Since I’ve been Paleo my cooking has got more and more inventive, and I find I’m using a lot of different Herbs & Spices.
This does start out quite expensive if you don’t have any, but I really recommend going out and buying a basic selection to get started with. Just by changing the herbs you can completely transform a meal.
When I went strict Paleo, I already had a lot of Herbs & Spices, but I went through all of my Paleo recipe books and bought all of the herbs and spices that came up in the ingredients list. I’ve noticed I tend to use a few very frequently, and some are barely used, so thought I’d share my top ten herbs and spices, and what I use them for.
- Onion Powder. Although I use onions too, this is great to add to lots of dishes for extra onion flavour.
- Garlic Powder. I use this similarly to onion powder, to gives an almost sweet garlic taste.
- Turmeric. I’m trying to add this to more and more of my cooking, as it is has so many great attributes – including having anti inflammatory properties. Turmeric gives a yellow colour and a slight bitter, mustard flavour. I always add Turmeric to curries.
- Cayenne Pepper. This is a hot spicy chilli pepper, with hot being the word! I only add a very small amount, but often add it to dishes like chilli, where I want a bit of heat.
- Paprika. This is from dried capsicum and quite a sweet flavour. It gives food a red colour and I’ll use it in sauces and dips.
- Oregano. I seem to use a lot of this, almost anytime I cook with tomatoes, I add some oregano. It has a slightly lemony flavour.
- Thyme. I often add this near the end of cooking to ensure the heat doesn’t damage it. I add it to lots of different things such as stews, vegetable dishes and stocks.
- Cinnamon. This is my current favourite – I use it in almost everything. Although it isn’t sweet, it’s great as a sweet substitute in tea and NoOatmeal. I commonly use it in meat dishes as it gives such a great flavour.
- Ginger. This is another favourite which I have to regularly replenish. I often add this to curries.
- Salt. This is another must have which brings out the flavour in dishes. I naturally have quite low blood pressure, and as I don’t eat anything processed think it’s quite a good addition to my cooking. I use Pink Himalayan salt as it is very pure with a great mineral content. I also have Celtic Sea Salt, which also has a great mineral content. I would go without rather than having table salt!
Are my most commonly used Herbs & Spices completely different to yours? Which are your favourite Herbs & Spices and what do you use them for?