You can call me the spice queen, the spice connoisseur, the spice extraordinaire, even the spice goddess, or…just Rebecca. What ever you chose, just let it be known that I love my spices. I could not imagine a world without them. They make food and cooking so much fun and so incredibly delicious! What would Chana Masala be without Garam Masala? What would Pumpkin Pie be without Cinnamon? I don’t know and I would not like to find out. Spices bring life and love to food. When people say you can taste the love put into a dish, they are really talking about the sensational medley of flavors and tastes. That is why writing recipes that include many seasonings is so hard. I don’t measure them out I just go with a feeling, with a shake of the hand. It is all up to you and your preferences, not a written number. So a teaspoon of this and a tablespoon of that is actually a lot less accurate than a pinch of this and a whole lot of that!
Another wonder of spices is their millions of health benefits! From lowering blood pressure, to easing the stomach, to reducing inflammation, there is a spice or herb for all! But that is not all. When you cook with spices you don;t need salt! I never ever add salt to my dishes and I don;t see why anyone should. No one has ever missed out on flavor or taste in my dishes. Salt should come from natural sources like veggies, etc. When you begin to use spices and herbs in your own home cooking it may take some time to find your style, but once you do I can guarantee you will never find a dish over or under seasoned, you will always be able to get it just right and without measuring anything out.
Spices and Herbs (in alphabetical order): *= very frequent use
Basil Leaves (dried)*Ext
Black Pepper (ground)*
Chives (chopped, freeze-dried)
Cilantro Leaves (dried)
Dill Weed (dried)
Herbes De Provence
Marjoram Leaves (dried)
Parsley Flakes (dried)*
Red Pepper (crushed)
Sesame Seeds (toasted)
Tarragon Leaves (dried)
White Pepper (grinder)
Now that I look at my stock, this is a pretty sad list! There are so many other spices and herbs I need to try! Hmm, next time I place a Vitacost order it is going to be full of spices you can guarantee 😉 But the only problem stopping game is that there is so more room in my tiny cabinet! It is really sad, but I can not fit any more! I wish I had one of those really fancy spice racks or one that you can hang on a door. I would need one that was the actual length of the door, but hey, whatever works right? Well I hope you found this interesting! Live it up and never have a meal without some spices or herbs!
P.S. I like to get all my spices from organic brands like Simply Organic and Frontier Naturals. But I do get McCormick as well (especially from their gourmet collection. They have the best Smoked Paprika!)
So tell me:
What is your favorite spice/herb? Um, I think we all know it is 1. cinnamon, 2. smoked paprika, 3. turmeric!
How long do you keep your spices and herbs? Some I use so frequently I don’t have to worry, but other things like say cardamom, I will just use until the best buy date on the bottle (maybe even longer…).