words Al Woods
Cooking can be a lot of fun, especially when you use spices to add flavor and complexity to your dishes. From sweet and smoky flavors to spicy heat, there’s a wide variety of spices out there that can take any meal from good to great. When you know how to use and combine spices, you can unlock a whole world of flavor possibilities.
Whether you are preparing a traditional dish or experimenting with something new, using the right spices can make a world of difference. If you are ready to explore the wonderful world of spices, here are 8 types of spices you should try using in your meals.
This spice has an intense and complex flavor that is simultaneously sweet, spicy, and slightly citrusy. It pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes, such as curries, stews, and desserts. Namely, this spice is used in many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes and it is also popular in some nordic countries like Sweden where they use it to flavor their Christmas Baked goods. When it comes to the look, cardamom is similar to small green pods that contain several tiny black seeds. You can use the pods whole or you can remove the seeds and grind them into a powder form. Cardamom is also delicious in coffee, tea, and hot chocolate and it is known to help settle an upset stomach. So, whether you are making a curry or brewing some tea, cardamom is worth trying.
This bright yellow-orange spice is considered a must-have in Indian and Middle Eastern kitchens. It has a slightly bitter taste, but it also adds great color to dishes like rice, curries, and stews. This spice is known as an anti-inflammatory because of its high concentrations of curcumin, which helps to reduce inflammation and pain. Turmeric can be used in its powdered form or you can use the root, which is often called “Indian saffron” due to its yellow color. It is also used to make turmeric milk, which is a popular beverage with many health benefits. Namely, a lot of people put turmeric in soups, and various other dishes and also use it to make golden milk. All in all, the warm and earthy flavor of turmeric is worth exploring and adding to your meals.
No salt spice mixes
If you’re looking for a convenient way to add flavor to your cooking, try using spice mixes. There are many varieties of premade salt-free flavor blends that can be used in almost any dish. These pre-mixed spices are great because they contain multiple different ingredients, which means you can quickly get an incredible depth of flavor without having to buy and combine many different spices. You can find salt free seasoning to your liking in almost any grocery store and they come in a variety of flavors such as Italian, Mexican, Indian, Cajun, and more. So if you’re looking for an easy way to add flavor to your dishes without using salt, try out some premade blends!
Cumin is used all over the world, from Mexican and Latin American dishes to Indian curries and Middle Eastern foods. It has a slightly bitter, smoky flavor that adds a great depth of flavor to food. Cumin can be used in its whole seed form or it can be ground up and added to dishes. It is often used in combination with other spices like chili powder, paprika, coriander, and turmeric for an even more flavorful dish. Cumin is also known for its digestive benefits and it can help reduce blood sugar levels when eaten regularly. So, if you are looking for a way to add some extra flavor to your cooking, don’t forget about cumin!
Well-known for its incredibly intense and unique flavor, saffron costs more than other spices because it is made from the dried stigmas of crocus flowers, which are quite hard to harvest. Nonetheless, a little bit of saffron goes a long way and you don’t need to use a lot to get that wonderful flavor. It is often used in Spanish, Italian, Persian, and Indian cuisine and it’s best when added right at the end of cooking so it doesn’t lose its flavor. Saffron has also been known to have medicinal properties as it is thought to be good for digestion and it can even help with depression. A lot of people add it to rice dishes and various other dishes since it adds a wonderful flavor and color. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, give saffron a try!
Fenugreek is a spice that has been used for centuries in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cooking. It is often used as an herb or a seed and it has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that complements many dishes. Fenugreek can be used in its whole seed form, or it can be ground up and added to dishes like curries, stews, and soups. It is also known for its medicinal properties as it helps reduce cholesterol levels, improve digestion, and even boost the immune system. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to add some extra health benefits to your cooking, then fenugreek is worth considering.
If you like a bit of heat in your food, then hot paprika is the perfect spice for you. It has a slightly sweet and smoky flavor with a hint of heat that can add amazing depth to any dish. Hot paprika is commonly used in Balkan, Mexican, South American, and Hungarian cuisine and it can give any dish an extra kick. It is also packed with vitamins A and C which makes it a great addition to any healthy meal. For instance, adding paprika to your everyday dishes can help you get more nutrients without sacrificing flavor. It goes well with fried eggs, rice dishes, and even roasted vegetables. If you add paprika to your tomatoes, they will turn a beautiful red color and the flavor will be amazing.
White pepper is often overlooked, but it is an incredibly flavorful spice that adds great warmth to food without the heat of black pepper. It has a milder flavor than black pepper and is often used in white sauces since it won’t discolor them. White pepper works well with fish dishes, cream-based soups, cheese sauces, and even salads. Its subtle flavor also makes it perfect for delicate dishes that don’t require too much spice. While there are many different types of pepper, white pepper is worth trying if you want to add a bit of flavor without the heat.
These are just some of the spices you can experiment with in your cooking. You can always combine them to make your dishes even more flavorful. Whether you want to add a hint of heat or some extra depth, there are plenty of spices that can help take your cooking up a notch. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and start experimenting!