Herbs and Spices
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Flavour Voyagers: An Expedition Through the Wondrous World of Herbs and Spices

Have your taste buds grown weary of the same old dishes? Does your cooking feel stuck in a rut of blandness? Well, fellow flavour voyagers, prepare your palates for an exhilarating expedition into the kaleidoscopic realm of herbs and spices! From earthy cumin to floral lavender, this astounding array of aromatic ingredients opens up endless opportunities to take your cooking from flat to fantastical.

Health benefits of herbs and spices

Herbs and spices offer numerous health benefits and enhance food flavour. They contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory effects, and support the immune system. They reduce inflammation, which is linked to various health issues. They also help with heart health by reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Ginger and other warming spices aid digestion and reduce diabetes risk. Experiment with different spice combinations to enhance your health and enjoy the taste of your food.

Best varieties of herbs and spices at iHerb

1. California Gold Nutrition, FOODS – Organic Garlic Powder, Non-Irradiated, Non-ETO, 3.7 oz (104 g)

Organic Garlic Powder, Non-Irradiated, Non-ETO
Organic Garlic Powder, Non-Irradiated, Non-ETO | Noblepuma

This aromatic garlic powder infuses dishes with the quintessential flavour of fresh garlic, adding a savoury punch without the hassle of chopping cloves. A sprinkle in sauces, marinades, dressings, and on meats and veggies is an easy way to amplify flavour. Start with 1/4 tsp and add more to taste. Use when a recipe calls for garlic powder or substitute for fresh garlic at a 1:3 ratio. The organic powder contains no additives or irradiation.


2. Frontier Co-op, Organic Ceylon Cinnamon, 1.76 oz (50 g)

With its sweet, citrusy aroma and mild flavour, Ceylon cinnamon from Sri Lanka adds warming spice notes without being overpowering. It’s delicious in baked goods, sprinkled on oatmeal or fruit, and in chai tea or lattes. Use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per recipe, adjusting to taste. As it has low coumarin levels, Ceylon cinnamon can be enjoyed daily with no concerns. This organic ground cinnamon has an intensely fragrant, complex flavour perfect for desserts.


3. Simply Organic, Pure Madagascar Vanilla, Non-Alcoholic Flavoring, 2 fl oz (59 ml)

This premium organic Madagascar vanilla extract provides the quintessential rich, creamy vanilla flavour that’s a must for baking. Madagascar vanilla beans produce a more complex flavour than other varieties. Use 2 teaspoons per standard recipe or to taste. A few drops add nice subtle vanilla notes to smoothies, oatmeal or coffee too. With no alcohol, this extract brings out baked goods’ sweetness without altering texture.


4. Redmond Trading Company, Real Salt, Ancient Fine Sea Salt, 26 oz (737 g)

Redmond Trading Company, Real Salt, Ancient Fine Sea Salt
Redmond Trading Company, Real Salt, Ancient Fine Sea Salt | Noblepuma

Mined from ancient seabeds, this unrefined sea salt is naturally packed with trace minerals. Its light saltiness and versatility make it perfect as an all-purpose seasoning. A pinch can be added to everything from roasted veggies to grilled meats to salads. Use 1/4 tsp per 4 servings and adjust to taste. With no additives, this mineral-rich salt enhances flavours without overshadowing them.


5. Simply Organic, All-Purpose Seasoning, 2.08 oz (59 g)

This blend combines salt, garlic, onion, and herbs for a seasoning that complements nearly any savoury dish. Shake on meats, salads, roasted veggies, pasta, and more. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per serving. The blend contains no MSG or preservatives. With oregano, thyme, basil and marjoram, it provides a flavour boost reminiscent of Italian cuisine.


6. Simply Organic, Smoked Paprika, 2.72 oz (77 g)

Made from smoked dried pimiento peppers, this paprika lends foods a rich, smoky flavour along with a spicy aroma. Just a dash adds a nice smokiness to stews, chillies, potato dishes, chorizo and more. Use about 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat or 4 servings of veggies. Combine with other spices like garlic and cumin. As peppers are dried slowly over oak, it has an intense smoky-sweet quality.


7. Simply Organic, Curry Powder, 3 oz (85 g)

Simply Organic, Curry Powder, 3 oz
Simply Organic, Curry Powder, 3 oz Noblepuma

Warm up any dish with this aromatic blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin and more. Curry’s complex flavour is commonly used in Indian cuisine but also works well on veggies, eggs, meat and popcorn. Start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per recipe, adjusting to taste. The blend contains no artificial colours or fillers. Make your signature curry dishes with this versatile seasoning blend.


8. Simply Organic, Oregano, 0.75 oz (21 g)

Bright, peppery oregano is essential for Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, from pizza to pasta sauce. Use about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per 4 servings. Add at the end to retain bold flavour. Dried oregano has an earthier, more intense herbal flavour than fresh. This non-irradiated oregano brings out the best in tomato sauces, roast vegetables, marinades and more.


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Conclusion

And so our journey through the marvellous kingdoms of herbs and spices draws to an exciting close. Hopefully, this whirlwind tour has opened your eyes to the boundless potential found within a few shakes or sprinkles of these powerful flavours. Don’t be afraid to mix, match, and adventure with herbs and spices. Discovery often comes from exploration outside one’s comfort zone. Happy trails, brave spice voyagers! May your cooking herbs from iHerbs forever be filled with new flavours, fresh inspiration, and daring delight. Bon appétit! For more information on food spices follow Nobel Puma.

FAQs

How often should you replace herbs and spices?
The general recommendation is to replace dried herbs and spices every 1-2 years for optimal freshness and flavour. Whole spices and herbs tend to last a bit longer than pre-ground. Smell and taste test occasionally, and replace any that have lost their robust aroma or flavour.
What is the general rule for using herbs and spices?
The basic guideline is to start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of dried herbs or spices per 4 servings of a dish. Adjust to taste from there. Go light at first as you can always add more, but you can’t take away. With fresh herbs, use 3-4 times as much as the dried equivalent.
Why are herbs and spices important to different cultures?
Herbs and spices add unique flavour profiles to cuisines around the world. Their use developed from local availability, culture, tradition, and medicinal practices. They allow different cultures to put their signature touch on dishes. Certain spice blends like Indian garam masala have iconic status in their native cuisines.

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