I have always used the terms herbs and spices interchangeably, not realizing there is actually a difference in between the two.
Herbs come from the leaves of non-woody plants (think of basil). They are primarily used for savory dishes and are typically used in larger amounts than spices would be.
Spices, on the other hand, are obtained from roots, flowers, fruits, seeds or bark. Spices are usually more potent and are used in smaller portions than herbs.
Interestingly, an herb and a spice can come from the same plant. Cilantro comes from the leaves of the plant, but coriander actually comes from the seeds of the same plant!
Storing and Organizing
Your freezer is a great place to store your seasonings, but not usually very practical. You do want to avoid steam and moisture if possible. Most people prefer close to the stove. If you store in a cabinet, consider next to the stove and not directly above it.
I have most of mine stored in a drawer, similar to this one:
I came across some other cool options while looking on Amazon. Check out these 2 below:
I don’t have ________, what can I use instead?
Have you ever wondered what you could substitute when you DON’T have something you need? I can cook a little, but I am not super confident about switching seasonings around. Check out the substitution charts below:
|Basil||Oregano or thyme|
|Chervil||Tarragon or parsley|
|Chives||Green onions (scallions); onion; or leek|
|Italian Seasoning||Blend of any of these: basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground red pepper|
|Marjoram||Basil; thyme; or savory|
|Mint||Basil; marjoram; or rosemary|
|Oregano||Thyme or basil|
|Parsley||Chervil or cilantro|
|Poultry Seasoning||Sage plus a blend of any of these: thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper, and rosemary|
|Red Pepper Flakes (dried chiles)||Dash bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper|
|Rosemary||Thyme; tarragon; or savory|
|Sage||Poultry seasoning; savory; marjoram; or rosemary|
|Savory||Thyme; marjoram; or sage|
|Tarragon||Chervil; dash fennel seed; or dash aniseed|
|Thyme||Basil; marjoram; oregano; or savory|
And then you have your spices…
|Allspice||Cinnamon; cassia; dash of nutmeg or mace; or dash of cloves|
|Aniseed||Fennel seed or a few drops anise extract|
|Chili Powder||Dash bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin|
|Cinnamon||Nutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 of the amount)|
|Cloves||Allspice; cinnamon; or nutmeg|
|Ginger||Allspice; cinnamon; mace; or nutmeg|
|Mace||Allspice; cinnamon; ginger; or nutmeg|
|Mustard (dry or ground)||Wasabi powder (1/4 to 1/2 as much since it is hotter); horseradish powder; 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder = 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard|
|Nutmeg||Cinnamon; ginger; or mace|
|Saffron||Dash turmeric or annato powder (for color)|
|Turmeric||Dash saffron (for color) plus ground mustard powder (one to one ratio); annato powder|