Top Ten Must-Have Spices
In our blog post last week, we stressed the importance of cleaning out and organizing your spice drawer to make sure your kitchen is equipped with the top 10 spices everyone should have. Due to their versatility in cooking and other home uses, the following spices are an absolute necessity:
1. Saigon Cinnamon Ground- We all know cinnamon as a great spice for baking, especially when making an apple pie. However, cinnamon is perfect for specialty drinks like lattes or fruit smoothies and even is used in chili. It also lowers cholesterol, which we mentioned in a past blog post in greater detail. Full of surprises, cinnamon can also be combined with honey for an acne-fighting face mask or help grow hair with a simple cinnamon mask recipe.
2. Paprika - Any type of savory food goes great with paprika—poultry, seafood, meat, eggs—you name it! Paprika is great in salads like egg salad or potato salad. Be aware when purchasing this spice that it comes in different concentrations and can range from mild to hot so that you have the perfect amount of spice added. Our Paprika, 140 ASTA, is principally used as an ingredient in a wide variety of dishes throughout the world. Paprika is mostly used to season and color rice, stews, and soups. In Spain, Germany, Hungary, and Turkey, Paprika is used in the preparation of sausages as an ingredient that is mixed with meats and other spices.
3. Nutmeg Ground- This spice is great for desserts but don’t be fooled, nutmeg is perfect on sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and even broccoli! When combined with lemon juice, nutmeg is an easy way to enhance a fruit’s flavor or complete fruit salad. Aside from the traditional pairing with egg nog, nutmeg is perfect with cider, hot cocoa, or coffee. When it comes to health benefits, this spice can help bad breath, detox liver and kidney, relieve pain or indigestion, and stimulate the brain by helping eliminate stress and fatigue.
4. Garlic Granulated- We all know garlic keeps away the vampires, but it can keep away athlete’s foot, cold sores, acne, and even cure a cold! When it comes to working in the kitchen, this spice is mostly used for seasoning meats, pasta dishes, and bread. Bon appétit! Our Garlic Granulated comes from California which has a reputation for its excellent mellow flavor.
5. Black Pepper Fine- About everyone has a pepper shaker on their table because it complements just about any savory food. However, it can also be used to make a warming massage oil and helps clear the lungs of congestion. Black pepper can also enhance digestion and metabolism so keep on shakin’! Pepper accounts for a quarter of the world’s spice trade.
6. Oregano- Chicken, rolls, burgers, beans—they’re all better with some oregano! Want to make homemade pesto? Oregano is known as a staple in Italian Cuisine. Our Greek oregano has a high reputation. Together with Basil, also used often in Italian dishes, they make a great pair. This spice is filled with healthy minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! Oregano is also one tough spice known to fight off bacteria because it possesses thymol and carvacol, two natural healthy oils.
7. Italian Seasoning- This is a go-to blend for pasta dishes and meat marinades. Italian seasoning can also act as a salad dressing when paired with oils or used to enhance rolls. Other than linguine and fettuccini, pizza is another great Italian dish perfect with this seasoning. Any cheesy slice of pizza can be turned up a notch with a pinch of this spice. This seasoning is so versatile in cooking and is especially important in la familia italiana.
8. Cinnamon Sticks- Cinnamon in the natural form of a stick is perfect for curries, tea, wine, and you can even make a cinnamon essence for baking from it! Bad breath? Chew on some cinnamon sticks and freshen your mouth right up! Other than the health benefits mentioned previously for cinnamon, it can help control blood sugar, reduce weigh, relieve arthritis pain, and help with the common cold symptoms!
9. Vanilla Pure Extract- You’ve seen on our blog and Instagram how our vanilla extract enhances a coffee drink or smoothie. It’s also a must-have for baking and for keeping things fresh and smelling lovely. Vanilla is best used for baking, flavoring rice pudding and making ice cream. With vanilla extract, you can eliminate odor in your fridge, deodorize your microwave, neutralize the smell of paint, and of course, sweeten the smell of your home. This necessity can also repel bugs and relieve minor burns!
10. Crushed Red Pepper- Usually next to parmesan and oregano shakers at a restaurant, crushed red pepper is thought just to spice up Italian food but it is great for seasoning meat before hitting the grill, speeds up metabolism, and is full of antioxidants. This spice is known for causing the Capasicin Effect, which is when some of the pain-signaling neurotransmitters in the brain are eliminated. In non-medical terms, crushed red pepper can work as a painkiller, not just a tasty complement to olive oil and bread! If you are a serious heat lover, use on pizza, spaghetti sauce, tacos and other dishes.
Thanks for reading!
Love your store! I am so happy to have this new knowledge about spices and have recently overhauled my spice drawer to include many new Hanna’s Gourmet spices. (we really taste the difference!)
On August 23, 2014