An Introduction To Kitchen Herbs and Spices

an intro to kitchen herbs and spices

When trying to eat healthy, whether that be because you are on a special diet like me for my diabetes or you just want to eat the healthiest you can, knowing all about herbs is so important. You can add a lot of flavor for no added fat if you know when and where to season. Here is some basic information about some common kitchen herbs and how to use them.


An Introduction To Kitchen Herbs and Spices


First, it is important to know the difference in flavor power between fresh and dried herbs. Fresh herbs will almost always taste better, but dried herbs are great for storage purposes.  When using fresh herbs, use half the amount of herbs the recipe calls for as most recipes, unless they specify, are referring to dried herbs.

Also, growing many herbs can be a very simple way for you to save some money. Herbs do well inside and they are mostly easy to grow and care for and will allow you to harvest many times at a fast rate. Most people who grow herbs can’t harvest fast enough, so they dry them out and preserve them.

Some herbs and seasonings every kitchen should have include onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil, chives, turmeric, rosemary, parsley, dill, curry, Chinese 5 spice, chilli powder, paprika, cinnamon and white pepper. These are the most commonly used herbs and are great for starters.

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Part of the fun of adding herbs to your dishes is finding out how much you like and what you like and the way they taste together. Just air on the side of “too little” rather than “too much”. You can always add more seasoning and herb if the flavor is not as strong as you had hoped. Another thing to keep in mind, is, most herbs and spices will not taste to their full flavor right away after you add them. Give the herb time to develop in your recipe before you judge if you need more or not.

If you are interested in growing your own herbs, make sure you check out the following articles:

Here are some common cuisines and the herbs that are used in each:

Cuisine Popular Herbs, Spices & Seasonings
Italian basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, parsley
French thyme, French tarragon, rosemary, basil, sage, mint, marjoram
Greek dill, lemon, oregano, fennel
Spanish saffron, smoked and regular paprika, rosemary, thyme
Mexican cilantro, chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano
Indian curry powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric
Chinese five-spice powder, star anise, fennel seed, cloves, cinnamon, ginger
Thai Thai basil, cumin, turmeric, lemon grass, cinnamon

9 Replies to “An Introduction To Kitchen Herbs and Spices”

  1. I have always felt the need to expand beyond salt and pepper but have always wondered what damage I would do to my food as I add far too much of this or that and make the food inedible.

    1. Hey David, I suggest starting small. Just add a little bit of any herb or spice you want and go from there. Taste as you go in the cooking process. You can always add more if you want!

  2. I like the list of different herbs that you have posted. Very good information on herbs. Such as, I did not know if I use fresh herbs to use less. I have some herbs, but they are not fresh. I need to get some herbs for different recipes to give my food great taste without always adding salt.

  3. Great tips on herbs and seasonings. I always get them mixed up. It’s a good thing I don’t do the cooking!
    Tatanisha recently posted..What is High Functioning AutismMy Profile

  4. Great tips and reminders! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what works well with dried versus fresh herbs!

  5. I’d love to learn to grow my own herbs. They are so expensive at the store!
    Krystle(Baking Beauty) recently posted..Patriotic Cake in a Jar RecipeMy Profile

  6. Thanks for these great tips! We love trying out different herbs and spices in our foods.
    Courtney Pies recently posted..4th of July Crafts – DIY Fabric FlagMy Profile

  7. I need to try more of the Indian and Thai spices. There may be some I know but can’t put the name to the taste!

  8. Great list. I love spices!
    WendysHat recently posted..Shoe Gardening 101My Profile

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