5 Ingredients To Spice Up Your Pantry

By  April 26, 2013

Move over salt and pepper: it’s time to spice up the pantry with 5 ingredients that are must-haves for creating zesty dishes with bold flavors all year long! Be daring in the kitchen with these easy-to-find ingredients that will have your whole family saying “yum!”


1. Smoked Paprika
With a distinct smoky flavor, this brilliant red spice will add all sorts of color and zest to your dishes. Add a kick of spice to frittatas and omelets as well as a rub for lamb or beef. Bring out the bold flavor of paprika by heating it in oil for stir fries, or mix it into mayonnaise or mustard for a zesty sandwich spread. You can even give simple soups a spicy kick with smoked paprika too.

2. Salad Dressing
Spice up your cooking routine with zesty dressings that have uses far beyond salads. Kraft’s Zesty Italian Dressing, for example, is the perfect marinade for grilled poultry and seafood. Hello summer cookouts! Or go daring with your dipping by pairing veggies, shrimp, and other foods with bold salad dressings. Last but not least, give your salsas some spice by adding fresh salsa ingredients (tomatoes, onions, peppers) with zesty dressings for a tasty appetizer with a kick.


3. Ground Ginger
Slightly sweet and a little peppery, ginger is a must-have for spicing up your pantry. You don’t have to grind the ginger off the root yourself: ginger in a ground powder form is easily found in your spice aisle. Use it as a base for meat rubs or add it into teas for a soothing flavor. Sprinkle ground ginger over roasted vegetables like butternut squash, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes as these flavors pair well with the bold ginger. In addition to savory dishes, ginger boosts flavor in baked favorites like muffins, pies, and cakes.


4. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce’s uses go far beyond a sushi accompaniment. Use it to add a deeper flavor in soups and stir fries as well tomato-based dishes. Give roasted vegetables a bold boost with a dash of soy sauce. Spice up summer grilling season by creating a dipping sauce with soy sauce, hot mustard, and barbecue sauce. Or marinate meats directly in the mixture for the perfect grilled chicken, steak, or fish. You can swap in soy sauce wherever salt is used for extra flavor. It even adds a nice brown color to roasted chicken when a few tablespoons are added.

5. Agave Nectar
Add some sweetness to your dishes by including natural Agave Nectar in your pantry. It’s similar to honey in taste and makes an easy swap-out for sugar. You can find it in light and amber varieties. It’s a fabulous additive to hot beverages like coffee and tea because it won’t crystallize when heated like honey. Sweeten up granola or cereals, use it in baked dishes, or drizzle it over fresh grilled fruits for a summer dessert. On the savory side, use it to create sweet-and-sour dishes like chicken or shrimp.