The hardest thing when starting to use spices is to know the flavor combinations and even what works best with what food item. There are so many places that you can find black pepper of which is one of my allergies.   So this is the start of my tidbits of knowledge… a hint for you, turmeric, ginger and garlic are a great combination, but here is the big NOTE, turmeric has a tendency to turn stuff yellow.  A friend of mine complains about his dish clothes turning yellow from clean up, he never likes using the dishwasher.

So why would you want to grow you spice list from black pepper and salt?   “They’re powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants that quickly break down inflammation molecules in your digestive tract, muscles, pancreas and other tissues,” explains toxicologist William J. Meggs, MD., author of The Inflammation Cure.

For a head start on spice combinations check out the page: Spice Combinations.

Note: to add a light licorice taste, top with tarragon.

Note: if you want a peppery taste to your salads, try arugula.

Note: edible flower garnishes, honeysuckle, nasturtium, or squash blossoms.  Culinary flower extracts, lavender, rose, orange blossom, and jasmine offer unusual flavor.  (Perfume – many perfumes contain potentially allergenic and health harming chemicals like phthalates and solvents; avoid them by choosing a fragrance made with flower essential oils.

Substitute one teaspoon dried herbs for one tablespoon fresh herb.

tidbits for inspiration to use spices:

Allspice:

The star ingredient is jerk seasoning which is actually a berry that’s native to Jamaica. The spice has chemicals that stimulate the immune system, speed heeling and even helps stop the growth of cancer, say researchers.  Add it to your meat, fish and chicken.

Think of Allspice as just a holiday spice?  Allspice is the star ingredient in the Jamaicans Jerk Seasonings.  It even zaps food poisoning bacteria, such as E coli and salmonella, according to the Journal of Food and Science.

Ashwagandha:

This herb has 35 phytochemicals that heal stressed-out adrenal glands.

Basil:
Noshing on basil helps melt belly fat in two ways: it’s calcium stores suppress output of the fat-storing hormone calcitriol, while it’s manganese keeps blood sugar levels stable to help out cravings.

Cilantro:

Cilantro, parsley and basil with olive oil over a salad.

Cinnamon:

Old Fashioned brown sugar barbecue sauce – 1/2 cup (organic) ketchup, 3 tbsp packed brown sugar, 3tbs apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard, 2 tsp dried marjoram, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder – this is a recipe in the test phase

My favorite use is on oatmeal with a little sugar on the side… it’s yummy and it smells good too.

But I have read that ants don’t like the smell so find the entry point of ants into your house and  sprinkle some there.  They are not suppose to like the smell and beat a hasty bye, bye.

Ginger:

Jamaicans use ginger like we use salt – not only is the zest good for stomach and heart health too.  It’s been said that it can prevent  clots that can lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Ginger cleanse the lymphatic system.  It has been written that a daily serving so six thins slices ginger can eliminate up to five pounds of body-swelling “false fat” in just 14 days.

Marjoram:
The scent increases the body’s production of feel-good serotonin by 90 percent.  That’s key for a blissful state of mind.

Onions:

Help build your bones.  The abundance of sulfur compounds.

Oregano:
Used liberally in lamb and chicken dishes.

Parsley:
Gram for gram, parsley contains nearly three times more vitamin C than an orange.  This nutrient halts tiredness-causing free radical damage.

Fresh parsley, prompts the kidneys to increase urine flow.  The benefit:  Research at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon suggests that consuming the herb each day can help women flush up to 4 pounds of water weight in 10 days.

Rosemary:

Rosemary has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain to improve concentration.

Turmeric:

Rich in curcumin – an antioxidant that penetrates into pores where it reduces inflammation, kills bacteria and speeds healing.  Simple how to: mix 2 tbs of turmeric with 1/2 tsp of water and dab onto pimples; leave on for 8 mins, then wash.  Be careful not to leave the paste on your skin for to long because it will stain.  Rubbing with lemon juice can remove the color.

Yerba maté:

Delivers and energy boost without the jitters and can even boost your mood.

From a post in the blog section:

For Pork and chicken… sweet basil chopped fine… rosemary, sage and thyme…

For 1 2 – 4 lb pork roast – 1/2 cup of fresh basil, 1/2 cup of fresh rosemary, 1 tsp sage and 1/2 cup of fresh thyme… coat roast with gfree yellow mustard and sprinkle mixture on top… you don’t have to sprinkle the whole mixture.

To that chef in Myrtle Beach.. thank you!

Please do your own research in using the above.

Check the Marinades page for some combinations