Spice it Up! by Hotforyoga

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Spice it Up! by Hotforyoga

The spices in this photograph are a few from my kitchen. How many spices can you identify by sight? How about by smell and taste memory? Are you comfortable with mixing spices together? Do you use only certain spices and skip others? How about spicing up your kitchen with pungent, spicy, sweet, salty, sour and even bitter spices! You can enjoy and have it all! Hot recommends you dare to taste every spice in your kitchen & to bring home a few new ones! Taste them, sniff, finger dip, lick, suck on and ponder on your tongue the quality of the taste no matter how odd or bold. Your brain will call back these flavors intuitively later when you cook. Promise. With just a little experimentation eventually you can ask your brain what does this pasta need, or this fillet? I have included a photo of a few spices, their flavor qualities and their known nutrients to get you started. Remember cooking, especially at a high temperatures will alter the nutrient integrity. Add delicate spices like parsley/cilantro & saffron near the end of cooking or for garnish. Some herbs & spices willingly and quickly share their magic. Pay attention to each wonderful spice to gain the best tastes on your fork and spoon.

Green Cardamom

Flavor is strong pungent, oily, reminiscent lemon flavor, refreshing, goes well with pastries, curry dishes, citrus flavored dishes, use whole or grind, use sparingly. Cardamom contains essential oils that are antiseptic carminative and digestive. Contain Vitamin C, Bs, and a good source of potassium, iron, manganese, calcium and magnesium.

Celery Seed

Celery seed has petite aromatic seeds, that create a licorice spicy numbing on the tongue, yet in cheese, tomato, and fish dishes and even on bread it is soothing, clean, slightly bitter, and astringent. The essential oils in Celery seeds have a soothing effect on the nervous system; helps release excess water from the body, and for lactating mothers can improve milk production. Good source of vitamin A, K, folate and flavonoids.

Whole Coriander Seed

Coriander seeds delight with a savory taste with a slight citrus-zest flavor. Before cooking, grind with a mortar & pestle, or coffee grinder. Whole seeds have a deeper flavor than already ground Coriander. Best cooked in chicken or seafood dishes, curry dishes and deserts, FYI (the leaves of coriander are called:  Cilantro)

Coriander seeds contain essential oils and essential fatty acids, fiber, Vitamin C, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and zinc.

Spanish Paprika

Spanish Paprika is dark colored, smokey compared to the common North American Paprika. Each Paprika will vary in their sweetness, spiciness, and bitterness, prized for its color enhancing properties. Can be used generously. Paprika has 4 carotenoids; beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta cryptoxanthin, they are all anti-oxidants. Paprika also contains, Vitamin B6, E, iron and capsaicin that relaxes blood vessels, and lowers blood pressure.

Cayenne Pepper,

Have a little or a lot. Cayenne Pepper is hot chili flavor; add to Cajun and Mexican dishes for its treasured piquancy and heat.


A brilliant yellow, pleasant smelling spice, has warm and bitter undertones, used commonly in Indian dishes, can be an alternative to saffron. Historically known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, Turmeric contains fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C, E, calcium, iron, potassium, copper, magnesium and zinc.


Saffron holds a faint bitter, pungent taste and is the stamen of the crocus flowers, used in rice and fish recipes and deserts. Saffron contains essential oils, anti-oxidants, copper, potassium, selenium, iron, calcium, zinc and manganese, Vitamins A, Bs, C, and folate.


One of the best Spice Reference books I’ve seen is “The Spice and Herb Bible (A Cook’s Guide).” This is an easy read from page 1! Well researched, practical and ebbing with the author’s genuine love affair with culinary heaven! The book contains over 100 different spices and herbs accompanied by their original history, how to buy tips, a step-by-step how to process, blend and apply to various dishes. There is a recipe for each and ever spice/herb.

The Spice and Herb Bible (A Cook’s Guide).” by Ian Hemphill; Published by Robert Rose Inc.

ISBN-10: 0778804933

ISBN-13: 978-0778804932


May all beings everywhere be at peace and prosper, namaste.