This is a post I’ve literally wanted to do since I started blogging & just haven’t yet. I’m happy to say….8 years later, here we are.
In my opinion, spices (& herbs, but post to come on that later) are some of the most underrated additions in the kitchen. There are so many ways to get creative with them & add zest to any meal.
I add spices to EVERYTHING. From my coffee to my water to my pizza to even ice cream.
Spices are so big all over the world- like in Asia, Europe & India, they’re non-negotiable. We really need to use them more & make it more of a thing in America.
Pretty much every single spice is an antioxidant, which we always want. They’re pretty cheap for the most part, easy to use, make things taste AMAZING, & take up no space in your pantry or cupboard. Win, win, win, win, if you ask me.
Today we’re going to discuss the standout stars & why they need to be in your kitchen asap. My resolution for 2019 is to cook more in the kitchen & there’s no way I could do this without spices. Let’s dissect:
Obviously this is an herb, but I feel like it’s a spice because you can get it dried. Add a little pinch to your noodles, curries, or pizzas. Pesto is traditionally made with fresh basil leaves, but you can always add more dried basil to it. Pesto was the cat’s meow in the 90s so I feel like we need to really bring it back! Also, you wanna add this to any sauces. Whenever I use Rao’s Arrabbiata, I add a little basil. I like to use dried when cooking & use fresh later on for garnishing. Look at me pretending I know what the fuck I’m doing in the kitchen. HA!
If I feel like being annoying, I’ll also ask for cardamom in my coffee. My local coffee shop has it which is so on brand. I love the taste & it’s so good in tea too. It can help with bad breath, has antibacterial properties & also is a diuretic, which we love.
I love to throw some cayenne in water because it speeds up the metabolism. I also make the TSC pink detox drink with cayenne & ACV– it’s so delicious. I can handle a lot of spice, so the more cayenne the better really.
Cilantro is always in my homemade chili & on top of my tacos. It can help clear up skin issues like eczema, lower cholesterol, & regulate blood sugar.
♡ Saigon cinnamon & cinnamon sticks
I’m very specific about my cinnamon. I cannot have coffee without it. It curbs your sweet tooth & can help balance your blood sugar ( coffee can cause your blood sugar to rise ). I envision myself drinking cinnamon tea with the sticks by the fire every day- obviously that doesn’t happen. But whenever I get a chance to drink my drink with real cinnamon sticks, I take it- it’s always better. Usually I just use organic Saigon cinnamon. It can also be added to French toast, pancakes, skinny waffles & mulled wine. Lastly, you’ll always smell cinnamon in my house in November & December. My stepmom, Julie, has this homemade potpourri that we’re all obsessed with.
Cloves are good to add to tea, mulled wine, & homemade potpourri. Cloves can improve liver & bone health, reduce stomach ulcers, & are high in manganese.
Honestly, curry is probably my least favorite spice. I just don’t love the taste but it’s good with certain things & definitely a good one to have on hand. It’s detoxifying, a natural laxative & probably my least favorite because I don’t love the taste but its good in certain things. I ts good to have on hand. It detoxifies you , is a natural laxative, & aids digestion. If i’m going to have curry I like it really spicy.
Can’t live without ginger. I buy it at the farmer’s market every Sunday, slice it up & put it in a pitcher with mint & lemon. SO good for digestion. I also like to throw a big thumb of ginger into my smoothies. And I mean a HUGE-ASS thumb. I also just like to take a bite of it, which is gross but it’s soooo good. Dried ginger is great for cooking when you’re too lazy to peel & chop.
Everyone who knows me knows I pop raw cloves in my mouth 24/7. I LOVE eating raw garlic because it’s so good for you & I don’t give a shit if I smell- that’s Michael’s problem, not mine. I eat it raw & also cannot eat pasta with out it. There are so many antioxidant properties & health benefits: high in vitamins & minerals, contains selenium ( which is great for your skin ), combats sickness, improves cholesterol, detoxifies heavy metals from the blood, improves bone health & just tastes really really delicious.
Lemongrass is so good in Asian cooking. You can try it soups & curries or just stick a fresh stalk in some hot water for a delicious tea. It’s also fun to experiment with lemongrass in cocktails. It can help relieve bloat, boost red blood cell levels, & ease stomach upset. To be honest, I don’t use it too much in cooking, but love to diffuse it. The paste is good to keep on hand for cooking though.
♡ Moroccan medley
This medley is by my friend Ingrid who’s been on the blog many times. She sells this along with her inulin ( artichoke fiber ) in her online store & also just launched an e-cookbook where she uses both of these ingredients & teaches you how to use them. These spices are a very special blend sourced in Morocco. I like to use it on meats, tacos & even homemade salad dressings. Follow Ingrid @simplygangsterchic for tons of valuable info about cooking with inulin & these spices.
Now, if we’re getting REALLY annoying, this is another spice I like to add to my coffee. Nutmeg is so good in baking too- everyone should have this in their kitchen. It helps digestion & promotes gorgeous skin & shiny hair.
Oregano is so great to add to any sauce- just like basil. I always add it to GG pizzas. It’s anti-inflammatory, has anti-cancer properties, & contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, & potassium.
♡ Sesame seeds
These are always recommended by Ingrid. She loves all sesame seeds for hormone health. You can also use tahini- just make sure it’s raw. Sesame seeds are packed with minerals like copper, magnesium, & calcium. They’re a great source of fiber & really good for your hair. You can use them in muffins, on top of bagels or salads, & in veggie stirfrys. Just keep them on hand so you can pour them over whatever you’re eating.
This became a standout star in my life after double jaw surgery. It’s known as being very anti-inflammatory. I’ve been testing out Vani’s (of Food Babe) pure turmeric pills, so I get it that way but I also like to add it to Four Sigmatic Golden Milk or coffee. BE AWARE because turmeric is a little bitch. It’ll make your fingers orange, just like Flaming Hot Cheetos make your fingers red. You gotta be careful with your oversized white hoodie or your dog’s white fur coat.
If you guys like this spice post my recommendation would be to save the picture at the top in your phone or screen shot it. You need to start a spice collection if you haven’t yet. Incorporate them into your everyday foods & drinks. Don’t neglect them.
Do you guys want to see a post like this, but all about fresh herbs? Let me know below.
I’m off to make some golden milk with almond milk, cinnamon & nutmeg.
+ Check out the most amazing homemade potpourri recipe.
++ Use cinnamon stick to make this spicy, boozy drink.
LEAVE A COMMENT
20 replies to “The Importance of Spices”
LOVE, LOVE, LOVEEE adding cinnamon to my coffee and other things!
Blondie in the City
Cinnamon is everything!!
I grew up in Sydney where spices in cooking is the done thing! This is a great breakdown of why they’re so special. Thanks for sharing babe!
xx Bry Jaimea
Thank you for the support Bry!
Great post! So many people are too careful about adding spices. When I cook I have to watch out it isn’t too spicy… sooo boring! Thanks for this post! I’m definitely gonna mention it in my next food post 🙂
Thanks for reading Elisa!
I love adding spices to everything!
My favorite one out of all those is nutmeg! It is so delicious in coffee!!
I LOVED THIS INFO!
Seriously. I am also totally addicted to cinnamon ESP. in my coffee. now I can’t stop thinking about it. 🙂
One of my favorite childhood memories is the smell of cinnamon tea that my grandmother makes during the holidays. When I lived in Sienna, Italy for a summer I learned from a local a simple yet super tasty chicken dish using nothing but olive oil and herbs. Love it!
Spices are great. Besides garlic and onions I only discovered them a few years ago when my dad was told to control his salt because of his hypertension. Since then, we’ve experimented more with herbs and spices and couldn’t believe the flavors we were missing before.
They make such a difference!
Interesting post, but I’m confused …’make spices more of a thing in America’??? We have and use spices. Who doesn’t cook with herbs & spices? I can understand if someone always eats out and never makes their own food. But if not, are they just eating unseasoned food? And if so, WHY? Do not eat unseasoned food, people! You deserve better and you should be mad at whoever raised you/ taught you to cook if they forgot to mention herbs and spices. I literally cannot imagine a life of unseasoned food and wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.
Very well written blog LAURYN. Some of the spices are good for for dealing with teeth ache as well.This was just to add a little more information into this blog. :p
Loved your blog sis. Thank you for sharing this.