Forget the sugar; you only need the spice to make everything nice.
Spices are seriously one of the most incredible tools available to you as a healthy home cook. They add flavor without adding extra empty calories. They also bring come with their own nutrient benefits: Some promote healthy digestion, some have anti-inflammatory properties, and many provide powerful antioxidants.
The tricky part is knowing when and where to use them, especially how much of each to sprinkle on a dish or how to combine them in a way that leads to deliciousness rather than a clash of flavors.
Thankfully, our spice guru Chef Carla Contreras has been whipping up spice mixes for the past year, and we’re sharing them all here, now. Blending your spices into mixes will make adding fast flavor to meals even easier. Just stock them in jars and reach for the appropriate one on, say, taco night.
(Featured Photo: Shutterstock; Photos Below: Carla Contreras)
5 Simple Spice Mixes
Everything Bagel Seasoning
Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend is a cult favorite (to say the least). And guess what? It’s super easy to make yourself. This seasoning adds easy, immediate flavor to almost anything, from scrambled eggs to grilled chicken. And it’s filled with nutrient-dense seeds and spices.
Taco Spice Mix
Instead of a packet, make this to pair with ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken. You can also use a teaspoon of the taco spice with canned black beans. It’s delicious for breakfast with a fried egg, tortilla, avocado, and hot sauce.
Three-Ingredient Italian Seasoning
This blend makes it easy to make delicious Italian meals on the fly, without adding…more cheese.
Golden Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin spice is a serious fall favorite, and when you make it yourself, you can be sure it’s just healthy, nutrient-dense spices (with no fillers added!). Plus, the addition of turmeric means you’re getting extra antioxidant power in every bite.
Gingerbread Spice Blend
Add the wonderful, warming flavor of festive gingerbread to all kinds of healthy foods, not just sugar bomb cookies. The spices included—like cinnamon and ginger—are also antioxidant powerhouses.