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How often do you use spices in your favorite meals? If you cook at home, your answer is probably a lot. Do you know if you are really getting the most out of the spices in your cabinet? Compared to herbs, which come from low-growing shrubs, spices come from the bark, root, buds, seeds, berries or the fruit of tropical plants and trees. Spices not only allow you to add flavor to your meals, but they also help you decrease fats, sugars and sodium in your meals. Using spices may be intimidating, but with the right tools and knowledge, you’ll be spicing up your meals in no time!

Whole vs. Ground Spices


Whole Spices: Whole spices typically provide more flavor because of the oils they contain.  After the spice is opened and ground, the oils are exposed and the spices begin to lose potency. If you want to try cooking with whole spices, try this recipe for Escabeche-Style Fish with Rice.


Ground Spices: Ground spices are typically more convenient to use and allow you to quickly add flavor to your meal. Once whole spices are ground, they can lose their potency. You can boost the flavor of the spice by toasting the whole spice in a skillet on your stove top before you grind it. If you want to try cooking with ground spices, try this recipe for Vietnamese-Style Beef Pho.


Grinding Whole Spices

Many spices come in whole form, but they may need to be crushed before adding them to your meal. When crushing whole spices, you can choose between a few different methods.

Mortar and pestle: This is a device used to prepare ingredients by crushing and grinding them into a fine paste or powder. Simply add your whole spice to the mortar and use the pestle to crush it.

Microplane Grater: This is a rasp-like grater that has razor-sharp holes which makes it easy to grate larger spices.

Spice Grinder: This is an electric device used to easily grind your whole spices. If you don’t have a spice grinder, you can use a coffee grinder instead.



What is your favorite way to incorporate spices into your meals? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jackie J.

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Jackie J. became a Publix associate in 2017 after deciding to take her love of food to the next level. She began working with the Social Media team at that time and she immediately fell in love with life at Publix. In her spare time, she bakes to relax and creates yummy morsels for friends and family to munch on. When she isn’t working, you can probably find her playing with her cat and dog (Nila and Oreo), at a theme park or watching a Harry Potter Movie Marathon.

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