Friday, May 3, 2013

How To Stock your Pantry - Part I - Spices

The way I do my menu planning and grocery shopping is by keeping a stocked pantry.  One of the most important ways to make cooking from scratch yummy is to use spices.  With spices you can take plain old tomato sauce and make it into pizza sauce or enchilada sauce or spaghetti sauce or ketchup or even homemade BBQ sauce.

Lets talk about the spices you should have in your cabinet and where to get quality ones.

These are the spices that I try to always keep on hand.

Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Celery salt
Chili powder
Cream of tartar
Crushed Red Pepper
Curry powder
Dry Minced onion
Garlic powder
Garlic salt
Ground cloves
Ground Cumin
Ground nutmeg
Italian Seasoning
Onion Powder
Onion salt
Poppy seed
Sea Salt
Sesame seed

You can get spices at the grocery store and you have probably noticed that they are expensive!  I think it is really important to buy quality spices.  I am "upgrading" my spices as I run out.  I have bought them at the grocery store and at Sam's Club but when I see "made in China" I know I don't want to buy that again.  I try to get organic when I can.  You can buy spices in bulk through Amazon or Azure Standard (if they deliver to your area) or from your local health food store.  Bulk is the way to go.

I also store my spices in the freezer - they last longer this way.  They say they are only good for a year but I keep mine longer in some cases.

I store mine in a plastic red basket (bought from Target for pretty cheap) in a shelf on my freezer.  I try to label the tops of them so I can just pull out the basket and grab what I need.

Don't try to go buy this list all at once - you will go broke.  Just pick up 3-4 different ones every time you go grocery shopping.  You will build up your collection.

If you want some ideas on where and how to store your spices - check out this post by Simple Bites.

What spices do you use most?


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