When you’re trying to stock a home kitchen, the options available at your local supermarket or speciality store can be overwhelming. One of the areas that are especially well-stocked is the spice department. And No matter how or what you cook, spices are one of the most crucial elements of your pantry.
The good news is that you don't need many different spices to get started, and you can build your collection in many directions, depending on what you like to cook. Spices can be expensive, but the good news is that they last a while when stored in a cool, dark place, and when you think about how much spice you use for most dishes, it ends up being pennies a serving.
Here is our list of the best 5 herbs & spices to buy for your kitchen that you can conveniently find online. As a bonus, we’ve also included some of our favorite seasonings for when you feel like taking a leap into more advanced spices and blends!
5 Must have herbs
One of the staples of French cooking, organic bay leaves can come off as mysterious. An aromatic herb with a woodsy aroma, dried bay leaves are often used in stews, soups, long-simmered dishes, meat dishes, and vegetable dishes. Most recipes call for 1–2 dried bay leaves since using too many can cause the dish to become bitter. They should be removed from the food before eating
Although our organic dried basil bears little resemblance to fresh basil in flavor, it’s an important dried herb to have in your spice cabinet. It’s great added to Italian dishes and bumps up the flavor in soups and tomato sauces. When in season, I recommend keeping fresh basil on hand as much as possible.
Thyme is an herb whose small leaves grow on clusters of thin stems. Our Organic Thyme Leaf is used to season all kinds of dishes, either by itself or as part of a blend or bouquet garni alongside other common herbs like rosemary, sage, and marjoram.
Organic Dried Rosemary is a must for French and Mediterranean cooking. It is earthy, woodsy, and piney. Rosemary can be an acquired taste for some, but it does give your dishes a one-of-a-kind flavor that helps them stand out from the crowd.
Nothing says Italian quite like Organic Oregano does. A little dried oregano will give your tomato sauce a real Italian vibe. It can also be a pungent add-in for Greek and Mexican dishes, pizza, meat dishes, and vegetable dishes.
After you’ve accumulated the basic spices - or before, who cares? - we’d recommend buying these spices from our store. These blends and spices add a touch of luxury and complexity to your cooking with impressive and authentic flavors that you can only get from good quality spice blends. You can find all of them online with Naturevibe Botanicals.
5 Must have Spices
You know that earthy, aromatic, slightly nutty note that you get in a pot of chili? That often comes from our organic cumin seed, a spice that's incredibly versatile. You’ll find this flavor is great for many ethnic dishes including Indian, African, and South American. A gentle touch of cumin can add spice and flavor to unexpected dishes like eggs or grilled meats too.
While Ceylon Cinnamon Powder is probably best known as an additive to sweet dishes or on your morning toast, this spice can be an excellent addition to certain savory dishes as well. Use it in very small doses in chili, tomato sauces, and other products. Use it in desserts, bread, drinks, stews, curries, sauces, and chilis. Put cinnamon to work in these Maple & Molasses Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
This is an essential spice if you’re looking to add heat to a dish. You can use it in everything from soups and stews to meats, sauces, and chutneys. In a similar vein to red pepper flakes, organic cayenne pepper adds heat to a myriad of dishes. This versatile spice, made from ground chiles, is often used in hot sauces and is prevalent in Mexican, Cajun, Southern, and Indian cuisines. Add a little kick to chocolate waffles with a hearty dose of cayenne pepper.
When you’re short on time and need to add a kick of garlic to whatever you’re cooking, garlic powder is a great shortcut. While fresh is always best, it’s great to have garlic powder on hand for busy nights. Skip any with added herbs and flavorings. And, if you’re wondering, garlic salt is simply organic garlic powder with salt added (so skip garlic salt and get more bang for your buck with garlic powder). Use garlic powder in rubs, spice blends, dressings, and vinaigrettes.