Why You Need A Spice Rack
Perhaps you want to challenge yourself to try new flavors, or your doctor mentioned you use too much salt, or you heard about some of the studies showing that spices like cinnamon may help with weight loss. Whatever your reason for wanting to use more spices in your cooking, a spice rack will help you with your new goal. These useful accessories can make your kitchen look much tidier. Rather than trying to shove all of your spices into a cabinet, you can keep them nicely organized inside of a spice rack. This will also make it much easier to find a particular spice when you are cooking.
You might think that you could just toss your spices in a drawer. But you could probably put those drawers to better use, by filling them with silverware trays, serving utensils, bbq claws, or any of the many other cooking tools you use on a regular basis. Many spice racks let you make use of underutilized spaces in your kitchen, such as behind a cabinet door or an empty counter. Having all of your spices neatly laid out in front of you or easily accessible when you open your cabinet door will encourage you to use them more often. You'll no longer fall into the bad, and relatively tasteless habit, of just using salt and pepper on everything.
Speaking of bad kitchen habits, without a spice rack, you probably wind up putting your spices in miscellaneous drawers and cabinets. This sends you on a wild goose chase each time you need a particular spice. How many times have you gone to the store to buy a spice you thought you didn't have, just because you couldn't find it, only to have it turn up later in your home? With a spice rack, you'll always know exactly which spices you have on hand.
What To Look For In A Spice Rack
When picking out your spice rack, you first need to think about where in your kitchen you'd like to place it. There are free-standing spice racks that you can keep on your kitchen counter, sliding spice racks you can store in a pantry or cabinet, and even wall-mounted varieties that are more like spice drawers. If you're an adventurous chef who cannot predict which spice you'll want to use next, you may want a rack that stands on your counter, right next to your stovetop. This way, when you're feeling uninspired, you can simply look at your spices and let your imagination get to work. Having a model that stands on your counter can also help you move away from salt (something Americans eat twice the amount the World Health Organization recommends. If you are just too limited on counter space, a wall-mounted model, or a sliding one you can put in your cabinet, will be ideal.
Next, you should think about how many spices you're going to have. If you're a serious chef who may need upwards of 50 different types of spices during any given week, there are spice racks that can accommodate your needs. You'll probably also want a model that comes with labeled jars so you can quickly identify the spice you want. If you do have an impressive spice collection, the layout of your spice rack is also important. Some versions have stadium-style racks that make it easy to see all of your spices at once. Others hold your jars horizontally, with the labels facing outwards. Most people find spice racks that allow them to see a large number of spices simultaneously to be the most convenient. For the more modest spice collection, there are smaller racks that may hold between 10 and 20 jars.
Finally, you should consider the style you want. If everything in your kitchen, from mixers to faucets, looks quite industrial, you may want a spice rack with a nickel finish. If you have a more rustic-looking kitchen, there are some charming racks available made of wood or wires. Those with a very modern kitchen may like a rack made from simple black plastic with some chrome accents.
Copying The Spice Use Of Some Of The Healthiest Countries In The World
Considering that Italy has been ranked the healthiest country in the world, let's first take a page out of their cookbooks. Italians often cook with oregano and rosemary, both of which have been found to have diabetes-fighting compounds. Consider adding rosemary to your roasted chicken and potatoes, or sprinkling oregano on your next bowl of pasta or slice of pizza.
Next, let's travel over to Spain, where many dishes consist of parsley, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf. Some studies suggest that parsley can help maintain kidney health. It's also effective in fighting fatigue and joint pain, so use it to marinate your steaks or add a little extra flavor to creamy pasta dishes. Cayenne pepper may be able to relieve migraines, boost your metabolism, and even act as a pain reliever. Spice up your tortilla soup or white fish with it. Bay leaves are good for detoxing the body and add incredible flavor to soups and stews.
Last, we'll take a trip to Sweden, where you'll find a lot of cardamom, dill, and saffron. Cardamom can help combat nausea and could be a good thing to bring along on cruises or when visiting high altitudes. It may also relieve bloating and heartburn. It's a nice addition to salad dressings, creamy soups, and lamb dishes. Dill is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food. Swedes often add it to their fish and potato dishes. If you suffer from muscle cramps, try eating more saffron. Its potassium can help relieve sore muscles. Saffron tastes delicious in rice dishes, with chicken, and even in some pudding.