Spice up Your Diet With These 6 Delicious Spice Blends and Sauces

This post was originally published on Healthy Way to Cook and is republished here with permission.

Spices on Spoons

Every time we begin a new year, it is inevitable that bloggers and companies alike will begin predicting the trends they think will be popular throughout the coming year.  There is plenty of speculation about fashion trends and new high tech gadgets, but there are also many predictions about what the hot new food trends will be.  It seems like one of 2014’s food trends will be a move to more unique spice blends, Sriracha will finally be getting a break, maybe.  According to the CEO of McCormick, a leader in the world of spices, 2014 will see the rise in popularity of Mexican and Indian spices, among other international flavorings as well.  Spice blends, chilis and sauces that have been used for ages in other countries and cultures will be taking strong root in America as we get more adventurous with our food choices.  If you had tried to give a home cook a bottle of Mexican Chamoy sauce in the 1950s, they would probably have laughed in your face, politely. Now, between the health benefits and the unique flavors, Americans are embracing these things wholeheartedly.  If you are looking to spice up your meals, be on the lookout for these delicious and flavorful spices and sauces:

1. Shichimi Togarashi

Shicimi Togarashi, or simply Shichimi, is a Japanese spice mixture that contains 7 ingredients, including red chili pepper, roasted orange peel, black and white sesame seed, and ginger. One great thing about this blend that makes it perfect for healthy eating is that it contains no salt, and is perfect for creating flavorful dishes to the point where you won’t miss the salt at all.  Traditionally, it is used in soups and on noodles, but it would also be excellent for flavoring fish and chicken.

2. Za’atar

This spice blend is Middle Eastern in origin, and features primarily sumac seeds and thyme.  The sumac adds a lemony taste and can help increase the shelf life of poultry, making Za’atar perfect for marinating chicken.

3. Aji Amarillo

The Aji Amarillo is a yellow chili pepper typically used in Peruvian cuisine. They are typically used fresh in Peruvian cuisine, and usually makes up a condiment along with red onions and garlic.  If you can’t find the chilis in your regular grocery store, you may be able to find them frozen or in paste form at Latin food stores.

4. Chamoy

Chamoy is a type of Mexican condiment made from pickled fruit, and usually flavored with chilis, creating a sweet, sour, spicy and salty flavor all at the same time.  Chamoy can be either liquid or paste-like in consistency, and the more liquidy versions are usually used like hot sauce. Since the flavor is so complex, this condiment is multi-purpose and you can use it in anything from an entree to a dessert.

5. Kashmiri Masala

The term masala in general typically refers to a blend of spices used in Indian cusine, and since India itself is so varied, there are many different types of Masala seasoning blends.  Kashmiri Masala is sort of like the next step up from Garam Masala, and since it is a blend of spices that are found pretty commonly, you can mix up your own.  It is perfect in lamb dishes, chicken curries, and even basic vegetable dishes.

6. Bahian Spice

The seasoning blend hails from Brazil, and is perfect for adding a zesty punch to savory dishes that might otherwise taste flat and one-dimensional. There is no set recipe for this spice blend, and lots of Brazilian chefs create their own variations.

Will you try any of these spices?

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