Ditch the boring, and bring on the flavor. Here are our favorite tips to spice up your life with real organic spices and food. No artificial anything.
Tip #1 USE WHOLE FOODS:
This is CGK’s worst kept secret, because we just LOVE to share it with anyone who’ll listen. Food… real food—we’re talking whole, close-to-the-source food—is actually the BEST WAY to add major flavor to any dish. Think onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, leek, garlic… the list goes on. These flavor enhancers are sourced straight from nature, so they pack the most powerful punch. Sauté a medley of aromatic veggies and you’ll see what we mean. It’s a sure-fire way to develop a deep, rich, bold taste to any dish. In the culinary world, this combination of sautéed veg is often referred to as “mirepoix” or “sofrito.” So be on the lookout for those terms. Here are some of our fave recipes that use a mirepoix/sofrito to add that extra oomph: Caramelized Onions and Peppers & Chicken Stew
Tip #2 FRESH IS BEST:
Let’s talk about organic spices and herbs. As always, we Currys emphasize QUALITY. Quality is essential for ALL ingredients, from the star ingredients all the way down to the spices. The best way to guarantee the highest quality possible, is to source your herbs fresh and organic.
There are a couple ways to do this. First, you can grow your own! We have a seasonal herb garden in our backyard, but if you don’t have the outdoor space for that, try a container garden instead. It packs the same fresh-tasting punch, and it’s easy to maintain with limited space. We’ve had a lot of success growing all of our fave herbs in containers: thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, cilantro, parsley, oregano, mint, tarragon, chives, bay leaves… Give it a try!
Alternatively, you can buy bunches of fresh, organic herbs at the grocery store or the farmers market. They are fairly inexpensive, like $1 for a large bunch. Simply wrap in a paper towel, and store in a reusable storage container to maintain freshness.
Tip #3 DRY YOUR OWN HERBS:
But what if a recipe calls for dried herbs? Simple. Dry them yourself. Whether your herbs are home-grown or store-bought, you can dry them by hanging them up and then letting time do the work for you. Once they’ve dried out, take the leaves off of the stem, and store in a glass container. We actually save our empty store-bought spice jars for this. Repurpose what you’ve got! The environment will love you!
Tip #4 BUY HIGH QUALITY & ORGANIC SPICES / SPICE BLENDS:
Okay so what if you don’t want to grow or dry your own herbs and spices? No big. You can find high-quality spices and spice blends at the store. You just have to know what to look for. As we always say, not all packaged foods are creative equal. To ensure high quality, it’s important to know HOW your herbs/spices are grown and what exactly is IN the products you buy. Many herb crops are heavily sprayed with chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. Yikes. Choose organic spices to keep unwanted chemicals and pesticides out of your food.
Here are the brands we trust to stock our pantries:
In fact, we highly recommend keeping a couple organic spice blends in your pantries for easy, convenient cooking. You can buy them from the brands above or even make your own! Our go-to blends are:
Mexican or Fajita Blend, Italian Blend, Herbs de Provence, Garam Masala, and Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix. For a full list of Peg’s and Meg’s favorite pantry items, spices, and spice blends, click HERE! LINK to download our free #unsponsored Ultimate Gluten Free Pantry Guide.
Basically, the rule of thumb with all of these tips is: QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY! Seriously, when in doubt, always pick the highest-quality option. We go more in depth about that in our recent blog, How to Eat to Live Your Best Life! So if you haven’t seen it, check it out to learn a bit more about the quality spectrum of food and how to identify high-quality foods at the grocery store.
Ready to put these principles into practice? Level up your pantries and streamline your kitchen with our 4-week course, Damn Good in the Kitchen. This course features over 15 videos on kitchen organization, label reading, and useful time and money saving tips. In addition to the “curriculum” videos, enjoy cooking videos for our foundational recipes, so that you can cultivate the vibrant, healthy kitchen of your dreams! This course will only be live in real time once, and space is limited. To reserve your spot, click here.
If you’re looking for 140 flavor-packed meals full of high-quality ingredients, then you need to get your hands on Peggy’s debut cookbook. It’s called Damn Good Gluten Free and it’s coming SOON! It’s not just made with gluten-free eaters in mind, either. No, no. It’s specifically formulated for dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan/plant-based, AND paleo diets as well. So, you can customize it to your needs. Now THAT’S sure to spice up your life!
Sign up to the Damn Good Gluten Free waiting list HERE!