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Posted: 11:55 a.m. Thursday, March 13, 2014

6 Simple Spices To Add More Pizzazz To Your Cooking

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By Crystal Collins, Contributor

ClarkHoward.com


If you feel like the foods you make are too bland, you're probably not alone. Most people tend to end up eating out or ordering delivery not just for the convenience factor, but also because they are unsure what to make. There's also this feeling like, "I can't really cook anything tasty, anyway."

Let's combat this notion this week. First off, if you aren't already planning out your meals ahead of time through meal planning, then you're already setting yourself up for the drive-through run each week. Planning is essential for healthier eating and saving money.

Next, let's get you set up with some good spices so you're ready to make some tasty meals.

1. Onion Powder

This one is so simple. You wouldn't think that onion would be essential, but it most definitely is. If you don't have time to cut up an onion, or just can't stand to face another crying session over the cutting board, onion powder is the way to go. It quickly adds this yummy flavor and saves you time.

2. Garlic Granules

I'm a garlic junkie, and I'll add it into almost any meal. Stir fry? Eggs? Mashed Potatoes? Spaghetti? Yep, they all get garlic. Not only does garlic add some amazing flavor to your meal, but it has also been shown to boost immunity naturally.

3. Cayenne Pepper

To me, cayenne is the spice of life. Whether you're looking to add just a touch of spiciness to a meal or want some good heat in that crockpot chili, cayenne will do it for you. Cayenne has also been shown to help increase circulation and reduce inflammation in the body.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary pairs really well with garlic, onion, and cayenne, and it's perfect for potatoes. There's also been evidence that this herb may fight food-borne bacteria, and even enhance mental focus.

5. Turmeric

This is one of my favorite spices to use. It's got quite a kick to it, so not a whole lot needs to be used. It's best used in curry dishes, or a small chunk can be added to your green juice in the morning.  Pair it with some cumin, garlic, or citrus for the best tasting meals.

6. Ginger

Ginger is an amazing little spice, that can help aid in digestion and has even been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body. It's wonderful to combine with green juices, or meals with a lot of garlic -- did I tell you that garlic is a must?! One of my favorite recipes to use ginger in is a homemade egg drop soup that my friend Tiffany showed me how to make.

Simple Egg Drop Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 6-8 eggs (whisked)
  • salt, pepper, and ginger to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring your pot of chicken broth to boil on the stove and turn off the burner. 
  2. Using a fork, strain eggs slowly into the broth while stirring.
  3. Add salt, pepper, and ginger to your liking. I'll usually do about a teaspoon of each. 


Having good spices on hand can really save you some time in the long-run. It also saves you money when you're able to make some simple meals at home vs. getting another pizza delivered.

What are some of your favorite spices to use on a regular basis?

Crystal Collins, a Savings.com DealPro, is an Atlanta local, adventurer, a health advocate and thrifty as can be. Check her out on her blog at NaturalThrifty.com.

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