The most important thing you need in making your dishes stand out besides fresh fruits and vegetables are your herbs and spices. When I found my passion for vegan cooking I was experimenting with a lot of different flavors. I have a collection of different herbs and spices on my pantry but I have 6 must haves!
This is my favorite spice and I usually put them in most of my dishes. I love the smoky, sweetness and the slight spicy-ness of the paprika powder. I add them to my Mexican dishes, curries, roasted vegetables, sauces and so much more. They also have health benefits loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, carotenoids and anti oxidants.
ITALIAN HERBS MIX
The Italian Herbs mix usually have 5 herbs mixed all together like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and sage. I buy this in bulk because I use this as a base in most of my pasta dishes. I add them in my pomodoro sauce, sometimes I have them plain, with mushrooms or roasted vegetables.
Nutritional yeast is the parmesan cheese of vegans and I add this to most of my pasta dishes. It has this cheesy, nutty and umami flavor and is a good source of B complex especially B12.
Turmeric is a very strong flavored spice and is considered a super food. I am not the best fan of it’s taste but combined with other ingredients like ginger, curry or cinnamon makes it extra ordinary. I make it a habit of having turmeric everyday because of its anti inflammatory and anti oxidant properties. I have noticed I don’t get a lot of inflammation after my work outs and if I get some it doesn’t prolong into days of muscle pain. I add turmeric in my curries, soups, cacao drink and even in smoothies.
Cumin is a popular spice usually in most Mexican dishes or Asian dishes. I usually use cumin with my chili or Couscous recipe. Because of its pungent aroma, it goes along well with curries, lentils and chickpeas. Surprisingly, it has a lot of health benefits too like high in iron, promotes sleep and might even lower cholesterol.
Coriander has a mild, sweet and citrusy taste which goes hand in hand with cumin. I always use them together especially with my Mexican inspired dishes. Apart from being an aromatic spice, it has pain relieving properties and good for the digestive system.