In the modern world, thanks to the wonders of industry, one kitchen can contain spices from all over the world. And with rising health concerns centered around sodium, this is a colossal benefit.
Salt enriches the tastes of foods, and processed foods are often loaded with it. So much so that it can impact health. Many people turn to premade seasonings to flavor steaks, chicken, and other dishes. But sadly, most of these pre-made seasons still contain sodium, and often in large quantities.
Instead of relying on salt to enhance your meals, all you need to know is how to mix spices properly. Spices can flavor a dish while broadening your palate and decreasing your dependence on sodium. All you need is a few skills, and perhaps a mortar and pestle.
I have an extensive collection of spices and herbs from typical ones such as garlic powder, dried thyme, and plenty of cayenne powder; to more exotic ones like berbere seasoning, cardamom, and garam masala. I prefer to mix my own seasonings whenever possible, and it’s significantly reduced my need to add salt to my meals.
Spices can also bring the world to your kitchen. A chicken is just a chicken but when you add the right spices, and you can transform it. Add some ancho and chipotle chili powder, some cumin, and perhaps a little lime, and you can add a Latin flare to that bird. A mix of curry powders, cumin, cardamom, and turmeric can give you a taste of India. If you get your hands on some Szechwan peppercorns, all you have to do is mix cinnamon, star anise, fennel, and cloves together and you have a quintessential addition to any Chinese dish: the Chinese five spice powder.
Spices don’t have to just enhance your dinners either. Imagine being able to enjoy your own homemade chai tea. All you have to do is mix cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, coriander, ginger, and white pepper together in accurate amounts.
Spices come with a rich and varied history as well. Thanks to the spice trade, places like India were able to share their many spices with the world, and many places these spices passed through became cultural centers and used the spices to create their own culinary identities. There is an entire world to explore through the use of spices and herbs in your life. They are a way to step outside your cultural comfort zone and expose yourself to exotic tastes you may not have considered before.
Now is a great time to add to your kitchen spice collection. If you want to kick your dependance on salt and dive into the world of flavor and seasoning, don’t be afraid to experiment. Cardamom and turmeric are great spices to add first hand. There has been a lot of hype centered around the yellow root, and it’s health benefits. Try turmeric lattes and teas or sprinkle it on beans or put it in soups. It’s excellent in more than just curries.
Try Cardamom with lemon for a great way to enjoy chicken. And you don’t have to stick to sources and instructions when blending spices either. You can make your own unique blends. Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices. You may not like every single outcome but don’t let a couple of failures stop your continued exploration of spices.
So shop online or visit your favorite spice shop because it’s not just flavor that spices enhance. There are many health benefits associated with them as well. Turmeric, ginger, the world of chili peppers, even chocolate powder, many of them have been part of world herbal remedies for thousands of years. While reliance on such herbal remedies should never take the place of sound medical advice from a practiced medical practitioner, the health benefits of spices and herbs can’t be denied.
So if you are ready to lay off the salt and take control over what you and your family eat, dig into the world of spices and make them part of your own culinary adventure in the comfort of your own home.