Few people would argue about the importance of using spices when cooking and preparing foods. After all, spices were once used as currency just a few centuries ago. While that may not be the case now, spices are still an integral part of nearly any cuisine, from any part of the world.
As with any other food product, using an organic version is the most beneficial, and also the most flavorful. There are certainly plenty of spices to choose from out there, but we’ve narrowed down the best organic spices in terms of their versatility, health benefits, and other applications they can be used for as well.
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Spices are best when they are grown and manufactured organically. While conventionally-grown spices (and other food products) may be more widely available and cheaper at times, it’s more than worthwhile to seek out organic versions of your favorite spices to use.
Before going into why organic spices are best, let’s first go over what makes something organic in the first place.
The official definition of organic is “produce and other ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation.”
In more practical terms, this means that truly organic products are cultivated using all-natural methods that avoid chemicals and synthetics. While these things make it easier to mass produce certain products, organic requirements result in a more hands-on approach that also usually means lower crop yields.
The most obvious benefit of using organic food products is the avoidance of chemicals and synthetic products, it goes further than that.
The use of pesticides has unfortunately become a way of life for foods grown using conventional methods. While their use is understandable from a production and costs standpoint, the uncomfortable truth is that you’re still being exposed to chemicals.
Over time, many widely-used pesticides have been recalled due to their effects on humans, and this continues to happen. We’ll never even know all the full effects in both the short and long term, which is very concerning.
While you may be able to wash and/or scrub the majority of pesticide residue off of produce, you can’t do that with spices, as they’ve already been manufactured and processed. Organic spices aren’t grown using pesticides, so you don’t have to worry about this.
Organically-grown food products just taste better. It’s not exactly a secret. The combination of rich soil, avoidance of chemicals, and avoidance of synthetic products and genetic modification all contribute to a much better plant, which results in a better taste.
Spices are intended to be potent, so the enhanced flavor is even more notable.
It’s probably not a surprise, but when organic farms avoid pesticide and synthetics use, they are actively using a farming method that is beneficial to the environment. Pesticides and herbicides get caught up in the atmosphere very easily, and when you consider the millions of gallons used around the world each day, it adds up quick.
Synthetic chemicals in fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides can all make their way deep into the earth, and also find their way to nearby streams and bodies of water. When you purchase organic products, you do so while knowing you are supporting farms that don’t do these things.
Genetically-modified organisms are growing in use each day. These lab-engineered food products are artificially created to change strains and behaviors of certain plants, usually to better withstand weather, insects, and even herbicides and pesticides.
The idea behind GMOs makes sense from a practical standpoint, but the truth is that you’re still consuming modified foods without any real knowledge as to the long-term effects. They also don’t taste as good for the most part, so there’s that.
Organic spices don’t contain GMOs, so you can use them without any worry.
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of spices available in the world, but we’ll focus on these four at this time. Turmeric, ginger, coriander, and tahini are among the most used and most popular spices in the world, and each contains certain health benefits and practical uses as well.
Turmeric is grown from the turmeric plant, and is easily one of the most beneficial spices on the planet. You could easily fill a whole book with all of its uses that go far beyond just putting it in food. Turmeric is commonly widely used in Asian food. You’re likely familiar with it as the main spice in curry powder.
Turmeric has a warm, bitter taste and is often used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. It contains a yellow-colored and highly beneficial chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics instead of artificial coloring.
Turmeric has been used since ancient times to treat and prevent a wide range of ailments. Researchers continue to confirm and discover new possible health benefits that come from using it, whether by ingesting with food, as a supplement, or even topically.
Turmeric is one of the most versatile spices you can posses, as it can be used with both savory and sweet items.
The most popular use for turmeric is to blend it with other spices to make curry. It’s also great for soup broths, rice, lentils, and sauteed vegetables. Raw greens such as kale and cabbage can be perked up with a few sprinkles, or simmer it with milk and honey for a soothing, earthy tea-like beverage.
Non-food applications are almost as plentiful. Turmeric can be mixed with honey for a quick and easy spot acne treatment gel, or blended with aloe vera to relieve itchiness. You can even add it to your favorite facial mask recipe to decrease redness and soothe your skin.
Ginger is an immensely popular and widely used spice that comes from the root of a plant with leafy stems and yellowish green flowers. It is native to warmer parts of Asia, can also be grown in parts of South America and Africa. Ginger has a very intense and unique taste, and is used to flavor both savory and sweet foods.
Ginger has a long history of treating stomach issues, and also has some other beneficial uses as well.
Ginger is an excellent choice to use for a wide variety of beverages, including hot ginger tea. It can be used with any Asian-inspired recipes, and is great for adding a more complex flavor to grilled vegetables.
Ginger also a good addition to breading for fried chicken tenders, and pairs well with oranges, carrots, and of course plenty of chocolate and cake recipes. Its culinary uses are virtually endless.
Non-culinary uses include using ginger to make a foot bath, as a rub for joint pain, as an addition to facial masks, and blending with beeswax to make a salve.
Coriander powder comes from the seeds of the coriander plant. It’s leaves are also used as cilantro. Coriander is an essential ingredient in the vast majority of Indian cuisine, and also contains a few health benefits as well.
Coriander powder is also a main ingredient in most barbecue sauces, and is a popular addition to many meat dishes. It is one of the oldest spices in the world, and is among the most used.
Coriander’s main health benefits revolve around stomach and digestive health.
Coriander very popular in Latin-American and Mexican cooking, and goes well with posole, enchiladas, or a pot of beans. You'll also find coriander most Indian cooking, as it’s used as one of the required spices in numerous curry dishes.
Coriander is an excellent addition to spice rubs for fish and chicken, and adds a nice bright flavor when making homemade pickles.
Powdered coriander can be used in empty capsules as a supplement, or added to boiling water and then cooled, where it can later be gargled to treat mouth sores. It an also be added to honey and used to treat skin inflammation.
Tahini is a type of seed butter made from the blending of sesame seeds with sesame oil. It’s an essential ingredient when making authentic hummus, but it has many other culinary uses alongside. Since tahini is essentially sesame seeds, it contains all of the numerous health benefits of sesame seeds, and provides a more concentrated form.
Tahini contains many essential fatty oils, and provides a number of varied health benefits that make it suitable for consistent consumption.
As mentioned earlier, tahini is an essential ingredient for hummus, and also baba ganoush. It can be used as a dip on its own with vegetables and bread. Other uses include cereal bars, soups, and salad dressings.
The following four spices are among the best you can find, not only in terms of quality and taste, but also pricing. Each of these spices provides a great economic value, and come in forms that allow them to be used in several different ways, including non-culinary applications.
Since turmeric is one of the most beneficial and versatile spices you can get, quality and value are of the utmost importance. Jiva Organics brand of turmeric powder meets both of these requirements, and provides consumers with an excellent turmeric option that is economical and potent.
Jiva Organics’ turmeric powder is USDA-certified 100% organic, and has a curcumin content level of around 3-4%. It contains no preservatives, filler, or anything else other than pure turmeric root. It pairs well with black pepper to increase absorption.
Each plastic container is sealed, and includes a wide-mouth opening for easier access, and/or pouring. The fine powder consistency is perfect for filling pill capsules when making your own supplements at home. The 1 lb. size is the perfect amount for regular use, and easily fits into a spice cabinet without taking up too much space.
As for the taste, you will definitely notice the organic quality if you’re used to using regular turmeric that isn’t grown organically. The aroma is very fragrant, and the taste is the right amount of bitter and warm. This will stand out with any dish you use the turmeric with.
If you’re looking for a go-to source for organic turmeric, or need to create the best turmeric supplement at home, this product from Jiva Organics should be at the top of your list.
High quality coriander powder can be a bit tricky to track down. Many brands routinely ship stale, bland product that is outdated. Jiva Organics’ coriander powder provides an easy solution to anyone who is tired of using inferior coriander powder, or simply wishes to make the switch to organic spices.
This coriander powder is fully certified by the USDA to be 100% organic, and has the perfect consistency for both food and supplement use. There are no fillers, no preservatives, and nothing else but pure, fresh, quality coriander powder.
The plastic container is fully sealed to to ensure freshness, while also preventing any contamination. The container is easy to use and store, and has a large opening that you can fit a measuring spoon in with ease. You can also shake out the coriander using the perforated lid covering.
The actual taste of the coriander is exactly what it should be. Smooth, full, and mild tasting, with just the right amount of spice. The powder is ideal for culinary use, and also very easy to scoop and pack into empty pill containers when making your own coriander supplements.
Jiva Organics makes it easy to order high-quality coriander powder for your cooking and supplemental purposes, The low price and direct shipping make this a great purchase when keeping your spice inventory full at home.
Ginger powder is one of the stronger spices available, so it’s always clearly evident when you end up with a low quality product, as the taste and aroma are often very mild when compared to better ginger products. Jiva Organics ginger powder is anything but inferior.
As with the majority of Jiva Organics products, this particular ginger powder is 100% USDA certified organic, and has no filler, additives, or sulphite. The ginger is sourced from India.
The container is a light, plastic version with a shake top, and a large opening helps make scooping much easier. Although this is a 1 lb size, the actual dimensions of the container are small and compact, so it can fit in with your other spices.
The taste and aroma of this ginger powder is evident as soon as you unseal it. Full flavored, and with the right combination of bite and spice, you will definitely taste the difference when using it in the kitchen, whether it’s with food or beverages.
The potency and consistency of this ginger powder makes it great for supplement use as well. It’s rare to find a ginger powder of this quality, and with such a low price, especially when it’s organic and mailed to you home.
Tahini is certainly prevalent, but it’s not always easy to find quality tahini that is blended to the right consistency, with just the right amount of oil. Jiva Organics’ tahini is simply one of the best you’ll ever use, combining quality with a very appealing price.
This organic tahini is made from 100% USDA-certified organic, raw hulled sesame seeds, in small batches using lower temperatures from a small, family-run farm in Texas. It contains no other ingredients, including preservatives and fillers.
The container is plastic, and includes a shaker top, and a large opening that makes measuring spoon access easy. This particular product comes in a pack of three, so you can get a large amount of tahini in one purchase.
The taste is unrivaled as far as tahini is concerned. The care and quality of sesame seeds used during the making of the tahini batches is evident as soon as you remove the seal on the container. The full, nutty fragrance hints at the strong flavor of the tahini, and it’s perfectly fine on its own, or mixed with other recipes.
With spices, quality is always the biggest priority. The taste and sourcing of the ingredients can combine to create superior flavor, while also ensuring maximum health benefits. The above mentioned spices are among the best on the market, and all are organic, affordable, and taste great.
Anyone looking to have more flavorful dishes, and experience the many health benefits of spices such as turmeric, tahihi, coriander, and ginger should strongly consider ordering these four spices.