When it comes to spices, they can either make or break a recipe. Spices too old? Chances are they aren’t going to deliver the power punch you’re looking for and it’s possible it could ruin your meal. So, what’s a cook to do? Walking the spice aisle at the store can often be overwhelming. Let’s face it, spice are expensive and no one wants to buy something they aren’t really going to use. So, if you’re looking for some help, then I’ve got your back!
Nine Must Have Spices
According to the Martha, here are nine spices that every kitchen should have. And she’s right! This is where you need to start. I’ve linked the best deals on Amazon in case you’re like me and you find the spice aisle too overwhelming.
- Crushed red-pepper flakes
- Ground ginger
- Whole allspice
- Ground cumin
- Sweet Paprika
- Cayenne pepper
- Whole cloves
- Whole nutmeg
Why do you need whole spices instead of ground? Because in general they are going to last longer and maintain their flavor better than pre-ground spices. All it takes is a little grating and you’ve got some delicious flavor on your hands.
Spice Mixes For the Win!
When you’re looking for something that is low maintenance and going to deliver a good burst of flavor to whatever you’re cooking, then you need to reach for a spice blend. These come pre-grated/ground and mixed for ease of use.
Blend 01: Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
This blend is a serious home run in my household! It goes amazing on veggies and chicken and provides just enough salt to liven up your dishes. It has salt, paprika, turmeric, onion, garlic and a little sugar to round it out. Get yours here.
Blend 02: Hawaij Yemeni Seasoning
A North African spice blend with turmeric, cumin, black pepper and more will give a good depth to any veggies or stews and rumor has it that it tastes amazing on chocolate ice cream…get yours here.
Blend 03: Italian Seasoning
This is a classic and probably the most used at my house next to Lawry’s. It’s a blend of thyme, oregano, and basil to add some classic Italian flavor to your dishes. It works amazing in pasta, chicken, tomato sauce, or salad dressings. Get yours here.
Blend 04: Garlic and Onion Spice Blend
Yes, I know that I could totally make this on my own. But there is something about having them blended together that not only makes dishes smell amazing, but taste better as well. This works great with poultry and fish. Get yours here.
Blend 05: Five Spice Powder
Okay, I totally didn’t mean to save this for #5, but it works out! This spice blend owes its creating to Asia (China specifically I believe) and it’s meant to touch on all five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and hot. It levels up chicken, beef, veggies, and even whiskey. Get yours here.
I hope that these spices help you take your cooking game to the next level! Happy Cooking!