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Grub Rubs

By Joseph Ewing, RD LDN and Margaret Furtado, MS RD LDN CYT


Summer is here. It’s time to grill and chill. These sunshine-inspired recipe for rubs works wonders on beef, chicken, fish, pork and even tofu. You, your friends and family will swoon over this savory concoction of spices for seriously delicious marinades.


A rub is a wonderful addition to your favorite dishes. It can help you add flavor to your meals without having to add more unhealthy ingredients such as additional salt, sugar and fat. Grilling will add a robust charred flavor to this already delicious blend. For more ideas on spices, please refer to the information provided after these recipes.



Fearsome Garlic Rub

You will enjoy the tangy taste of the garlic mixed with a hint of brown sugar.



6 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons brown sugar


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.


Yield: Enough rub for 2-3 pounds of pork roast


Nutrition Analysis

Calories: 6 Protein: 0g Carbs: 1g Total Fat: 0g Sat Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0g Sodium: 190mg Sugars: 1g Fiber: 0g



Cajun Blackened Rub

If you like food with a little heat, try this recipe out!



2 teaspoons ground oregano

1 teaspoon ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.


Yield: Enough rub for a 2 pound chicken

Nutritional Analysis

Calories: 2 Protein: 0g Carbs: 0g Total Fat: 0g Sat Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0g Sodium: 0mg Sugars: 0g Fiber: 0g


The Spice Is Right

Spices are classified as dried seeds, fruits, roots, bark, or other vegetable substances which are used in nutritionally insignificant quantities in order to lend additional flavor and/or colors to foods, as well as preserving them. In some cases, spices are used for medicinal purposes.


Try adding some of these spices to your diet to not only spice things up, but to reap some healthy benefits too.


Ginger - helps to soothe upset stomachs and may help to fight arthritis pain

Try adding some ginger in stir fries and in marinades

Cinnamon - may help to stabilize blood sugar

Try adding cinnamon to rubs for pork and chicken to mix things up a bit. It may end up becoming your new secret ingredient.

Saffron - may help to lift your mood

Try adding saffron to rice and soups. It will give your foods a pleasing color too!



Jennings, Kerri-Ann. "8 of the Worlds Healthiest Spices & Herbs You Should Be Eating." Yahoo! Shine. Eating Well Magazine, 23 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2012.

Reinagel, Monica. "Not Your Mother's Spice Cabinet." Food & Nutrition 2012: 15-17. Web