I love spices and herbs. We have a whole cabinet of spices. And I use most of them. But there are a few I use most of the time.
Great for baking. It goes well with pumpkin/squash/sweet potato, and also with apple. A key ingredient in cinnamon rolls and most coffee cake recipes. It also is used in many middle eastern and Indian dishes.
There are so many kinds, and so many different purposes. But for general use, my go to mix is the Penzey’s Sweet Curry Spice mix because it doesn’t have garlic (which can be an issue for those on the low FODMAP diet like me).
An earthy, grounding spice. Usually paired with other spices in savory dishes from all over the world; but a must for Mexican.
My favorite spice (but don’t tell the others!). I just love the smell. This is a must in Thai and Southeast Asian cooking and curry paste (though the coriander root is often used in pastes). Found as a whole seed or powder. Many recipes that call for the whole seed have you toast it in a dry skillet before grinding it. You’ll know it’s ready when you can smell it- usually 30-60 seconds.
This one is easy to grow yourself- just let cilantro go to seed! But you will need a good sized space for it, you won’t get much from a small window box.
Not as potent as fresh ginger, it can be used in both baking (cookies, muffins, cakes, etc) and in savory dishes (anywhere from Indian to French).
Goes really well with cinnamon.
I don’t use “chili powder”, which is a mix of chili, garlic, and any number of other spices. Instead I use the single-chili kind. Like this brand which has lots of single-chili powder choices ranging from smokey flavor to lots of heat. A must for Mexican, but is also good paired with chocolate (seriously!).
Its bright red color should be a warning- it’s all heat, little flavor. Use sparingly, and only when you want some heat.
It’s unmistakable fiery orange color is imparted into any dish it’s in. It’s a little bitter, but becomes earthy when cooked along with other spices. It brings a grounding to dishes. Used profusely in Indian cooking.
Useful in French cooking, and great in all kinds of soups.
An easy one to grow and store yourself. Cut off longish stems with leaves and either hang to dry or lay on a tray to dry. Once dry, pull the leaves off and store in an airtight container.
A must for Mexican cooking.
This is another easy one to grow and store yourself. Cut off longish stems with leaves and either hang to dry or lay on a tray to dry. Once dry, pull the leaves off and store in an airtight container.
What are your favorite go-to herbs and spices?