a must for all Jamaican cooking, especially when seasoning meat, fish, and vegetables.  Try adding a pinch of thyme to scrambled eggs or sprinkled on your salad for a Jamaican punch.

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