Rack ‘Em Up | 40 Essential Spices for Your Kitchen

It’s January, and we’re all looking for ways to get healthier in the new year.

You could go the typical diet route that everyone seems to jump on this time of year. Of course, that often means boring, bland food, and you falling off the wagon right quick.

There is another way. Spices exponentially bump up the flavor of your food, and many of them have compounds that have been prized for thousands of years for their medicinal qualities.

The Spice House

Today I have the definitive list of the 40 spices (all available through The Spice House) you need in your kitchen to make just about anything.

That ancient medicine thing is no joke, let me tell you. With all of the tea I have been drinking lately (we must have 30 different varieties in our kitchen right now), I can definitely attest to the power of both the tea itself and the spices in them (I have been downing chai in crazy amounts).

I have a crap immune system, a little kid in preschool, and I’m a barber, working inches from the germy faces of the general public. I am usually perpetually sick in the winter. This winter? Not one sniffle yet, even though everyone in my Facebook newsfeed seems to be dying of plague.

Even aside from the health benefits, spices are hands down the best way to supercharge flavor in your food without extra fat, salt and sugar. Best of all, with a well-stocked spice collection, you can branch out and try all kinds of new recipes.

Pick up one of my favorite around-the-world cookbooks, The Best International Recipe Cookbook from Cook’s Illustrated and get cooking! I have literally never made anything from that cookbook that wasn’t balls out stellar.

I wrote a post a little over a year ago with my tips for buying, storing and using spices, and I have finally picked up my own magnetic spice storage containers to hold everything I bought from The Spice House, my new favorite online spice purveyor. Here are my picks for the 40 best spices (other herbs and spice-like ingredients are also included) to keep in your kitchen for the most delicious new year ever.

Click through to buy or for more information on any of these spices.

  1. Allspice Berries
  2. Ancho Chile Peppers
  3. Black Malabar Peppercorns
  4. Black Sesame Seeds
  5. Bouquet Garni
  6. Cayenne Pepper
  7. Celery Seed
  8. Ceylon Cinnamon
  9. Chili Powder
  10. Cloves ~
  11. Coriander Seed
  12. Crushed “Caribe” Red Pepper Flakes
  13. Crystallized Ginger
  14. Dill Seed
  15. Fines Herbes
  16. Granulated Garlic
  17. Green Cardamom Pods
  18. Greek Oregano
  19. Herbes de Provence
  20. Hungarian Sweet Paprika
  21. Indonesian Korintje Cassia Cinnamon
  22. Matcha Green Tea Powder
  23. Meco Brown Chipotle Chile Peppers
  24. Mustard Powder
  25. Mustard Seed
  26. Nutmeg
  27. Porcini Dried Mushrooms
  28. Powdered Ginger
  29. Rosemary
  30. Rubbed Sage
  31. Sichuan Peppercorns
  32. Smoked Spanish Hot Paprika
  33. Spanish Paprika
  34. Star Anise
  35. Thyme
  36. Turkish Bay Leaves
  37. Turkish Cumin Seed
  38. Turmeric
  39. White Malaysian Peppercorns
  40. White Sesame Seeds

Which spices can you not live without?