Natural Spices

Becki Andrus

As you work to achieve healthy eating habits, you will find that you have more energy and feel better everyday. It is important to create the right habits if you want long-term success! Experience immediate improvements in your eating by learning more about a healthy eating plan at my website: EverydayHealthGirl.com

While maintaining your whole foods diet, one of the most difficult parts may be to find food that tastes great and is natural, healthy, and affordable. Thankfully there is an easy way to add flavor that is basically calorie free and is all natural: Spices.

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One of the most common ways for any cook to make food taste better is to add salt. When used properly, salt brings out the natural flavors in food. Something having a salty flavor is a sign that your dish has been seasoned too heavily. Unfortunately, salt has side effects and is something many people want to limit. Diets that are high in sodium have been linked to high blood pressure, water retention, and even heart failure and kidney disease.

There are many spices available at most grocery stores, specialty stores, or online that can add flavor without the negatives of high sodium. A well-stocked spice rack is essential for any cook. Most of the flavor in spices is from essential oils that are released when they are ground and cooked. These oils lose their flavor over time so freshness is very important. When buying spices it is important to only purchase enough for about 3 to 6 months of use.

The next consideration is storage. Like many other pantry items, spices are best when stored in a cool, dry and dark place. Air tight containers in a pantry or cupboard are perfect for spices. The racks that many stores sell or shelves may look nice but your spices will stay fresher longer if you keep them out of the light.

Last, learn where to buy your spices. The most affordable way buy spices in small quantities is to look for stores that let you them buy from a bulk section. While the per pound price of these spices may seem high, keep in mind that you will only be buying an ounce or two of each spice at a time. This is much less expensive than buying containers of prepackaged spices because you can simply buy as much or as little as you need of each spice.

Spices should be an important part of your whole foods diet. They add flavor, are natural, and have almost no calories. A stocked spice rack is an important part of any cook's pantry.


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  • Wice says
    Herbas and pepper aside, just wondering.... what's the one spice that you couldn't do without in your kitchen?
  • Anna says
    my cupboard is so full of spices i just dont know...
  • Wice says
    Me too and I use them every day! Do you buy spices in boxes, glass/pastic containers, or loose? I never buy the loose stuff as I always wonder how fresh it is being in those big containers for so long. It often looks a bit faded around the corners.

    Wouldn't it be fantastic to go to Morocco or Zanzibar or Istanbul - or one of those spice countries though. I can just imagine those dazzling spices and the amazing aromas in the street markets. Maybe I'd worry about cleanliness but at least you would know there was a rapid turnover and they would always be fresh.

    Here are some pics I found, clockwise from top left: Istanbul, Old Delhi, Morroco, Mombassa
    • Anna says
      i just buy them from the supermarket tbh.. i dont have time to be rushing to spice places... i prefer the ones in the glass containers because then i can just leave thm in their.. the one in the cardboard boxes are a little harder as you kind of need to put them in a container yourself but then you dont know which ones which etc etc lol... i usually just leave them in their cardboard boxes but put them in a big container to keep them fresher...
    • Dee-Dee says
      ....yep spices are awesome and you can use them so well in numerous dishes as great seasoning as I reduce how much salt I use when cooking....I had an Indian flat mate at university...was a great cook and she showed me what different spices do what dishes they would be great in and best places to buy and store them....she was a wealth of knowledge and still a good friend....her family run a number of restaurants in Bangalore and Delhi......I love learning about different cultures and food is always a good ice breaker.....lol
    • Wice says
      Hehe!
      • Anna says
        o0o0 laa laa naughty salt!!
        • Dee-Dee says
          ...salt could have gone for something with a bit more spice in it....lol
        • Dee-Dee says
          ...got an awesome spice draw set from my sister in law never seen one like it, she had it imported from Morocco was shocked as hell but extremely grateful as a couple of my old budget spice bottles had cracks in them.....
        • Wice says
          That sounds fantastic. How lovely! That's a special present you can really appreciate every day. I can imagine seeing that and sending away for it then wanting to keep it for myself and having to order another one.
        • Mellow says
          The Asian cooking have mastered with spices....... we need to take a page from them.
        • Starlite5 says
          There are lots of basic staples that I have in my pantry and a large array of spices is definitely one of them...the aromas, the taste and the colours amazing! And the way it transports your food to a higher level of flavour...ah heavenly on your taste buds!
        • Elisha says
          Another word for spice is Kitchen ---> Is Chemical lab.
          • Wice says
            I don't understand Nova. Is that a positive or negative comment... after all, everything that exists is made up of chemical elements whether it is the cleanest rainwater or a plastic button; or are you just saying that all cooking is just a chemical experiment because I sometimes think of it that way myself - especially when I'm baking!

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