10 Must Have Herbs And Spices
When I got married I got a spice rack complete with spices. A few times over the years I have bought a new spice rack and they always came pre-filled with spices. I never used many of those, and I hated to throw them away… surely they are no good after a certain period of time though, right? lol
So, I was looking at my spice rack and my spice cabinet and what huge disarray they’re in and decided to clear out any culinary herbs and spices that I don’t use. As I said, I hate to throw them away, so I just put them in a less prominent place so I could still get to them if I ever needed them.
This is a great way to store what I call exotic spices such as star anise, kaffir lime leaves, and green cardamom, which, by the way, is a part of the ginger family.
So, I pared down to 10 herbs and spices I always keep on hand. Some of them I use all the time and some I try to incorporate when I can because they have health benefits and useful medical purposes. You can get any of these spices at your local grocery store.
Here are the 10 I kept:
This popular spice is used in but not limited to Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican dishes, and Indian dishes. This popular herb is great in pasta sauce and research shows that the oils in Oregano are said to inhibit bacteria growth and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Two of its uses are as a marinade and are made up as herbal teas. This annual herb has many culinary uses, but ginger is also known to settle the stomach.
My Midwife always suggested it for morning sickness when I was pregnant. Not only that, ginger has many antioxidant properties, which help with the health effects of high blood pressure.
It goes well in Italian dishes and tomato sauces. And… :
The parts of the plant that grow above the ground are used to make medicine. Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites.RXlist.com
I love to use Garlic in many dishes, from soups and sauces to marinades, since it goes with a variety of spices. It’s also great for a homemade herb butter or a dry rub. Garlic is said to have many great health benefits, too, like a majority of spices do.
Among many other health benefits, it has been known to help regulate blood sugar levels, help your immune system, and help with lowering blood pressure.
Sage is a good addition to sauces and as a seasoning in marinades for chicken and pork. This is another one that is said to help lower blood sugar as well as helping to heal a sore throat. Not only that, but sage is also a key ingredient in some essential oils.
Rosemary is best used in hearty stews and soups as a seasoning for meat and vegetables. Plus, rosemary is an essential ingredient in many different spice blends. Not only that, this spice has been said to be good for memory.
Cinnamon toast was a favorite of all of our kids, and they would mix cinnamon and sugar and then mix it in the butter to go on their toast. It’s also good in coffees and teas as a special treat.
Cinnamon is also used in many herb blends, such as volatile oils, Chinese five-spice powder, and garam masala, which originates from Southeast Asia. Cinnamon is another one said to help lower blood sugar and reduce cholesterol.
Cumin is delicious in Indian cuisine, and in Mexican dishes, cumin is used in many savory dishes. It’s also a key ingredient to any Indian spice blend. It is said to help aid in digestion, too.
Allspice is another one that is good in Indian and Mexican dishes. This is also a key ingredient in my holiday spice mixes. It also is said to aid in digestion. It is even known to help with muscle pain and Arthritis.
10. Black Pepper
Pepper is used in everything from soups and sauces, to marinades and dry rubs and of course as a staple table seasoning. You can get pepper ground or black peppercorns ( my favorite). Plus, Black Pepper has medical properties that are said to increase metabolism and energy levels.
What’s in your spice rack or cabinet?