10 Essential spices and why you need them in your cupboard

All Recipes | November 16, 2017 | By

10 Essential spices and why you need them in your cupboard

Nov 16, 2017 | All Recipes | 1 comment

What’s a contractor without his toolbelt? In the kitchen, spices are the tools that put your cooking together. Keep these little powerhouses up to snuff with some easy-to-follow guidelines.

Consider moving that “oh, so convenient” spice rack away from your oven range. Spices lose flavor if they are exposed to intense heat. Also, steam from cooking can lead ground spices to cake—and not the tasty kind of cake. It’s best to store them in a cupboard away from the oven range and out of direct sunlight.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but close the lids tightly after you use your spices, and make sure your measuring spoons are clean and dry before using them to measure your spices. As mentioned above, moisture and spices don’t go well together.

Spices have a long shelf life, 6 months to 2 years, if you take good care of them. It makes sense to buy them in bulk. That saves you money and ensures that you’ll always have them on hand.

Below are a few spices that are must-haves!

The difference between these two is self-explanatory. Garlic salt is a combination of garlic powder and salt, usually 3 parts salt to 1 part garlic powder. Garlic salt is best used if your intention is to add just a little garlic flavor. Use sparingly.

Garlic powder can be used more freely. It enhances the garlic flavor in any dish where garlic is used. All the garlic flavor without the bite, it’s a great replacement for raw garlic in salad dressings and dishes where you won’t be sautéing the heat from the garlic– think soups or meals for the pressure or slow cooker.

For one-stop seasoning, reach for Garlic Supreme, AP’s bestselling blend of garlic, onion, parsley and chives. It’s a customer favorite for adding flavor to meats, vegetables, soups, gravies, and breads.

Did you know that pepper has anti-bacterial properties, and is full of important vitamins and minerals? It’s true! Magnesium, potassium, and iron are all found in those flavor-packed peppercorns as well as vitamins C, K, and B6! The quintessential kitchen spice, its many uses could fill a book.

Alison’s Pantry no-tears version of the raw allium with no peeling, or dicing necessary! Use it straight out of the container in soups, stews, curries, dips, or any dish with a fair amount of liquid. Rehydrate for use in and mayonnaise or vinaigrette-based salads like tuna, potato, or egg.

Also known as Vietnamese cinnamon, ground Saigon cinnamon is incredibly fragrant and bursts with warm flavor. That’s because it contains 6% essential oil compared to the 4-5% of other cinnamon varieties. Not just for adding flavor and warmth to your dishes, cinnamon can aid in digestion, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and decrease inflammation.

It’s delicious in both sweet and savory dishes. Mix it with cumin and ginger for an amazing dry rub on chicken–you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

As deceptive as its name may be, chili powder isn’t just for chili. It’s hot, smoky flavor is perfect on beans, grilled meats, and is delicious sprinkled over vinegary cucumbers. If you’re feeling especially bold mix it with salt and lime and coat it over mangoes or melons.

The spicy-sweet combination will have your family asking for more.

7. Turmeric

One of Alison’s best-sellers, if you haven’t added turmeric to your cooking repertoire you’ve been missing out. An anti-inflammatory and chock-full of antioxidants, turmeric has been used for thousands of years for both its mild peppery flavor and medicinal properties. Perfect in curries. In fact, turmeric gives curry its bright yellow color. Use it on vegetables, in soups, and stews, and on grilled meats.

You can even sprinkle a little in your morning coffee for a little health boost before you start your day!

In need of a quick tasty dinner? Look no further than AP’s Olé Taco Seasoning. This delicious blend of spices pairs well with any meat, even fish! It’s great in bean dip or sprinkled over tater tots, fries, or popcorn. You can even use it to make spicy taco salad dressing!

The robust flavors of AP Montreal Steak Seasoning will enhance any red meat dish. It might not be grilling season, but you can still get that same straight-off-the-grill flavor on your steaks and hamburgers.

Shhhh! This is the secret to a delicious roast! Well, maybe it’s not such a secret, but it does make an AMAZING roast. Some of its other well-known uses are in dips, on burgers, roasted potatoes, and in beef stroganoff and gravy. It’s a useful spice mix for a busy cook, so make sure you have a good supply.

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