While we advocate using up your spices, not saving them forever, we get what Erma was talking about here. We naturally regard our spices as something precious, to be savored and used carefully, not squandered. At My Healthy Bliss, we LOVE our spices. We don't even know how to cook without spicing things up, and we never want to learn.
Being from Texas, we love Mexican food and regularly prepare our favorite TexMex dishes. Dad's chili is not just a meal at our house, it's an event. Lean meat, sausage, tomatoes and red beans cooked slow in a giant pot brings all of the kids and grandkids out of the woodwork and crammed around our table. Quality seasonings make a big, positive difference in the deep, rich flavor of this all-time favorite. Organic cumin, cayenne (which has all kinds of health benefits, by the way), black pepper, Himalayan salt and some other secret spices that we are not at liberty to reveal, all work together to make Dad's chili the best ever, hands down.
We are also have a serious fondness for Italian food, Cajun food and most any other kind of food and the truth of the matter is that good spices can make or break your favorite dishes. That old bottle of rosemary you've had languishing in the back of your pantry for who knows how many years? It probably won't hurt you, but it won't really season your food either.
Whole spices should stay fresh for about 4 years, ground spices for 3 to 4 years and dried leafy herbs for 1 to 3 years. We adapt a 'use it or lose it' philosophy around here...we buy the best spices and seasonings that we can afford, and we make sure to use them so that we don't end up throwing them out. There's not much worse than reaching for a spice jar while you are elbow deep in dinner prep, and realizing that it's older than your middle child. If you need a spice for a dish that you know you won't normally use, buy the smallest quantity, even if that isn't the best value, so you don't end up wasting it.
At My Healthy Bliss one of the easiest first steps we took toward healthier eating was trading in that box of table salt for healthy, mineral rich pink Himalayan salt. Pink Himalayan salt is chock full of minerals (up to 84!), may help balance the body's PH, and contains no chemicals, unlike table salt which often has weird anti-caking chemicals among other things in it. A less expensive alternative to pink salt is natural Sea salt, which is also mineral and trace element rich and a healthier substitute for regular table salt.
The right spices and seasonings can add a healthy boost to your meals, without even trying. Cayenne powder is high in Vitamin A and also contains B2, B6, C, E potassium and manganese. Capsaicin (the acid that makes the pepper hot) is thought to be anti-inflammatory. Basil has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels and is anti-bacterial and fungicide. Cinnamon is a digestive aid. Now the lawyer says that we have to say here that our intent is not to replace your health care professional and we are not qualified to diagnose or treat diseases. What we are saying is that real, organic spices have nutritional value and have a place in your healthy lifestyle.
Blissfully healthy food is also blissfully delicious at My Healthy Bliss!