The 7 Staples of My Spice Collection

Spices are the key to literally spice up your life, to turn any plate, any bowl into something better. Science and the health benefits aside, today we’re simply talking taste.

I analyzed my spice cabinet to see which spices I get the most use out of year round, narrowing it down to these essentials. Consider this a spice crash course. I’m going to help you build a foundation by giving you mine!

1. Ground Onion

I use onion powder for everything! On omelettes, in marinades, any place that needs a little kick really.

2. Dried Herbs

Oregano, basil, thyme. The key to steaming or roasted vegetables is adding dried herbs. I love vegetables, but I’m pretty sure I love vegetables because I reeeeally love dried herbs.

3. Cumin

Remember the spice that Drake & Josh’s dad was allergic to? And Drake mistook it for cinnamon in a waffle recipe and ended up making his stepdad choke? Yeah, that’s this guy. However, cumin doesn’t really belong in waffles. Cumin is a nutty and bitter spice that is essential to most chilis, soups, and marinades.

4. Cinnamon

Cassia, Ceylon, and Saigon are the three main types of cinnamon you’ll find in the spice section of your grocery store. Cassia is what to expect when buying any common “ground cinnamon.” This is cheapest, most neutral flavor of the three. Saigon is more on the flavor note of nutmeg, being sharp and bitter in addition to the typical (and beloved) warmth of cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon is considered “true,” adding more of a kick than the same ratio of Cassia would give. I use both typical ground cinnamon and Ceylon cinnamon!

5. Turmeric

This has an extremely acquired taste. But if you’ve ever eaten chicken shawarma or drank a good golden milk, you probably already like it! Turmeric is supposedly great for joint pain and calming inflammation. Not that I’m a doctor or anything, but it’s worth trying! It also tastes great on tempeh, which there’s a tutorial for on my instagram. Also, turmeric and black pepper are a package duo. Black pepper activates the spice and helps increase your body’s absorption of it… Let’s talk about black pepper some more!

6. Black Pepper

Preferably still in peppercorn form and in a grinder. Grind that stuff yourself. Seriously, you can’t say you like black pepper until you have fresh ground black pepper. The flavor is stronger than the pre-crushed stuff.

7. Sea Salt: This may seem entirely rudimentary to you, but most people forget about salt when cooking at home. Pink Himalayan sea salt is so pure and packed with minerals that it’s flavor is truly bolder than a basic table salt. Whether you buy a Himalayan, Celtic, Hawaiian, or a generic sea salt, take pride in quality and don’t settle for the table stuff! Whatever kind of salt you use, make sure you use it. A pinch in a recipe won’t kill you, I I promise. I’m still here after all!

Even if you don’t have much, make sure you at least have these.

If anyone ever tells you eating healthy is boring or vegetables are bland, assume they don’t know the 7 staples. Send them this list. Be a good friend… add a little flavor and spice up their life a bit!