Wednesday, August 8, 2018

10 Spices That Are So Easy to Grow & Great in Recipes

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, there are so many spices that are so easy to grow!  Let's review some of these spices and maybe they might help trigger some creative cooking too!

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Gardening is about enjoying what you and the earth can produce.  Nothing tastes as good as fresh from the garden.  That's why many people decide to go out to the country on the weekends to stock up on fresh from the farm goodness.

Having a spice garden is relatively easy and when it really starts to grow, it can become bountiful.  What a tasty treat for all your home cooked meals.  Let's get on to the list of easy to grow and great to enjoy spices that are just a few steps away from the kitchen.


10 of the Most Used and useful spices:


1.  Parsley:  either curly or flat leafed.  Wonderful for dressing up salads, potatoes, stews, and more.

2.  Chives:  Great with stuffed baked potatoes, salads, soups and more.

3.  Peppers:  These can be hot (hotter than Hades) or sweet as in bell peppers.  Some can be used for a meal as a vegetable and others for spicing things up.  Be careful, some of the peppers that are being grown today are so hot, you need to handle them with rubber gloves.

4.  Basil:  There are several varieties of Basil, from large Green Leafed Basil, to Purple Basil and even small leafed basil.  One thing is certain, tomatoes with fresh basil is a little bit of heaven right here on earth.

5.  Dill:  Great for making home made pickles, but also added to salads it adds just a little bit of a different taste sensation.

6:  Cilantro:  This is one spice that you either love or dislike(dare I say "hate").  It depends totally on your own taste buds.  Some people when eating anything with cilantro will taste a "soapy" flavor.  They are sure not to like this spice.  But others find cilantro to be refreshing with a crisp clear taste!  Great in salads and stews, soups and even sandwiches.

7:  Mint:  There are all kinds of mints available and all of them are really easy to grow.  Some might even be considered invasive.  Mints can be used in cooking as well as making teas (hot or cold) to enjoy on a hot summer's day.

8:  Sage:  Pretty in green or purple sage has a very strong flavor that will pack a punch of flavor in your cooking.

9:  Oregano:  Easy to grow and will often overwinter.  A great spice for all Italian dishes from spaghettis to pizza.  Added to soups and stews it adds a lot of flavor with a tangy zesty taste.

10: Rosemary:  this spice is easy to grow and can be used not only for cooking but as a decorative plant.  It prunes really easy and can be used as small topiaries.  This spice is great for lamb and grilled or roasted vegetables.  Taken indoors for the winter months, it will continue to grow without any problems.

This is my list of 10 favorites, but there are so many more and each one will add a dimension to your cooking that you may not have realized yet.  Below you will find a "cookbook" to help you make the most of the spices you grow yourself and the ones that you need to purchase because they just need a climate that we don't have.  Either way, home grown spices will definitely make you think twice about the way you cook and the way you enjoy your meals with your family.


Guide to Using Spices


If you are looking for help in pairing spices to make your recipes pop and sizzle, then I would highly recommend this Cookbook!  I use the term "Cookbook" with a certain amount of caution, it is not so much a "cookbook" as a real guide to using spices in combinations that will make your food preparation and your family's taste buds sing.


With a rating of 4.5 stars from Amazon, and over 1,000 verified purchases (mine included), I know that you will enjoy this addition to your cookbook collection!  As with many books today, there is a "Kindle" edition.  Alas, the Kindle version does not get very good ratings at all. (This decline in ratings I'm sure dropped this from a 5 star to 4.5 star rating) With the Kindle book, there is not the same ability to skip to other pages easily and quickly.   Some books just need to be in a paper version!

This truly is a REFERENCE BOOK  that every kitchen should have.  You will use it more often than you ever thought possible.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

16 comments:

  1. Olivia, my daughter took a long time to learn to cook (mainly due to no interest for several years) and NOW she loves to try different recipes and especially loves learning about spices and trying out different ones in dishes. She'd find this flavor reference book helpful in her kitchen I'm sure. :)

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    1. There are many reviewers of this Flavor Bible that have no hesitation to say that it has enhanced their way of cooking. I believe them because it has certainly helped me. I never knew which spices combined to make a great taste sensation and this certainly has helped me. The Kindle version doesn't get great reviews because it is not easy to navigate. Sometimes books just need to be books with pages. This is one of them.

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  2. Olivia, I am always trying to grow something. Thank-you for this great article.

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    1. Ahhh Brenda, just be careful with the mints, they really will take over any area in which they are planted. The rest of them are pretty easy to control. Fresh herbs and spices just make a dish seem that much better in my humble opinion.

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  3. This book looks excellent, would make a wonderful gift as well. I'm thinking about someone in particular who would appreciate it. Your article is very helpful!

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    1. I thin it would make a great wedding gift, for him or for her to learn about how to cook with spices. Even cheaper dishes become special with the addition of a twist of herbs and spices. I know my son and his wife will love this book, just as I do.

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  4. My son is law was just talking about wanting to start his own spice and herb garden soon. I think it is a wonderful idea. Since they are both vegans, he uses a lot of spices to add flavor to their recipes. I am sure he would also enjoy the book you featured.

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    1. I am sure he would enjoy it for sure. I think combining spices is an art and it is one that doesn't come naturally to me. So this Flavor Bible is a must have. I like adding a little zing into the ordinary and then it become extraordinary without any added work.

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  5. I agree w your top ten! Herbs are so hardy for those of us w a not so green thumb!

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    1. All of the herbs and spices mentioned will grow in regular soil, just watering and some sun needed to bring them into full growth. I love easy, even in the garden or maybe especially in the garden. If you are so inclined some of these will overwinter indoors with a little pot of fresh soil and a sunny window.

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  6. I love having fresh herbs going, I especially like having a pot of mint on the balcony to make my mint tea with and for my hubby's delicious tzatziki. I must tell you about the first time I grew mint though, I was told to grow it in a pot as it could take over the whole garden ... I managed to kill it! Apparently it's impossible, but the very same year I also killed of some parsley LOL!
    These days I do have greener thumbs and love my parsley, mint, oregano, cilantro and basil.

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    1. Oh I'm so glad you got over the idea of killing the herbs. Truly they are a taste sensation and should never be passed up on. They will add a zing to your everyday cooking and make everyday, just a little more special. You killed mint? Really....(sorry, I had to say that!)

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  7. Except for mint and rosemary (and only a limited amount of rosemary) I've never had any success at growing herbs. And I sure wish I could! I love the idea of growing your own fresh herbs.

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    1. Give it another try Dawn. Once you get it, you will never be without them. You might just have to tweak how you are growing them. They do require quite a bit of sun, so that might help, or get a small grow light.

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  8. I love growing herbs, and even with my black thumb I have grown some. I am optimistic that I could grown more if I concentrated on it! Besides being delicious I truly believe that herbs are part of Nature's medicine chest.

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    1. I so agree with you Rose. I remember a friend of mine who was always retaining water. She would use parsley in a tea to flush out the excess water in her system. There are many other spices that will help certain maladies in a natural way.

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