Spring and summer can be a busy time of the year. Kids are off from school and the warm weather provides many opportunities for fun activities. Sometimes it can be difficult to sacrifice time with your family in order to cook a big meal. At the same time, all that outdoor fun can really work up an appetite.
Spicing up your food is a great way to make cooking quicker while still being delicious and full of flavor. There are literally hundreds of spices to choose from, but if you’re new to the spice world, you may be confused where to start. Thankfully, we are here to help! Here are a few must-have spices for your kitchen cabinets, perfect for spring and summer.
- Sea Salt & Whole Peppercorns
You most likely already have these two spices hiding somewhere in your solid wood cabinetry. They are the most commonly used spices and arguably the most versatile. However, try replacing your regular salt and pepper with sea salt and whole peppercorns that you can manually ground. Pre-ground salt and pepper can lose a lot of flavor through processing. It makes a difference to opt for something more high quality and pure, since these are probably your most used spices.
- Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a hot chili spice that has been used in many dishes for thousands of years. Cayenne pepper is great for adding a little heat to your cooking, and it is also believed to have several health benefits, including congestion relief, pain relief, and boosting the metabolism. Use it in Spicy Beef Chili, and BBQ rubs.
Cinnamon is another commonly used spice known for its sweet but fiery flavor. Cinnamon is a kitchen staple because it can be used in both sweet and tangy dishes, from French toast to Cinnamon Curry Rice. Cinnamon comes in both stick form and ground.
- Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is an easy addition to savory recipes. Adding a dash of garlic powder to chicken breast, steak, vegetables, or pasta sauce will instantly take your food from plain to delectable. And don’t forget the garlic bread!
- Ground Ginger
Ginger has been known to help fight common colds and the flu, and may even aid in curing stomachaches, vomiting and nausea. Use it to flavor soups, stir fry, and even spring and summer desserts like Carrot Cake.
- Dried Oregano
Oregano is a must-have if you enjoy Italian dishes like lasagna, homemade pizza, and Parmesan chicken. It’s also the signature spice in Greek salad dressing.
- Vanilla Extract
If you do any type of baking, the recipe will usually call for vanilla extract. Muffins, cakes, brownies and pies all share this vital ingredient. For the best flavor, opt for pure vanilla extract over artificial.
Nutmeg is a great addition to pies and cookies, but it also can delightfully season chicken and even spinach! Nutmeg adds a touch of warm spice to coffee, tea and other beverages. But be sure to sprinkle it on sparingly — ground nutmeg packs a powerful punch.
Paprika is a zesty spice that comes in sweet, smoked, and hot varieties. It can be used in a variety of dishes to add a unique peppery flavor and an appetizing dash of deep red color. It’s especially nice when added to roasted potatoes or fish.
Try to organize your spices in either a tray that is nestled in a drawer near the stove, or in a door-mounted rack in your solid wood cabinetry. These inside cabinet accessories from Willow Lane Cabinetry are the perfect solution for storing all of your spices in an organized and easily accessible manner.
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