6 Items to Spruce Up Your Spice Cabinet

Every month in my thirty-day health accountability groups, we talk about what you should purge from your pantry, your fridge, and your freezer – but one thing that often gets put to the back burner is the SPICE CABINET.  Most people who join  my groups are just beginning commitment to their health – so it is difficult enough for them to purge the pantry, which I feel is the MOST important to audit.

But, for what you must toss from your pantry – you must ADD to your spice cabinet.  For those of us growing up learning to cook with things like seasoning packets and boxed items, the seasoning we needed is already provided, so when you purge those things, you’ve got to figure out how to get the similar flavors so you don’t get bored of what you eat each day.

A HUGE reason that I had begun the process of making my seasonings and dressings from scratch in the first place, is because I live abroad, so I can’t just find Miracle Whip and Hidden Valley Ranch on every street corner.    You can find just about any copycat recipe on Pinterest or Google for your favorite prepackaged seasonings, so over time, I have accumulated a lot of spices in the last year.

These are my six favorite things.

1.  Himalayan Sea Salt – the difference in flavor between this and regular table salt is incredibly noticeable to me.  The regular iodized table salt tastes sort of like bleach or some other chemical type taste in my opinion.  I didn’t used to think that…but now if I’m out of the “pink salt” and have to use the table salt, it tastes TERRIBLE.  Do your research about why to use this, but I promise, it’s worth the splurge.  I use the coarse granules and put it into a salt grinder so that I have more control over how much I salt my post-plated food.  You know how salt likes to come POURING out of a regular shaker…I think this is a good deal on the quantity of sea salt  – and it will last a long time.

2.  RAW Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother) – you’ll see me talk about this stuff a lot.  I’ve been drinking it most mornings with a drop of honey and squeeze of lemon wedge to help with digestion and gut bacteria.  I also use it when making bone broth.  It helps detoxify your liver, kidneys, and it pulls the good nutrients out of the bone marrow when making broth.  It is not very tasty to drink, but I guarantee you it’s not any worse than a shot of tequila! Eden is a brand that I get here, but I love Bragg’s and it’s really cheap on Amazon.

3.  Steak Seasoning – I am a HUGE fan of garlic.  I would’ve included it here, but I imagine everyone already has garlic of some form in their kitchen.  I used to season steaks with just salt, pepper, and garlic, but YEARS ago, one of my best friends gave us a bottle of this steak seasoning and we have never stopped using it.  It has dried, organic sea salt, black pepper, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.  I would have NEVER thought to put the last three ingredients in a steak seasoning – but it’s incredibly tasty.  Just with anything, the flavor is more intense the longer you let it marinate on the steak, but the amazing thing is it’s still pretty freaking good 5 mins before it goes on the grill.  It’s perfect on any kind of meat and I love it on asparagus! I used to order it on Amazon, but lately I’ve only been able to find it straight from their website.  It’s not the cheapest thing ever, but it lasts us (family of 5) for about six to nine months.  It has way less sodium than other steak rubs you’ll see at the grocery store.

4.  Paprika – Y’all. I used to think that paprika was only something you used on Thanksgiving to sprinkle on deviled eggs for decoration.  It turns out, it’s in almost everything!  It’s in Miracle Whip, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, and Asian seasonings…it blows my mind how much I use this stuff.  Do me a favor and find low sodium Paprika though!  It is ridiculous how much sodium is hidden in the foods you’re consuming.  Some brands to trust are Mrs. Dash and Flavor God who have a bunch of combos you’re probably used to using.  Also try things like smoked paprika, or sweet paprika – or my favorite – sweet smoked paprika!  It gives a totally different depth of flavor.

5.  Braggs Liquid Aminos – I cannot find this stuff here either, so I have someone bring us some every 6 months or so.  Imagine soy sauce with 1/4 of the sodium!  We cook a lot of Asian-fusion dishes and this stuff makes me feel less guilty about it (that and the Paprika).  This is yummy on roasted and sautéed veggies!

6.  Ghee – I have posted about this in a previous blog but you really want to get you some of this if you like to cook with butter.  We are in the process of limiting – eliminating dairy from our house and although this isn’t able to be deemed “dairy free” it is {mostly} free of the proteins that cause irritation for people with dairy intolerance.  But aside from that, it’s FREAKING DELICIOUS! I use it more in baking than sauteing, but it has a nutty flavor.  It smells like movie theatre popcorn.  You won’t regret getting rid of the Country Crock for this, I promise.

Some of these items are a little pricer that what you’re probably currently using…but a pro tip is purge and replace one item at a time each week and rest assured that the things your using will be staples in your cabinet for a while and, so you won’t have to purchase it frequently.
Try these things out and let me know what you think!

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