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Top 10 Spices Each Kitchen Must Have

Top 10 Spices Each Kitchen Must Have


Did you know that there’s a lot of spices in the world you can use to enhance the flavor of your food? Around 100 or 200 spices to choose from.

With that in mind, have you ever gotten stuck of what spice to get, where to get it and what else you can use it for? Not to mention, how to pronounce it?

That was me, a few years back in the spices section in a grocery store.

Believe me, I didn’t know any of these spices existed, what their uses are, how important they are and their health benefits. Well, ok, for the record, I know and used salt and ground pepper before. Hehe

Since I started cooking, I have collected and used quite a few spices that help boost the flavor of each dish I make. Some are required on the recipe and some are optional but sure give a lot of extra layer of flavor after you add them.

There are times when I have to run back to the grocery store after finding out I am missing one or two spices needed for the dish I am making that day. Having these top 10 spices in your kitchen cabinet saves a lot of unnecessary trips to the grocery store. Don’t worry, an ounce or two of any of these spices will sure bring you a long way.

Ok, I will start with Salt and Pepper. Though I consider these two as spices, I will not include it in my top 10 just because these are very basic and necessary in pretty much any kind of cooking. All kitchens must have it! If you don’t, please go run now to your nearest grocery store to get some.

Kosher Salt or Kitchen Salt

Kosher salt (or kitchen salt) is an edible salt, distinguish by it’s larger grain size, and gives more flavor without an additional additive such as iodine, fluoride or dextrose. It is great for cooking and not on the table. It is different with Iodized Salt.

Any kind of salt will do just fine in cooking… kosher salt, rock salt, iodized salt, coarse kosher salt, but my favorite are the kosher salt and hand milled Himalayan pink salt.

Black Peppercorn

Known as “king of spices”, black peppercorn has been popular among spices since ancient time and used in several kinds of savory cooking. To keep its flavor intact, it’s usually hand milled just before preparing meals and added at the last minute. On top of all good health benefits, black peppercorn contains a good amount of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and zinc. A good source of antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

Here are my top 10 spices each kitchen must have:

  1. Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is ground, hydrated garlic. This is a very popular ingredient in spice blends and dry rubs. Use to season meat, seafood, vegetables, and great for snacks like roasted nuts and the like. It is also great for marinades, sauces, salad dressings and stew. Though nothing beats the flavor of fresh garlic, the garlic powder has always been a great alternative.

We always have this at home, and I use it on most, if not all, of my recipes.

  1. Onion Powder

Onion powder is a hydrated onion bulb that has been finely ground into a powder. It is also popular to mix with other spices and herbs to make a great dry rub. Good to add in soup, stew, salad dressings, sauces and marinades. Sprinkle to season steak, pork or chicken in grilling, saute, or frying.

  1. Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika is a crushed smoke/dried chilies. Do not confuse yourself with regular paprika, as it’s just crushed dried chilies. Having it smoked before drying, gives its intense flavor great for roasted meat, chicken and fish. It is also great to add in soup, stew, sauces, and marinades. Though it’s made from chili, the heat is nothing compared to dried cayenne or red chili pepper flakes. Rather, expect more warm, sweet and smoky with a very little to nothing heat.

  1. Cinnamon Powder

Cinnamon powder, a little thing we know about it, this spice is, in fact, has a lot of great health benefits. People use cinnamon as a supplement to treat problems with the digestive system, diabetes, loss of appetite, and other conditions. In cooking, it is great to add in soup, stew, baking, dry rubs and the like.

Cinnamon powder is one of my favorites. I use it in most of my baking recipes. It gives this comforting scent that feels like home.

  1. Turmeric Powder

Turmeric Powder is another great spice packed with great flavor and a lot of great health benefits. It is a spice that came from turmeric plant. And is very common in most Asian food, a must in curry dishes. Aside from flavor, turmeric is also used to color curry powder, mustard, and even cosmetics. Great for sauces, dry rubs, soup, stew, drinks/tea and the like. Turmeric is used for ease arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain, loss of appetite, fatigue and a lot more.

  1. Dried Oregano Leaves

Oregano has been used as a herbal medicine as long ago as the Ancient Greeks. It is great fresh or dry, for cooking, packed with lots of nutrients such as fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium and a lot more. Dried Oregano is great to add in pizza and pasta. Sprinkle in meat, chicken, and seafood. It is best to add at the end of the cooking process to maximize its flavor.

  1. Dried Basil Leaves

Dried basil leaves is another spice that you will be happy to have in your kitchen. As basil is not available all year round (they don’t survive winter), the dried basil is a great alternative, packed with lots of great nutrients, flavor and health benefits. The same with dried oregano, the dried basil leaves are great to add in pizza and pasta. Gives a lot of flavor in salad dressings, marinade, soup and stew. It is good for the respiratory system, can help you recover from nausea, stomach ache and the like. It can be consumed as herbal tea.

  1. Dried Bay Leaves

Dried bay leaves is another great spice to have in the kitchen. If you know and cook the Filipino dish adobo, you probably already have this in your kitchen. Dried bay leaves is great for slow cooking dishes, stew, soup, and a few Filipino dishes such as menudo, adobo, paksiw na pata and a lot more. Take note to remove the bay leaves after cooking, before serving, so you won’t accidentally eat the leaves or the stem. Bay leaves are packed with great nutrients such as vitamin A, C, manganese, potassium and iron.

  1. Red Pepper Flakes

Though it may not seem like, red pepper flakes are great to add as a finishing touch to nearly all your meals. It gives this nice boost of flavor and mild to high heat, depending on how much you put. And a great flavor to add in stew, soup, dry rubs and the like. It helps with your congestion when you have a cold or flu. Great for diabetes, and a good way to boost your immune system.

  1. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is dried and ground to make powder for seasoning. It gives the powder its spiciness and is used to treat aches and pains of the muscles and joints. Cayenne pepper has also been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines to help treat circulatory problems and increase appetite. Cayenne has great nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and more. Great for stew, soup and broth, marinades, and dry rubs.

What is your favorite spice? Would you like to share in the comment below?

For more information about the spices above, check the following links:

Black Peppercorn: https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/black_pepper.html

Garlic Powder: https://www.thekitchn.com/inside-the-spice-cabinet-garlic-powder-103636

Onion Powder: http://thebaldgourmet.com/onion-powder-and-garlic-powder/

Smoked Paprika: https://www.pepperscale.com/smoked-paprika-vs-paprika/

Cinnamon Powder: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266069.php

Turmeric Powder: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric

Dried Oregano Leaves: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266259.php

Dried Basil Leaves: https://m.tarladalal.com/glossary-dried-basil-186i

Dried Bay Leaves: https://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/bay-leaf-tea-makes-the-tummy-sing/

Red Pepper Flakes: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/8-reasons-to-use-red-pepper-flakes.html

Cayenne Pepper: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267248.php

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