If salt is your idea of spicing up your food, there’s a whole world of flavor that you’re missing out on! Stop eating boring food! Changing up your spices can help you globe-trot without having to leave your kitchen. For many, the idea of buying/using spices (besides the normal black pepper, garlic powder and dried parsley) can be daunting. Here are some tips:
Many health food stores offer spices in bulk food containers so you can buy as little or as much as you like. This is a great way to try a small quantity of a spice to see if you’ll like it without having to shell out and then be disappointed later. Also, check the store or your farmer’s market for locally produced brands, which can be less expensive.
Invest in a good spice rack, and keep it in plain sight. This will encourage you to keep everything organized and also be a constant reminder to use your spices! If you clutter them away in the dark recesses of your pantry you’ll be less likely to remember them!
Make your own spice blends. This gives you more variety from the basic ingredients you have on hand (think of mixing and matching in different combinations) and allows you to make just enough so you’re always using fresh spices. (Hint: ground spices have a shorter shelf life than whole seeds). My favorite cookbook, Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan, has some awesome spice blends: sausage seasoning, Rogan Josh seasoning and Ras El Hanout. If you make the blends ahead of time, you’ll always have them on hand to toss into your favorite crock pot creation or on top of meats and veggies.
My top 3 most-used spices: cumin, smoked paprika and cinnamon!
What are yours?