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Learn how to spice up your cooking with our herbs and spices guide

14 March 2019 | 22:48pm

The last thing you want when creating a delicious meal at home is for it to end up bland. However, many people may not be aware of just how easy it is to use some staple herbs and spices to elevate your favourite meals. Here we will share an easy to follow herbs and spices guide to ensure you can master seasoning and making your homemade food taste great.

 

A list of common spices to keep at home at all times

 

In this list of common spices you’ll find the staples that you should ensure you have at hand in your kitchen:

Pepper: The most basic of spices to have in your cupboard, pepper is the go-to for every dish in your home to add a little extra flavour. It’s a great all-rounder but particularly good with anything tomato-based or containing foraged ingredients, like mushrooms.

Garlic: Garlic can be added to so many different meals and can also help to reduce cholesterol . It works particularly well in stir-fries, hearty casseroles, and in broths with other herbs. You can make a nice garlic butter with Flora Original or Flora Dairy Free, like in this recipe for vegan garlic bread.

Ginger: Whether you’re creating some delicious cookies or even beef and duck dishes, ginger is a versatile spice perfect for having at home. Add some to your favourite stir-fry or in a marinade – or to a cup of hot water and lemon if you’re feeling poorly.

Chilli: You don’t have to add tonnes of chilli to reap the benefits of adding a little heat to your dishes. There are lots of varieties, so use one to suit your heat level. Remember, the seeds make it even spicier.

Cocoa powder: From steak rubs to your favourite sweet treat, cocoa powder is a must-have addition to your cupboard stock.

Cinnamon: If you’re a fan of baking, then cinnamon should be a staple spice in your kitchen. Try putting some in a tomato-based casserole for a bit of Middle Eastern / North African flavour.

 

Heavenly herbs to grow at home

 

The following herbs don’t just make perfect additions to many meals – they can also easily be grown at home:

Rosemary: The perfect addition to many a beefy meal! It’s also a classic herb for lamb dishes. Its sturdy yet pretty appearance and refreshing scent even makes it a good herb for keeping around the house as a natural air freshener!

Basil: Basil is a great herb to use regularly when recreating your favourite Italian or French meals at home. It’s highly aromatic and great for garnishing as well as putting in everything from pesto to tomato sauce.

Parsley: With its bright green colour, this is a great herb to use as a garnish but is also amazing when used in cooking. Try making a luxurious béarnaise sauce with lots of chopped parsley!

Thyme: Not just great for making the odd pun or joke, thyme is a fantastic addition to many European dishes, especially if you want a rustic, aromatic flavour.

 

How can this herb and spice guide help you?

 

Now you have details of the top herbs and spices you should be keeping in your cupboard at home, why not create a herbs and spices chart? Below are some everyday foods and great meals to create including the herbs and spices match them perfectly.

1. Beef
Whether you are making spaghetti bolognese or homemade burgers, parsley, thyme and paprika are all perfect additions. You can also spice up your traditional lasagne with the addition of garlic, pepper and a mix of herbs including rosemary.

2. Fish
There are so many herbs and spices that can be used with fish, but you need to be careful not to overpower the flavour of the fish. Try making a quick and easy fish pie with some parsley used inside. You could also make some spicy pan-fried salmon with paprika and chilli if you prefer your seasoning on the hotter side.

3. Chicken and turkey
Chicken is a versatile meat that can be used with many herbs and spices to create delicious meals. You can add chilli and paprika to make chicken fajitas, while chilli, ginger and coriander are great for adding flavour to an amazing Thai chicken curry.

Our list of top herbs and spices will help you make sure that your kitchen is equipped with the essentials you need to create some fabulously tasty dishes every day. Plus, you have all the detail needed to create a quick and easy herb and spice chart. Simply pop your chart in with the herbs and spices in your cupboard and star experimenting with homemade meals.

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