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Spice School


health benefits of herbs and spices

For millennia, the human race has relied on organic, locally sourced Food for survival, as well as the practice of growing and curing Spices and Herbs for flavor and the health benefits. There has always been a blissful synergy between the nutraceuticals of whole food and the flavorful but healing benefits that Spices and Herbs provide at the cellular level.

I don’t think any of us could imagine Curry without Coriander, Cumin, or Paprika, or Dill Pickles without Dill, or Salsa without Cilantro or Peppers!  Flavor enhancement aside, over the past century, with the rise of pharmaceuticals, their usage had gone from being the mainstay of proven healing remedies to having negligible consideration, even ‘quackery’ in the medical realm.  Well, I am glad to see the tide is slowly turning back as scientists and doctors are “rediscovering” their healing effects on the body.

It may delight you to learn, as it did me, that over the past century, there has never been a single cause of death attributed to an overdose of culinary herbs and spices! Just another reason you can Sass! with joyful abandon!  So, to my savvy readers and hungry cooks everywhere, it is with pleasure I present this bevy of information based on scientific research, historical and current uses, and even some folklore surrounding many of the popular spices and herbs we use today!

This is totally for your reading and cooking enjoyment! (I will be adding to and updating this section often, so check back!)

Before you get into the fun stuff, I want to give you a quick ‘lesson’ on the storing of spices!   We all know that Fresh Herbs have a short shelf life, and even after they are dried, as most herbs are, their flavor and color will diminish quickly if exposed to heat, sunlight and dampness.  The same is true of Spices.  Most Herbs and Spices have ‘volatile’ oils, which not only give off certain fragrances, but flavor components as well!  Sass! Spice never uses any Stabilizers, Preservatives or Anti-Caking Agents, which are linked to certain Cancers, so this unfortunately shortens the shelf life further.  For example, if you aren’t using your spices daily or weekly, and you use a bottle thats been sitting in the cupboard for 3 months, you might find your spices ‘clumping’, fading, or even tasteless!  For example, take a fresh bottle of Paprika with that flame red color, expose it to direct sunlight for a day, and you will see the color washing out before your eyes!  Sadly along with that beautiful color disappearing, the flavor potency has diminished as well.  This is just the laws of nature and molecular science, which I don’t need to expand on, but please use good “Spice Sense” when dealing with Organic and freshly harvested Spices!  If you are not using certain spices on a weekly basis, consider putting them in a tupperware container and keeping them in the fridge.  If they are being used daily or weekly, then store them in a handy cupboard but away from the heat.

And of course, replenish your “Stash of Sass!” every  6 months or so!  Keep it fresh, keep it flavorful!!

This list will continue to grow as I add the most common 100 spices!  Spices are listed in alphabetical order, so please click on the letters below to find your spice.

A – F

G – N

O – Z