Whether you’re a new homeowner or just need to restock your kitchen, there are some essentials to always have on hand. There’s nothing worse than starting a recipe and realizing you don’t have a key ingredient. To avoid that inconvenience, use our checklist created by our Aprons team to stock your spice cabinet with everything you’ll need! Here are four spices to start with:
In general, garlic is one of the most popular flavors to add to any dish. Garlic powder offers the chance to add garlic flavor into a meal without the worry that comes with keeping fresh garlic on hand. The powder is made by grounding dehydrated garlic cloves and adds a slightly milder flavoring to your meal than fresh garlic. Our Whole Roasted Chicken with Quinoa Pilaf is one delicious recipe that incorporates garlic powder.
Even if you don’t love spicy food, you’ll still enjoy a bit of chili powder in your meal! That’s one of the best parts of working with spices, you can add a little or a lot to fit your preference. With the right combination, this powder will give a great balance of heat and delicious flavor. Most of the time, the spice mix is made with cayenne, but also includes things like dried peppers, cocoa, garlic and onion. Chili powder does wonders in recipes like Ribeye Steak Nuevo Latino where it adds some spice to balance out the zesty lime and sweet mango also found in this recipe.
Paprika is another commonly used spice and that’s because of the complex flavor it brings to the table. This spice can be sweet, smoky, spicy or sometimes have elements of all three. It is made from fruits found in the same family as chili peppers. Use it on everything from fish and cheese to hardboiled eggs and curries. Our Aprons team recommends trying our Stewed Oysters to get a nice taste of paprika!
We would argue that it’s always good to have cinnamon on hand because of the flavoring it adds to almost anything, but cinnamon is also a universal spice. Simply put, ground cinnamon is made by grinding cinnamon sticks down into a powder. It is most commonly used to add some extra flavor into sweet recipes but is also used to balance out flavors in spicy dishes. To get that fall feeling, try our recipe for Pumpkin Pie Dip.
Extra Spices to Include: Kosher salt – Used in both sweet and savory recipes and used for table salt, although it is much coarser. Black peppercorns – Use in pepper grinder for table pepper. Dried Basil – Perfect for Italian dishes. Dried Oregano – Essential for Italian dishes and some Mexican dishes. Nutmeg, whole or ground – Key ingredient for many baked goods. Onion powder – Add to any recipe if you run out of onion and need extra flavor. Ground Cumin – Used in many Mexican and Indian recipes. Vanilla extract – Important for many recipes used when baking sweets. Red pepper flakes – Commonly used for spicing up dishes like soups, pasta, or even topping pizza.
Make sure to clean out and refresh your spice cabinet regularly to ensure you have fresh ingredients when cooking delicious meals. Find out more about essential ingredients and other spices in these posts: