Most people use a few basic spices in their food, but this can get a bit boring. If you are ready to step up the flavor of your dishes, it's time to try some new spices. Even one or two new flavors can completely change the way you cook.
This spice is most commonly thought of as a baking ingredient, but cloves can actually spice up savory foods, as well. Try adding some to your spaghetti sauce or your roasted squash. Cloves add a unique warmth to dishes and make a great addition to winter foods.
If paprika isn't already on your spice shelf, it's time to add it. You can use this red pepper powder for a wide range of dishes. Better yet, look for smoked paprika for an extra level of flavor. Paprika works well in soups, on baked potatoes and sprinkled over roasted veggies.
Typically associated with ethnic dishes, cumin tends not to be found on the average spice shelf. However, this aromatic Middle Eastern spice adds a whole new level of flavor to creamy soups and even desserts. Cumin doesn't have to be reserved for Indian food. Try adding some to your next potato soup and see what happens.
Again, ginger is frequently used in holiday baking, but not as much in regular cooking. The dried powder can be added to sauteed vegetables and soups or stir-fries for a little bit of heat and a lot of flavor. It can really give a neat bite to a regular dish.
For a summery taste, add some dill to your dishes. A little goes a long way with this herb, but it can add a little tang to potato salad or vinaigrette.
Remember to use your spices fresh when possible. Most spices are no good after about 6 months, but you can keep them more potent by storing them in dark containers, rather than glass. If you aren't sure whether or not a spice might work for a dish, try it. You might discover a whole new way to flavor ordinary dishes.
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