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Super spice marinades for healthy summer grilling

Grilling is inherently a healthy way to cook your lighter summer fare. Best yet, it delivers a distinctive deliciousness that is unparalleled by other methods of cooking. Add a spice-rich marinade and your grilled meals will be even more succulent, flavorful and healthy. Herbs and spices are now recognized as having just as many antioxidants as today’s popular superfoods. Here is a simple antioxidant-rich spice blend plus a delectable selection of marinades to turn your backyard grill-out into a healthy flavor fest!


Seven superfood spices and herbs

The well-known spice leader McCormick has identified seven super spices that, in addition to adding palate pizzazz to your meals, may hold the greatest potential to improve your health.
These flavorful spices and herbs are cinnamon, ginger, oregano, red peppers (including cayenne, crushed red pepper and paprika), rosemary, thyme and yellow curry.

Though these seven super spices have been deemed the healthiest, all spices and herbs can improve the nutritional value of your meals – after all, they are botanically just fruits and vegetables.

Best yet, antioxidant-rich spice and herb marinades may actually decrease the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs) – potentially cancer-causing compounds often produced in meat cooked at high temperatures – by up to 88 percent, according to a new study in the August 2008 issue of the Journal of Food Science.

McCormick’s Mix-and-Match Super Spice Marinade Recipes

Try any of these marinades on 1 to 1-1/4 pound of your choice of meat, poultry or seafood. To get an even bigger antioxidant boost, use them as marinades for your favorite vegetables and fruits before firing up the grill.
Whisk together marinade ingredients and pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Add your choice of meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables and refrigerate for 30 minutes (for seafood) or up to a few hours to infuse your food with flavor and health.

Super Spice Grill Blend

Makes enough for 2 to 3 marinade recipes

Indian Marinade

Here is a quick blend of super spices, courtesy of McCormick, that can be combined with other antioxidant-rich ingredients to create nutritiously potent marinades. Keep a jar of this spice blend on hand and you are just minutes from mouthwatering meals.

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons rosemary leaves, crushed
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon oregano leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Store in tightly covered jar in cool, dry place until ready to use in the following marinades.


Tenderize chicken, pork or lamb with this tasty blend of seasonings and yogurt.

Green Tea and Peach Marinade

Green Tea and Peach Marinade

Best on shrimp and chicken, but also delish on salmon or steak. 

Triple Citrus Marinade

Refreshingly flavorful, try this marinade on chicken or seafood.canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice

Caribbean Marinade

1 tablespoon Super Spice Grill Blend
1 (6-ounce) container plain low fat yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of ground turmeric, if desired

1 tablespoon Super Spice Grill Blend
1/4 cup strong brewed green tea
2 tablespoons peach preserves
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


1 tablespoon Super Spice Grill Blend
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons

Add tropical flair to tuna steaks, shrimp or chicken.

Honey Pomegranate Marinade

Honey Pomegranate Marinade

Ideal for pork or lamb, this marinade combines the antioxidant power of super spices and pomegranate juice. 
1 tablespoon Super Spice Grill Blend
1/4 cup tropical juice blend
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dark rum

1 tablespoon Super Spice Grill Blend
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice

Tuscan Marinade

Give steak or chicken an Italian infusion with this blend of spices, balsamic and mustard.
1 tablespoon Super Spice Grill Blend
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

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