If you’ve been getting a bit bored in the kitchen, it could be time to spice things up! Cooking with spices is not only a great way to add flavour to any recipe, it will also add a nutritional boost. Make your own blends from scratch for the freshest, most flavoursome spice cabinet and enjoy cooking with flavours from all over the world…
5 reasons we love cooking with spice
- Cooking out spices in your recipe packs a full flavour punch
- A well-balanced recipe with spices reduces the need for salt and sugar
- Experimenting with spices is the easiest way to try out new cuisines
- Spices add a burst of colour, so you really can eat the rainbow!
- Spices also have wonderful nutritional and healing properties
Here are our top picks from the spice rack…
Known for its ability to lower blood sugar, cinnamon adds a hint of sweet without the sugar. Equally suitable in sweet and savoury dishes, cinnamon is also high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. Of course everyone loves these Cinnamon Scrolls, but an even healthier option might be our Coconut and Teff Porridge.
Ginger is excellent for aiding digestion, reducing nausea, and nourishing your immune system. You can use it in soups, curries and stir-frys, but it’s in the sweets category that ginger really shines! Add some continental flair with this Gingerbread recipe or a Ginger Bundt Cake.
There’s a reason nutmeg is so popular world-wide – it’s the secret ingredient in everyone’s favourite comfort foods. A pinch of nutmeg adds that little something-something to your mashed potato or rice pudding. As an added bonus, it also helps with detoxification in the body, and is known to promote good sleep.
This fragrant yellow powder is made from roasting and grinding the turmeric root. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and is highly anti-inflammatory. As well as being a colourful addition to curries, turmeric is a great alternative to coffee or tea. Try this Golden Milk Latte with either fresh or powdered turmeric as a non-caffeinated drink to warm you up.
Spicy storage tips
- We always recommend buying spices in their unprocessed form (seeds, pods, quills), then dry roasting and milling in your Thermomix for a fresher, more aromatic powder.
- Store in a dark, airtight container at room temperature. Spices lose flavour and aroma when exposed to heat, air and direct sunlight.
- Unlike a lot of other ingredients, spices should not be stored in the freezer as they are prone to condensation, which dulls the flavour.
- Always make sure your measuring spoon is dry when you measure out spices from the container. Again, condensation is the enemy!
Spice blends to try at home
Have you tried making your own spice blends at home? Once you’ve tried it, we promise, you can’t go back! The freshness and intensity of freshly ground spices makes such a difference to the flavour and aroma of your dishes. Plus, skip the sugar, salt and anti-caking agents that are often hidden in store bought blends. Get started with this Spice Rub that’s perfect for the barbeque, or this classic Curry Spice blend to guarantee your curried egg sandwiches are best in show.
Tip from our recipe team
When cooking, roast your spices before adding them to your dish, as this enhances the flavours and aromas of the spices, giving your dish that extra oomph. While dry roasting spices is an excellent way to release flavour, you’ll also find that slow-cooked recipes bring out the flavour of spices as they soften and permeate the dish, so in this case you don’t need to dry roast as well.