Spices: Brighten Your Life with Colour, Taste, and Health

Spices are an essential part of cooking and can produce amazing flavour and add colour to any dish. Whether you’re a novice cook or an experienced chef, spicing up meals with a few simple ingredients can make all the difference. From turmeric to paprika, there are a vast range of spices that can transform a dish from bland to flavoursome.

spices on spoons

From adding a subtle fragrance to imparting a vibrant hue, spices add interest to almost any food. With a little creativity and knowledge of the right spices, you can make your dishes look and taste better in no time.

Benefits of using spices

A good spice blend or single spice not only adds mouth-watering flavour to foods, using spices can also save time as a pinch of the right spice will elevate a dish in a second. Spices are known to be rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that can help to prevent diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Some spices are also known to help with digestion, boosting immunity and reducing bad cholesterol. Spices like turmeric, cardamom, and ginger are great for treating colds and coughs due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

When making your own spice blends, it’s easy to control amounts, and to make blends to suit your taste or specific health requirements. Make larger batches of your favourite spice blends and store them in airtight jars to use when needed.

Spices to have in your pantry all year round

  • Black pepper – A spice made from the dried seed of the pepper plant. It has a warm and pungent flavour, is known to be good for digestion and is one of the most commonly used spices worldwide in savoury dishes. Black pepper is a rich source of manganese, vitamin B6 and other minerals.
  • Cayenne pepper – This red and hot chilli pepper that is often used as a spice. It is recognised as a good source of vitamin C and for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is frequently used in Mexican, Indian, Chinese as well as other cuisines.
  • Chili powder – It consists of a blend of spices that is often used in Mexican and Thai cuisine. It is made up of cumin, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, and sometimes other spices like oregano and chilli peppers. It is commonly used to make spicy dishes. Chilli peppers are a rich source of vitamin C and other antioxidants such as beta-carotene. 
  • Cinnamon – A commonly used spice that is made from the bark of the cinnamon tree. It is known to be a good source of antioxidants and is often used in Indian and Chinese cuisine. Cinnamon helps control blood sugar, improve cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. 
  • Cloves – A rich and warm spice that is usually used in baking, but can also be used in curries and other savoury dishes. It is known to be rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Cumin – A fragrant and warm seed that is commonly used in Indian dishes. It is known to be a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
  • Ginger – This spice is rich in antioxidants and known as having anti-inflammatory properties and is often used in desserts and baked goods. Ginger is commonly used in Indian and Asian cuisines and can be added to teas, curries, and stir-fries.
  • Paprika – Paprika is a rich source of vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant. It is commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese cuisine and can be added to dishes such as rice, soups, and stews. Here is an interesting paprika app review for you to check out.
  • Nutmeg – Probably the most fragrant spice used in savoury dishes such as soups and stews, and an unmissable ingredient in mashed potatoes. It is also known to be a good source of iron and calcium.
  • Turmeric – A commonly used spice that is known for being a rich source of antioxidants and having anti-inflammatory properties. It is best known and most used in Indian and Chinese cuisine. 

Exciting spice combinations

Spices can transform any dish from ordinary to extraordinary, and exploring different spice combinations can be a fun and exciting way to explore cooking. Whether you’re looking to add a bit of heat to your meals or just trying to find something new and unique, there are plenty of exciting spice combinations to try.

One popular spice combination is a mix of cumin and coriander. This blend adds a smoky, earthy flavour to your dishes and is a great way to add a bit of warmth. Another combination to try is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. This combination adds a unique and sweet touch to your dishes, making them perfect for desserts or breakfast dishes, especially around Christmas..

If you are looking to add a bit of heat to your dishes, a combination of chilli powder, garlic, and paprika is a great way to do so. Or, if you are looking for something a little different and unique, try combining cayenne pepper, ground ginger, and turmeric.

More complexity can be added to your dishes, by combining two or more of these combinations. Cumin, coriander, chilli powder, and garlic powder creates a great base or you could combine cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger for a unique, sweet, and spicy flavour.

Storage tips for spices

The best way to store various spices is to keep them in sealed containers, away from light and moisture to ensure they retain their flavour and aroma.

The best containers for storing spices are airtight jars and bottles, which are available in a range of sizes to fit your needs. Make sure to label each jar or bottle clearly with the name of the spice. This will save time when you are searching for a particular spice. You should also consider storing your spices in a cool, dark place.

If you have a variety of spices, it can be helpful to organise them into categories. This will help you find the spice you are looking for quickly. You can store all of your spices together in one area, and all of your savoury and spicy spices in another area or you can select a good looking spice rack that adds flair to your entire kitchen!


The possibilities are endless when it comes to exploring different spice combinations. Whether you’re looking to add a bit of heat or just trying to find something new and unique, there are plenty of exciting spice combinations to try. 

Life is too short to eat boring food. Spices give even the blandest of dishes a new zest and impress your family and friends with your cooking skills. The best way to find new tastes is to experiment with spices. And when you do, try to write down the quantities and combinations so you will get the perfect taste every time.

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