Herbs and spices are used to naturally enhance the flavours of everyday dishes we love, but when it comes to knowing which spice or herb to use, you don't need to be a chef to make the right decision.
"Some people are under the impression that they require special cooking skills to use herbs and spices effectively," says Ian Hemphill, author of The Spice & Herb Bible Third Edition. "Nothing could be further from the truth — adding these wonders of nature using familiar cooking techniques, is as easy as having a basic understanding of the herb and spice flavours and the foods they complement."
Whichever herb or spice you choose, know one thing: these dried up plants and powders are doing wonders for your body. Hemphill says most herbs and spices have antioxidant properties and some like turmeric, for example, has even been known to fight health issues like arthritis and cancer, and are used in natural medicines. Hemphill adds many of the herbs and spices listed below were used (and are still used) as natural healing methods for thousands of years.
Because we're also in the fall season, Hemphill says this is the ideal opportunity to gather seeds from the herbs you've already been growing all summer including caraway, dill, anise and fennel. It's also a good time to stock up on fresh cinnamon and oregano to start thinking about hearty fall recipes.
For those of you who don't like spicy foods or spicy flavours, Hemphill says stick to cinnamon, and vanilla — spices can be every flavour from sweet to tangy to pungent.
Here are 20 herbs and spices Hemphill says we should keep in our pantries throughout the year. Find out why each one is unique in taste and how you can use them in your next meal. Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below: