spices http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8913/all en-US The 12 Herbs and Spices Every Pantry Should Have http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-herbs-spices-147834466-small.jpg" alt="cooking herbs spices" title="cooking herbs spices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you received a spice rack as a wedding gift. Perhaps you found a bunch of basil and cilantro in your latest CSA basket. Or possibly you're just looking to make healthier, low-calorie foods with fuller flavors on the cheap. Cooking with herbs and spices is certainly a skill even novice home cooks should take some time to master.</p> <p>And summer is the perfect to bulk up on these robust ingredients &mdash; and more &mdash; while they are fresh and, therefore, less expensive. You may also find unusual varieties at the farmer's market, which can mean unique dishes for your friends and family to enjoy. If you'd like to dry your own herbs for later use, there are <a href="http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/how-to-dry-herbs-recipe.html">a few methods</a> you can employ, including tying in bunches, hanging upside down until fully dehydrated, and then storing in airtight containers. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/preserving-in-season-foods-for-off-season-feasts?ref=related">Preserving In-Season Foods for Off-Season Feasts</a>)</p> <p>Here's the lowdown on 12 herb and spice rack favorites I use most in my own cooking, as well as some tips on their use.</p> <h2>Allspice</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/allspice-488362375-small.jpg" /></p> <p>I used to think allspice was a manufactured mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves &mdash; but the flavors come from the unripe and dried berries of its own plant, the Jamaican pimento tree. As a result, it's often used in Caribbean cooking (think <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/12/learning-the-secrets-of-authentic-jerk-chicken-jamaica.html">jerk sauces</a>) or whenever a good dose of warm spice is required, from pumpkin pie and other holiday goodies to slow simmer tagine dinners. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-and-easy-one-pot-meals?ref=related">25 Delicious and Easy One-Pot Meals</a>)</p> <h2>Basil</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/basil-161764543-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Of all herbs, I love basil best. It's bountiful and cheap at market, and it grows easily in small container gardens at home. Basil also makes a mean, versatile pesto sauce, among other delicious dishes. In stir fries and other hot meals, it's best to tear fresh basil leaves over the dish to let wilt after cooking has completed. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-pesto-recipes-and-only-one-uses-basil?related=seealso">10 Easy Pesto Recipes (And Only One Uses Basil)</a>)</p> <h2>Black Pepper</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/black-peppercorn-166675454-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Most every recipe calls for a pinch of salt and dash of spicy black pepper. Cooks have been using peppercorns for ages whether during the actual cooking process itself or when the meal hits the table. If you can invest in a mill, grind whole peppercorns versus using standard black pepper for a more intense flavor.</p> <h2>Chives</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/chives-482412837-small.jpg" /></p> <p>I found a rogue patch of chives growing in my neglected garden this year. So, while the plant itself is quite hearty, so, too, are the dishes it works best with. I toss chives in omelets, mix with sour cream atop baked potatoes, flavor soups and stews, and mix into pasta and salads. The chive's garlic and onion flavors marry well with a wide variety of foods, so it's a safe herb to use in culinary experiments.</p> <h2>Cilantro</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cilantro-482425237-small.jpg" /></p> <p>For salsas and guacamole recipes, fresh cilantro is my go-to herb. It also makes a vibrant garnish for a variety of ethnic dishes. Though there's no special rule, I tend to tear leaves off the stems before chopping for the best texture and flavor. Oh, and if you see coriander as an ingredient in your recipe, know this: They are the seeds from the very same plant.</p> <h2>Cinnamon</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cinnamon-469820215-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Much like allspice, cinnamon is a warm, cozy flavor I tend to use most in the fall and winter months in my baking. All year, cinnamon makes a nice addition to curry dishes. Just be careful you're getting the real deal &mdash; cinnamon's cousin, <em>cassia</em>, is often sold in its place in the U.S. and <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/12/25/256602581/when-is-cinnamon-spice-not-so-nice-the-great-danish-debate">can be toxic to the liver</a> in large quantities in certain individuals. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-spices-fake?ref=related">Are Your Spices Fake</a>?)</p> <h2>Dill</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/dill-480559397-small.jpg" /></p> <p>The wispy, feathery texture of fresh dill leaves combine well into many flavorful foods. I like mixing them with soft cheeses, incorporating them into potato salads, garnishing fish, and sprinkling liberally onto deviled eggs. If you cannot find fresh dill, dried is an adequate substitute so long as you decrease the amount to account for drying. Think half or a third dry versus fresh.</p> <h2>Ginger</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/ginger-179235859-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Fresh ginger is as delicious as it is good for you. Its bright flavor blends nicely into fresh salad dressings and sauces. Whenever I mince fresh ginger, I squeeze the juices into my recipes rather than toss in the root itself. As for substituting fresh ginger with its ground counterpart, I've never had much luck. So, I like to keep some ginger root in my freezer &mdash; wrapped tightly in plastic &mdash; for emergencies.</p> <h2>Paprika</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/paprika-486169205-small.jpg" /></p> <p>We've reached my favorite spice on this list. Paprika, which is often used in Hungarian cuisine, makes its impact on most of my vegetarian meals in some way or another. There are a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paprika#Usage">number of varieties</a> of this spice, but what you'll find on most grocer's shelves is a mildly pungent, Noble Sweet. If you're looking for more complex flavor, pick up some smoked paprika &mdash; it goes beautifully in crock pot chili recipes. (Related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>Rosemary</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/rosemary-178573418-small.jpg" /></p> <p>Rosemary is certainly a good bet if you're cooking poultry. As a vegetarian, I use the aromatic herb to flavor breads and even tomato sauces. I recently infused some olive oil with fresh rosemary, and it's quite a treat. I took 1 cup extra virgin olive oil and a handful of rosemary sprigs and placed them in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove. After a few minutes, I transferred everything to a glass bottle and now store in my refrigerator for drizzling.</p> <h2>Sage</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/sage-466355993-small.jpg" /></p> <p>The fuzzy texture of sage leaves is, in a word, dreamy. And if you've ever closely examined the dried sage, it's similarly soft. This herb is often used in Mediterranean cuisine, so it's a good choice if you're making pasta dishes (gnocchi and ravioli come to mind) or even as a fat-free way to add flavor to meats. A little goes a long way, especially when using dry, so add slowly and taste often.</p> <h2>Thyme</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/thyme-492527155-small.jpg" /></p> <p>If you're keen on sage, thyme is a good partner in cooking. I use thyme often during the holidays to make vegetarian gravy (it tastes great with mushrooms) and otherwise to mix together delicious dressings like vinaigrettes. If you're using fresh thyme while making a soup or stew, it's a smart idea to tie a bunch together with some twine for easy removal before serving.</p> <p><em>Don't see your favorite on this list? What's herb or spice do you use most in cooking?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-spices-fake">Are Your Spices Fake?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-grocery-bill-reducing-the-cost-of-a-good-spice-rack">Cutting the Grocery Bill: Reducing the Cost of a Good Spice Rack</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">25 Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-garam-masala">30 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Garam Masala</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-cheap-and-healthy-filler-foods">9 Cheap and Healthy Filler Foods</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink flavor herbs pantry spices Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:00:03 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1171610 at http://www.wisebread.com 30 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Garam Masala http://www.wisebread.com/30-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-garam-masala <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-garam-masala" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spices-186340101.jpg" alt="garam masala" title="garam masala" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&#39;re a fan of Indian food, you&#39;re no stranger to <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/04/27/135761263/garam-masala-a-taste-worth-acquiring">garam masala</a>. This well-known spice mix is the hallmark of many Southeast Asian dishes for being both versatile and flavorful! However, garam masala isn&#39;t limited to use in Indian dishes. Here are 30 delicious uses for garam masala! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-spices-fake?ref=seealso">Are the Spices in Your Pantry Fake?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Mayonnaise</h2> <p>If you find mayo delicious but a bit everyday, sprinkle in some garam masala to make your mayo spicier and all the more interesting. Then, use your mayo in everything from sandwiches to aioli to deviled eggs. When you spruce up those old mayo recipes with a dash of garam masala, and you&#39;ll look like a culinary genius to your friends and family!</p> <h2>2. Coffee</h2> <p>For a coffee drinking experience that&#39;s a little richer, take a sprinkle of garam masala to your coffee. It&#39;ll taste fresher and spicier when you brew it, not to mention the smell of the garam masala coffee blend will be divine! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers?ref=seealso">Top 5 Coffeemakers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Popcorn</h2> <p>If you&#39;re feeling a little blah about your popcorn options, you may want to shake some garam masala on your popped kernels post-butter, or forego the butter entirely. In just a sprinkle, it&#39;ll make your popcorn go from boring to brilliant!</p> <h2>4. Apple Butter</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/garam-177024335-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>This <a href="http://www.copywriterskitchen.com/2010/10/01/windfall-apple-butter-with-garam-masala-recipe/">apple butter with garam masala</a> recipe is easy to follow and makes one of the best apple butters I&#39;ve ever tasted. Of course, most of the recipe&#39;s secret lies in the interplay between the apples and the key spice: garam masala. Garam masala makes the apple butter all the more fall-oriented and pretty much unforgettable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples?ref=seealso">23 Uses for Apples</a>)</p> <h2>5. Broccoli Soup</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.greensandseeds.com/broccoli-soup-with-garam-masala/">broccoli soup with garam masala</a> is super healthy and absolutely delicious! Using a delectable blend of ingredients like garam masala, creme fraiche, maple syrup, almonds, broccoli, coconut milk, and sea salt, this soup takes great, clean flavors and mixes them expertly. Pair with a crusty piece of bread, and you have your lunch or dinner! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-frozen-broccoli?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Prepare Frozen Broccoli</a>)</p> <h2>6. Red Lentil Soup</h2> <p>Garam masala is a classic solution for spicing up lentils, so it&#39;s no wonder that this red lentil masala soup recipe is such a hit. This particular <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Red-Lentil-Soup-with-Garam-Masala-14125">red lentil soup with garam masala</a> utilizes the seasoning deftly, showcasing the nutrient-rich lentil flavor in a unique way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes?ref=seealso">Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>7. Afghani Chili</h2> <p>To expand your repertoire for international cuisines, this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/aush-afghani-chili/">Afghan chili</a> recipe will be an instant hit! It&#39;s also an affordable dish because it uses ground beef combined with garbanzo beans.</p> <h2>8. Baked Potatoes</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/garam-122405144-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Try roasting, seasoning, or stuffing your potatoes with delicious garam masala as a change of pace! This <a href="http://www.novicehousewife.com/2012/01/03/garam-masala-tuesdays-roasted-stuffed-potatoes/">stuffed baked potato</a> recipe is great for parties or sporting events, and incorporates cheese, onions, and other delicious ingredients to make your potato the snack to remember! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/end-potato-prejudice-10-reasons-why-you-should-eat-potatoes?ref=seealso">10 Reasons to Eat Potatoes</a>)</p> <h2>9. Hash Browns</h2> <p>Hash browns are a great canvas for experimenting with garam masala! Cook them up without spices (or with minimal spices), butter, or oil. While your hash browns cook, sprinkle in garam masala to taste. Pair with a couple eggs or some creme fraiche, and you&#39;re cooking gourmet!</p> <h2>10. Roasted Sweet Potatoes</h2> <p>Sweet potatoes and sweet potato pie never tasted so good! This <a href="http://zestysouthindiankitchen.com/2012/11/roasted-spiced-sweet-potatoes.html">roasted spiced sweet potatoes</a> recipe certainly knows how to dress up a plain old sweet potato and give it a little wow factor. Try it for a Thanksgiving side dish, dessert, or at home for a nutritious meal!</p> <h2>11. Butternut Squash</h2> <p>There are lots of great recipes that pair garam masala with butternut squash to create a great fall dish. This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Roasted-Butternut-Squash-Soup-With-Apples-And-Garam-Masala-My-Recipes">roasted butternut squash soup with garam masala</a> incorporates some other components like apples, white wine, and shallots. If you want, you can blend the ingredients to make a soup or keep them separate for a roasted side dish. Simple, cheap, and delightful &mdash; you&#39;ll never want to eat butternut squash without your garam masala again!</p> <h2>12. Green Beans</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/garam-160578910-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>This simple recipe for <a href="http://steamykitchen.com/306-green-beans-garam-masala.html">masala green beans</a> is great way to take green beans from everyday to excellent! With a side dish so deliciously unusual, you won&#39;t feel the pressure to do too much to your meal&#39;s other components.</p> <h2>13. Cauliflower</h2> <p>When it comes to utilizing cauliflower, this roasted <a href="http://www.stephencooks.com/2010/05/roasted-cauliflower-masala.html">cauliflower masala</a> recipe is a great way to try out your culinary capabilities. Unless your cooking goes terribly awry, the end result will be fab! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies?ref=seealso">10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a>)</p> <h2>14. Vegetables</h2> <p>Use frozen veggies for this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegetable-masala/">vegetable masala</a> recipe to make it incredibly affordable and delicious! It&#39;s a great way to make vegetables more exciting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Use Frozen Vegetables</a>)</p> <h2>15. Baingan Barta</h2> <p>Baingan Barta &mdash; a Punjabi-style eggplant dish &mdash; is a traditional yet simple nod to the great garam masala. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables, mashed together. This version of <a href="http://indianfood.about.com/od/vegetarianrecipes/r/bainganbharta.htm">Baingan Ka Bharta</a> is super easy to make and is incredibly tasty. Serve it with your favorite Daal dish, and you&#39;ll have an Indian feast!</p> <h2>16. Samosas</h2> <p>Garam masala is key to a good samosa. The most popular snack in India, samosa recipes should be worked, perfected, and reworked for different ingredients, spices, and proteins. This <a href="http://www.novicehousewife.com/2011/05/24/garam-masala-tuesdays-samosas-revisited/">samosa recipe</a> is a great place to start. It&#39;s especially good because it&#39;s got our friend garam masala helping out!</p> <h2>17. Basmati Rice</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/garam-180326707-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Rice is a classic, tasty and budget-friendly side dish, but finding ways to kick it up can be challenging. This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Basmati-Rice-Seasoned-With-Garam-Masala-Recipezaar">garam masala basmati rice</a> uses garam masala to jazz up &mdash; but not overpower &mdash; the side dish! Serve your garam masala rice with beans or fish for a lovely, aromatic meal.</p> <h2>18. Chicken Breast</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ask-aida/garam-masala-chicken-with-roasted-vegetables-recipe/index.html">garam masala seasoned chicken breast</a> takes your standard cooked chicken to unique places! Serve it with a side of roasted or steamed vegetables, and you&#39;ve taken an everyday meal to new, flavorful levels.</p> <h2>19. Chicken Tikka Masala</h2> <p>Easy slow-cooker recipes are a great way to make a hearty meal without much fuss. This great <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chicken-tikka-masala-recipe-00100000072578/index.html">chicken tikka masala recipe</a> fits the bill: a simple, inexpensive ingredient list and a fun option of utilizing cucumbers to cut the meal&#39;s spice with some cool flavors and temperatures! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers?ref=seealso">Top 5 Slow Cookers</a>)</p> <h2>20. Murgh Makhani</h2> <p>We&#39;ve established that chicken pairs wonderfully with garam masala, but if you&#39;re looking to go a little more traditional Indian with your flavors, you might want to try this <a href="http://www.ecurry.com/blog/indian/curries/gravies/murgh-makhani-butter-chicken/">murgh makhani</a>. It&#39;s healthy and easy to make!</p> <h2>21. Cornish Game Hen</h2> <p>If you want to wow your dinner guests, then this <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/garam-masala-cornish-hens-with-roasted-vegetables-437074">Cornish game hen with garam masala</a> is the recipe for you. Cook garam masala into your game hen in a way that&#39;s both unique and cost-effective (the biggest expense is the hen!).</p> <h2>22. Minced Beef</h2> <p>This incredible <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Minced-Beef-with-Black-Eyed-Beans/Detail.aspx?evt19=1">minced beef with black eyed peas</a> recipe is from Pakistan, but can be used alone, in salads, or with a starch.</p> <h2>23. Pork</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Garam-Masala-Pork-Chops-My-Recipes?columns=4&amp;position=1%2F52">garam masala-rubbed pork</a> is an excellent summer dish! Using the garam masala and incorporating light ingredients like raspberry juice, salad oil and chicken broth, this dish is a tasty way to do pork chops.</p> <h2>24. Gingerbread Cookies</h2> <p>Try including garam masala into your dessert dishes. This <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/garam-masala-chocolate-gingerbread-recipe/index.html">chocolate masala gingerbread</a> recipe is just different enough to impress but not so much that it hurts the dessert&#39;s traditional flavor profiles.</p> <h2>25. Cupcakes</h2> <p>If you want to take your garam masala into the realm of sweet, this <a href="http://cupcakevillains.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/garam-masala-cupcakes-with-a-cream-cheese-frosting/">garam masala cupcake recipe</a> should be your first priority! The batter is easy to make, and the cream cheese frosting is a perfect compliment to the cupcake&#39;s flavor. Delicious! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ultra-quick-homemade-desserts?ref=seealso">Ultra-Quick Homemade Desserts</a>)</p> <h2>26. Chocolate Zucchini Bread</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/garam-95062455-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Add some garam masala into a <a href="http://www.joyofbaking.com/breakfast/ChocolateZucchiniBread.html">chocolate zucchini bread</a> recipe, and you&#39;ll deepen the chocolate&#39;s presence in the recipe. As someone who never really liked zucchini bread (I tend to find it dry, not super flavorful), adding garam masala and chocolate has definitely made me a fan!</p> <h2>27. Shortbread</h2> <p>This <a href="http://delishsis.com/brown-sugar-shortbread-with-garam-masala/">brown sugar shortbread with garam masala</a> recipe is extremely simple and fun. Cut with your favorite cookie cutters, and you&#39;ll have quite the holiday treat!</p> <h2>28. Carrot Pudding</h2> <p>Carrot pudding (or &quot;gajar ka halwa,&quot; as its traditionally called) is light on calories (for a dessert) but rich on flavor. This <a href="http://www.novicehousewife.com/2012/11/05/november-recipe-swap/">simple recipe</a> garnishes the already delectable dish with cashews. Delicious!</p> <h2>29. Apple Crisp</h2> <p>Have some leftover apples that you&#39;re dying to make into something delicious? Apple crisp is a good idea, but <a href="http://sweetersalt.com/2010/10/19/apple-crisp-for-two-spiced-with-garam-masala/">apple crisp with garam masala</a> is an even better idea! Take your crisp to the next level.</p> <h2>30. Aam Panna</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.novicehousewife.com/2011/08/02/garam-masala-tuesdays-aam-panna/">Indian, mango-based drink</a> is great for summer! Served chilled, the sour yet refreshing mix of mangoes, pepper, mint, and our friend garam masala make it a good choice for a picnic or barbeque. For a fun garnish, add a sprig of mint on top!</p> <p><em>What&#39;s your favorite way to enjoy garam masala?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rebecca-leib">Rebecca Leib</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-garam-masala">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-mouth-watering-lentil-recipes">35 Mouth Watering Lentil Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-tasty-ways-to-use-frozen-spinach">35 Tasty Ways to Use Frozen Spinach</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap recipes garam masala indian cuisine spices Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:22:48 +0000 Rebecca Leib 935839 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Your Spices Fake? http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-spices-fake <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-your-spices-fake" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spices-5123885-small.jpg" alt="spices" title="spices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, I had the good fortune to visit Seattle and the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.worldspice.com/">World Spice Merchants</a> shop. I liked it so much, I walked out with $100 worth of spices. Now, I know that sounds like a lot of money. Actually, that <em>is</em> a lot of money, but really good spices go a long way. That big bag of goodies will probably last for years. Plus, higher quality spices have way more flavor than the tasteless old powders that pass as spice in many grocery stores. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-spices-50-dishes-a-book-review">5 Spices, 50 Dishes: A Book Review</a>)</p> <p>Besides age and quality, there's another, more sinister, reason why your spices might have less flavor than you'd like &mdash; they're fake. In fact, trickery is a big problem in the spice trade; the recently established <a target="_blank" href="http://www.foodfraud.org/">Food Fraud Database</a> has logged hundreds of instances of spices labeled as one thing and containing something else entirely. I took a look through this database to sort out which spices are most likely to be adulterated &mdash; and with what. Are any of these not-so-good, bad, and ugly things lurking in your spice cabinet?</p> <h2>The Not-So-Good</h2> <p>There are several spices that are commonly diluted or substituted. This isn't a great thing in terms of value for your money or honest food labeling, but the switches are safe and the impact on taste is minor.</p> <p><strong>Cinnamon</strong></p> <p>In the U.S., what's commonly sold as cinnamon is actually <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnamomum_cassia">cassia</a>, a cousin of true cinnamon. Its flavor may be a little less complex, but it's much more widely available, and therefore much cheaper than true cinnamon, or Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon cinnamon has a sweeter, more delicate taste, which may make it better for subtle baking, while cassia may actually be better suited to bolder dishes like curries and even cinnamon buns (cassia buns?). It may also be the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">choice for ant control</a>. Only one real issue here, though &mdash; cassia contains a toxin that can be harmful to the liver in large amounts. One source said you'd have to eat up to half a kilogram at a time, so unless you're eating the stuff by the shovel-full, cassia will do for most purposes.</p> <p><strong>Vanilla</strong></p> <p>Okay, so maybe vanilla isn't exactly a spice, but it's a <em>flavoring</em>, and that's close. Real vanilla comes from vanilla beans, but some vanilla in the stores contains other flavoring, most often ethyl vanillin. This artificial flavoring has a stronger taste, but one that may be lost at high heat. It won't do you any harm, though &mdash; it's often used in chocolate and other confections and is considered to be safe for human consumption. The unique and subtle taste of real vanilla will be most noticeable in things where it's the star, such as ice cream, puddings, or icing.</p> <h2>The Bad</h2> <p>These spices are commonly adulterated, but not with harmful ingredients. That means that while you might not get your money's worth &mdash; or the flavor you're looking for &mdash; at least they're edible.</p> <p><strong>Saffron</strong></p> <p>I have real saffron a friend brought from Mexico. Or, at least I <em>think </em>it's real, because it has a delicate hay/vanilla scent and gives rice a sweet, earthy flavor. The odds are not in my favor, though. Out of any spice, saffron is the most likely to be faked. Why? Because it comes from a relatively rare crocus flower that tends to produce only about four blossoms in a lifetime. The Food Fraud Database found well over 100 instances of adulterated saffron, and shows that if those little orange threads you bought aren't saffron, they're probably flowers from other harmless (although tasteless) plants, most often calendula. They may provide orange coloring to your dishes, but you won't get that amazing flavor.</p> <p><strong>Black Pepper</strong></p> <p>Black pepper is so common it's hard to believe we wouldn't recognize an imposter, but ground black pepper may contain papaya seeds. They have a similar spicy flavor and have often been deliberately used as a spice in parts of the world where papayas are found. Papaya seeds sold as ground pepper are clearly mislabeled, but they won't do you any harm. Papaya seeds even have some potent health benefits of their own.</p> <p><strong>Oregano</strong></p> <p>There are a few varieties of oregano, but this spice should have a pretty potent smell and flavor. If it doesn't, it might be because it's mixed with other things, usually sumac, cistus, savory, or thyme. Again, these plants aren't harmful &mdash; they may even be healthy, but they aren't oregano either. Fortunately, like many herbs, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/garden-ideas-for-small-spaces">oregano is easy to grow</a>.</p> <h2>The Ugly</h2> <p>I was shocked to discover that quite a few spices are adulterated with things that aren't considered edible and may actually be dangerous to eat. I couldn't find any evidence of people getting sick from spices, so I have to assume that these additives are found in such low quantities that they're unlikely to do any real damage &mdash; at least in the short term. Even so, the fact that these are even found in our food is pretty unsettling. Here are the worst offenders.</p> <p><strong>Chili Powder</strong></p> <p>Chili powder should be made of powdered chili peppers, but sometimes it also contains additives to give it a brighter color. If you're lucky, the additive will be beet dye, but it's more likely to be Sudan dye, a colorant that's typically used in industrial applications. It's a known carcinogen, so the fact that it's been popping up in spices for a number of years is pretty scary stuff. Chili powder has also been found to contain brick powder, talc, and even sand and dirt.</p> <p><strong>Turmeric</strong></p> <p>Turmeric powder comes from a root that resembles ginger except for its vibrant yellow/orange color. Or at least that's where it should come from. According to the Food Fraud Database, it's often adulterated with Sudan dye and a yellow dye called &quot;metanil yellow,&quot; which isn't approved for human consumption and may cause damage to the nervous system. Turmeric powder has also been found to contain rice powder, starches, and even lead.</p> <p><strong>Paprika</strong></p> <p>There seems to fewer instances of trouble with paprika, but it has been found to contain Sudan dyes, lead, and other color additives.</p> <p><strong>Star Anise</strong></p> <p>There are two main types of star anise. Chinese star anise is the kind that traditionally gives five-spice powder its flavor. Japanese star anise has a similar flavor, but is toxic. Guess which one tends to be substituted for the other?</p> <h2>How to Get the Real Thing</h2> <p>When it comes to spices, getting the real thing tends to cost more, but it's nice to know you're getting what you're paying for &mdash; and that you're not getting harmful additives. The best way to ensure you're getting real spices is to buy them whole and grind them yourself. That makes hiding extra junk more difficult. If you can, it may also be worth seeking out a retailer that'll sell you <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-affordable-ingredients-that-add-gourmet-flair-to-any-meal">spices in bulk form</a>. That way, you can examine, smell, and maybe even sample the goods to see if they're as aromatic and flavorful as they should be. If they aren't, they may not be real thing. At the very least, they probably won't deliver enough flavor for the money.</p> <p><em>Have you ever bought spices you thought were fake? Where do you go to get the real thing?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-spices-fake">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-grocery-bill-reducing-the-cost-of-a-good-spice-rack">Cutting the Grocery Bill: Reducing the Cost of a Good Spice Rack</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pasta-makers">The 5 Best Pasta Makers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have">The 12 Herbs and Spices Every Pantry Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Flour Tortillas that Taste Great!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Cooking food safety herbs spices Tue, 11 Jun 2013 10:00:44 +0000 Tara Struyk 977911 at http://www.wisebread.com Cutting the Grocery Bill: Reducing the Cost of a Good Spice Rack http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-grocery-bill-reducing-the-cost-of-a-good-spice-rack <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cutting-the-grocery-bill-reducing-the-cost-of-a-good-spice-rack" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/herbwallgarden.jpg" alt="Herb garden" title="Herb garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve managed to cut my grocery bill in half, but I&rsquo;ve struggled with one set of expenses more than I ever though possible. I use a lot of spices and every time I turn around, I feel like I need more cinnamon or basil. I&rsquo;ve been investigating my options and in the past two months I&rsquo;ve made a dent in the amount I spend on my spices. That dent only adds up to a few dollars so far, but if I can keep at it for the long haul, I think I&rsquo;ve found another way to be frugal without feeling like I have to give something up.</p> <h2>1. Buy in bulk.</h2> <p>There are a lot of things I don&rsquo;t like buying in bulk because I just don&rsquo;t have room to store them. Bulk for spices, though, still means a container a third of the size of a cereal box. While some experts say that spices only last about six months, most spices can actually hold out for a whole year (and since most spices are only harvested once per year, that &lsquo;new&rsquo; batch of oregano may have already been in storage much longer than you&rsquo;d think).</p> <h2>2. Dry your own.</h2> <p>If you can pick up fresh herbs at your local farmers&rsquo; market, the price will be significantly less than the dried stuff at the supermarket. Dry them with a dehydrator or other drying process in order to extend their shelf life.</p> <h2>3. Grow your own.</h2> <p>I got the idea to go one step further from drying my own herbs to growing my own. This year, <a href="/growing-my-own-food-in-my-apartment">I&rsquo;m only doing a few pots out on my balcony</a> , which works just fine for my apartment, and I can&rsquo;t guarantee what the breakdown between what I actually produce and the time and effort I&rsquo;ll put in to it, but I think it will be worth it.</p> <h2>4. Buy online.</h2> <p>There are plenty of spices that I can&rsquo;t produce on my balcony, from issues of room to issues of pollination. There are plenty of options, from very inexpensive to premium. Even tried-and-true <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/16310101/ref=topnav_storetab_gro/103-6049103-6884631">Amazon</a> has a good selection, as long as you&rsquo;re willing to buy in sufficient quantity. The only point I would bring up is that quality is crucial for spices, and purchasing from a reputable seller can be worth a premium price. I routinely buy in large quantities from <a href="http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/ord/basket.html?id=4Cnr2Dky">Penzey&rsquo;s</a> for just that reason.</p> <p>No matter which of these approaches you are considering for stocking your spice rack, make sure that you have airtight containers to keep your spices in. Whether you buy in bulk or dry your own, you&rsquo;ll need your own spice containers. I reuse old ones, save jars and use single serving yogurt cups.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cutting-the-grocery-bill-reducing-the-cost-of-a-good-spice-rack">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-spices-fake">Are Your Spices Fake?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-herbs-and-spices-every-pantry-should-have">The 12 Herbs and Spices Every Pantry Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kick-ass-alternatives-to-canned-cranberry-sauce">Kick-Ass Alternatives to Canned Cranberry Sauce</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Cooking herbs spices Tue, 11 Mar 2008 00:02:27 +0000 Thursday Bram 1906 at http://www.wisebread.com