Greek seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices commonly used in Greek cuisine. Many of the components have their origin in the Mediterranean region and have grown there throughout history up to the present. Others have been imported since the days of ancient Greece. Oregano is one of the ingredients that show up in most Greek seasoning blends and it originated in Greece along with marjoram, another popular ingredient. Both herbs were used by ancient Greeks with marjoram being considered a symbol of happiness. Garlic is also a popular Greek seasoning ingredient and was used by ancient Greeks as well as the ancient Egyptians before them.
Greek herbs and spices are traditionally used fresh, but blends made with dried ingredients have become popular as well. In the US, one of the best-known American Greek seasoning blends consisting of dried herbs and spices is Cavender’s All-Purpose Greek Seasoning. The company started production in the mid 20th century and the blend includes oregano, garlic and a number of unnamed spices.
The blend proved popular when it was first made in 1969 and it is still in production today.
Greek seasoning flavor profile
There are numerous traditional Greek herbs and spices, which means that there is a great deal of variation among the flavor profiles of different Greek seasoning blends. There are few consistent ingredients across the different brands of Greek seasoning aside from oregano, garlic, and salt. Other ingredients can include marjoram, rosemary, and nutmeg. Lemon zest is included in many brands’ blends. Greek seasoning is usually formulated to be heavy on the aromatics and intense herbal notes.
Health benefits of greek seasoning
Keep in mind that some Greek Seasoning blends contain salt and other ingredients that are not particularly nutritious; however, many ingredients do have high levels of certain nutrients. These nutrients include:
- Minerals: Several of the ingredients in Greek seasoning are rich in minerals. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and oregano are all rich in calcium and iron as well as magnesium.
- Vitamins: Oregano is rich in vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting. Oregano and the mint found in some Greek seasoning blends both contain decent levels of vitamin A and some B vitamins.
- Dietary fiber: Almost all the ingredients in Greek seasoning contain some dietary fiber. Cinnamon, lemon zest and nutmeg are all good sources of fiber.
The herbs and spices in Greek seasoning can have health benefits such as:
- Protection from oxidative damage: Several Greek seasoning ingredients are rich in antioxidants that can help to prevent damage by free radicals. That damage can cause certain serious diseases. Cinnamon has greater antioxidant activity than all other spices, but mint and oregano also contain high levels of antioxidants.
- Improved digestion: The fiber in the different herbs and spices is important for helping to increase stool bulk and move food through your digestive system.
- Blood sugar management: Cinnamon can reduce the insulin resistance that comes with type 2 diabetes. This means that cinnamon can help to control high blood sugar.
Common uses of Greek seasoning
Along with being a great addition to many Greek dishes, Greek seasoning is popular for use in dry rubs and is great for grilling poultry fish and lamb. It is also a great addition to salads and salad dressings.