Do you ever find yourself tasting a meal you've prepared and realizing it just doesn't have enough flavor? Do you dump loads of grocery store spices into your dishes, only to be put off by their bland, vague taste? It may be time to look into grinding your own spices, which is easy to do if you have the right equipment.
Spices begin to lose their flavor as soon as they're ground, so when you buy prepackaged spices in the supermarket, they're already starting to go south, flavor-wise. Home-ground spices are obviously the right choice in terms of flavor, but it can be intimidating to start doing any component of your cooking completely from scratch. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Choose your grinding tools wisely. This brushed stainless steel spice grinder from StainlessLUX is the ideal tool for your spice-grinding needs, and a steal at only $20. You can also use an electric spice grinder, similar to a coffee grinder in function, or simply throw whole spices in a blender, though this is usually too big for the task and hard to clean up.
- Know your spices. First, you'll need to know the difference between spices and herbs (herbs are leafy and don't take well to grinding with a mortar and pestle). Next, learn what the un-ground forms of spices look like so that you'll be able to recognize them easily in the store. Everyone knows that cinnamon comes in sticks, but did you know that cumin is a seed, while cloves come in buds?
- Grind away. Patience is a virtue when it comes to grinding spices, so it seems appropriate that "grind" can mean "hard work". Take your time to make sure your spices are evenly ground and you'll reap the benefits in the food you prepare with them.