5 Healthy Reasons to Use Your Pepper Grinder Daily

A good pepper grinder is a must-have for any kitchen. While most people use freshly ground pepper to add taste to their food, you might be surprised that pepper has a number of health benefits that make it an essential addition to your meals.

Freshly ground whole spices are a simple way to flavour food without the need for artificial flavourings, sugar and high levels of sodium. They can also add a great deal of complexity to a variety of dishes – both sweet and savoury. Pepper is one such spice that is used all over the world in many different dishes. Pre-ground pepper comes in black and white varieties, and whole peppercorns come in black, white and green (or pink, which is similar to green in its lighter strength). While ground pepper tastes good, it is the whole peppercorns that offer the most benefits from a health perspective.

Why Should You Use Your Pepper Mill Grinder Every Day?

If you are not already grinding your own fresh pepper in a pepper mill grinder, now is a great time to invest in a good grinder. There are many health benefits offered by this aromatic spice, including the following:

  1. Potential cancer prevention properties. Studies done at the University of Michagan Cancer Center in the United States showed that a chemical compound found in peppercorns known as piperine may be able to prevent the formation of breast cancer tumours. These studies are on-going, but research to date indicates that this spice’s ability to fight cancer are increased when paired with turmeric – another powerful spice.
  2.  Cold-fighting properties. A natural decongestant, pepper contains chemicals that cause runny noses, which happens when its chemical compounds irritate the mucus membranes. This means that it is effective in clearing blocked noses and stuffy nasal passages. Dr Neil Schachter from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and the author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu advises using a dash of freshly ground pepper in comforting chicken soup when trying to clear a cold.
  3.  Digestion aid properties. Pepper boosts the hydrochloric acid secretion within the stomach, which helps to aid digestion. This in turn prevents tummy bugs, constipation and colic. This spice is also able to prevent intestinal gas, and promote sweating and urination, which helps clear toxins. As it is carminative, forcing gas out from the body downwards instead of upwards where it strains organs and the chest cavity, it also helps gas to be expels more easily and naturally.
  4.  Antibacterial properties. Pepper helps the body to ward off infections and even insect bites. It also helps to clean arteries by scraping excess cholesterol from the arterial walls; thereby aiding heart health. It can even be applied topically to the skin to help remove impurities. Just be sure to use with caution however – some people may have a skin reaction to pepper.
  5.  Antioxidant properties. Pepper is considered a powerful antioxidant, and is able to fight free radical damage that has links to cancer, heart and liver problems. Antioxidants can protect the body and skin from many different health issues, as well as the effects of aging.

Add pepper to your diet, and reap the many rewards that this power spice has to offer. Remember – buying your spices whole and grinding them in good quality spice grinders or pepper mills is the best way to get the full benefit that whole spices have to offer.

Getting the Most From Your Spice Grinder

If you love using freshly ground spices in your food, then you most likely have at least one or two spice grinders in your kitchen. Whether made from glass or high grade plastic, you may think that you have to replace the entire grinder when your spices run out, but if you don’t wish to toss (or better yet, recycle) the grinder bottles, you can reuse them for many more years to come. First however, you need to make sure that you keep your grinders in good shape so that they last as long as possible.

Today, we will share a few tips on cleaning your grinder, reusing empty spice grinders, keeping the lids and bottles protected against the elements and other steps you can take to save on the costs of buying brand new grinders whenever your favourite spices run out.

Tips for Making Spice Grinders Last Longer

Some useful tips for making your grinders last as long as possible include the following:

  1. Invest in good quality grinders. Having a good grinder or two, or even a whole set, will ensure that you have the best quality to start with, which will go a long way in making sure that the bottles and lids last. Glass bottles are easy to clean, and if cleaned correctly they do not retain any odours or residue. If using plastic, look for high grade materials such as PET, which is a recyclable material that is eco-friendly and long-lasting.
  2. Organise your spices. To further ensure that bottles stay in good shape, try to organise your spices in specific bottles for each type of spice. For example, salt and pepper mills should be kept in their own bottles, and aromatic spices used in different bottles. Or, you could organise by hot spices and sweet spices. Using cinnamon in a former cayenne pepper bottle (especially without cleaning it) may result in some rather interesting baking experiments, to say the least.
  3. Invest in a bottle brush. These are very handy for cleaning bottles, as the name implies, but they are also good for washing tall glasses, jars and various other items that are harder to reach with a regular brush or sponge. You can find them in the baby product aisle of most supermarkets, or at chemists. The long shape and soft bristle will allow you to thoroughly clean empty spice bottles to remove all traces of spice before reusing them.
  4. Clean bottles and lids thoroughly. You may use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to clear the inside parts of the bottle and then a slightly damp cloth for the outside.
  5. Replace lids that no longer work properly. Obviously, you will need to get new grinders at some stage eventually. If the lid does not close properly, if you cannot get rid of odours anymore, if the grinding mechanism is not working or any signs of damage are visible, replace the lids and recycle the old ones.

One of the advantages of purchasing your grinders from a specialist such as Global Grinders is that you have the ability to purchase bottle sets, individual bottles or lids as and when needed. With various lid options that range from screw on to shakers and even adjustable grinders for course or finely ground spice, we have a great range of spice grinders to suit all of your cooking needs.

Which is Best for Spice Grinders – Glass or Plastic?

At Global Grinders, we stock both glass and PET plastic spice grinders, giving you the benefit of choice. While many believe that all plastic is bad for the environment, there are some types that can actually be considered even more eco-friendly than glass. Both glass and PET have their own benefits however, and ultimately, the choice should come down to which option suits your specific needs, which is better suited to your budget and which bottle you prefer.

To give you more information on what each of these grinder bottles have to offer, keep reading to see how they compare.

Glass Spice Grinders

One of the top benefits of a glass grinder bottle is that it can be reused for many years to come – for spices storage and for other uses as well. Glass is relatively easy to recycle and should never be tossed out with your garbage. Some recycling services require that all glass items are kept separate from other materials however, which means that a bit of sorting is required to separate your glass recycling from cardboard, paper, plastic and other recyclable goods. Another benefit of glass is that it is easier to clean, without any lingering smells or residue sticking to the inside of the bottle. If you buy whole spices often, you may find that a set of glass bottles will be ideal for changing up spices as they run out, with a quick rinse in hot soapy water required to prepare the bottles for the new spices.

Plastic Spice Grinders

It is important to note that not all plastics are equal. The PET (also known as PETE and short for polyethylene terephthalate) is a safe, recyclable material used for food and liquid containers. It is a type of thermoplastic polymer resin within the polyester family. The name may sound somewhat scary and hard to pronounce, but in fact, PET is a non-toxic material that is not only free of harmful chemicals such as BPAs – it is also scientifically proven to be one of the most cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging materials. The US based Allied Development Corporation conducted a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on PET to determine its environmental footprint compare to other types of packaging, and PET beat out aluminium cans and even glass bottles when manufacturing processes and carbon emissions were compared.

Which Grinder Bottle is Better?

Much like it is hard to compare apples and oranges, it is a bit tricky to compare two very different types of spice bottles. From an ecological point, PET bottles definitely have many benefits that make them easy to recycle and safe to use. With many types of plastic being used with caution, this should give some peace of mind for those wanting an option that is not harmful to the planet.

As they can be reused for a long period of time after purchase, glass spice bottles also offer benefits from a sustainability point of view. If you are buying a salt or pepper grinder or a grinder that you plan to reuse again, then glass is a good choice. If you are buying bottles for less frequently used spices, or you want something more affordable than glass however, PET bottles are just as good an option for your spice grinders.

Why Every Kitchen Needs a Spice Grinder (Or Few)

Most kitchens have a pepper grinder, some have a salt grinder, but not all kitchens have spice grinders that are used for condiments outside of the basic seasonings.

Whether you love spending time in the kitchen cooking up a storm or you prefer to focus on the bare minimums as long as someone else does the actual cooking, adding freshly ground spices is the best way to liven up just about any meal. Having a good grinder (or few) can go a long way in making it easier to experiment with different spices, add flavour to your favourite meals and benefit from the health advantages that many spices and herbs have to offer.

The humble grinder then should perhaps be getting a bit more attention than it currently does. Keep reading to find out why a spice grinder will help spice things up, in more ways than one.

How Spice Grinders Make Life Easier… and More Flavoursome

In addition to weird and wacky spice grinders that can be found in novelty stores, the basic types of grinder are designed to be functional and simple. Generally speaking, it is possible to grind a huge variety of things in a grinder – including seeds, crisps, herbs and spices. Some of the ways that these unassuming gadgets help make things easier include the following:

  • Ground whole spices have far more taste than store-brought ground spices. And unlike store-brought spice, you do not have to worry about any additives or flavourings, either. Many brand name spice makers use sneaky ingredients to make their products last longer on the shelves. This is good for business, but not so good for your health. Grinding your own ensures that your food is always seasoned perfectly, with the full flavour provided by freshly ground seasonings.
  • Spices are good for your health. You could save yourself future visits to the doctor if you use some of the most beneficial spices such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika and cayenne pepper. Sadly, pre-ground spice loses much of its healing abilities – especially after it is doctored with additives to make it last longer on the shelf. Check out our list of benefits from whole spice to learn more about how these power seasonings can make life healthier and better all round – for body, skin and hair.
  • Preparing your favourite spices will make cooking simpler. We do not recommend grinding very large amounts to keep, but in smaller doses for a week or so, you can prepare your favourite blends to have on hand while you are cooking. This will make it easier to make your favourite curries, stews and dishes, with everything you need ready and waiting. Shopping at your local spice merchant will allow you to try new flavours that you have not tried yet. Making mini batches to sample is also a great way to explore different flavours.

Stocking up on a few different spice grinders will help you get full use out of your spices, without the risk of flavour contamination. Visit Global Grinders to view our full selection of grinders and bottles today!

5 Non Spice Things You Can Grind in a Spice Grinder

If you read our fun post on unusual spice grinders, you will know just how essential this tool is in any kitchen or dining room. But did you know that along with whole spice, pepper and salt, there are many other things that you can grind in your grinder?

In the blog post above, we briefly touched on the concept of grinding Doritos in your grinder, but that is just one alternative use for this kitchen gadget. From seeds to sugar and plenty of other goodies in between, you would be amazed at how much use you can get from a good spice grinder (or few!).

Alternative Uses for Your Spice Grinder

There is nothing like having freshly ground spices to add to foods to give aroma and taste to meals. But beyond spice, spice grinders can be used to grind up many things to add to food and drinks or baked goods. Without further ado, here are some of our top alternative uses for the trusty grinder…

  1. Seeds. Harder seeds such as flaxseed can be ground with the help of a simple twist grinder. This super seed is high in nutrients and can even be used as an egg substitute for those who do not want to use eggs in baking or cooking! Ground flax can also be added to smoothies or used as a flour alternative for those following a gluten-free diet. Fill up your grinder with your favourite seed and grind away for a finer powdered version.
  2. Dried Ginger or Garlic. After dehydrating ginger or garlic, you can pop pieces into your grinder and make perfectly sized flakes. These can be added as is to food, or used to make flavoured salt or sugar. Technically speaking, you could grind just about any dried seasoning or herb, as long as it is bone dry and thin enough to grind into a fine powder.
  3. Sugar. On the topic of sugar, you can make a quick powdered sugar if you have run out. Using regular granulated sugar and grinding it into finer powder can save you a trip to the shops (and end up costing less in the long run as well). You can also grind small amounts to sprinkle over cookies or other baked goods quickly and simply.
  4. Crisps. It’s not just Dorito’s that can be added to the grinder. You can grind just about any dry crisp of your fancy, to use over food. You can also use the ground crisps as a coating instead of breadcrumbs, to make mozzarella sticks and other crumbed dishes.
  5. Cornflakes. Cereal such as Cornflakes can be used in the grinder as well. Either make breadcrumb like crumbs for dishes that require coating, or add to smoothies to add a touch of fibre to your drinkable meal. You can even sprinkle over porridge or use the finely ground flakes as a cereal that has a more porridge-like consistency.

Of course, spices remain one of the best things to grind – especially when it comes to enhancing the quality and taste of every meal. But if you want to experiment a bit, be sure to try out these alternative uses for your spice grinder and let us know how it goes!

The Wonderful World of Weird and Wacky Spice Grinders

If you spend any time in the kitchen, chances are good that you have at least one or two spice grinders somewhere. Perhaps it is a cheap grinder that came with the store-bought spice you got recently, or maybe it is a good quality grinder that you use for your favourite whole spices. You may even have a grinder that does the job… but is far from regular.

Novelty spice grinders are loads of fun, giving you even more reason to add spice to your meals. Kids love them, grown up kids love to give them to friends as housewarming gifts (and secretly enjoy using them at home, too), and guests around the table are almost always charmed as well. With the range of weird and wonderful mills and grinders out there after all, dinner will likely never be the same when you have a Star Wars droid or a realistic-looking camera lens on the table to grind up your salt and pepper!

Novelty Spice Grinders – Putting the ‘Fun’ in Functionality

We have collected some of the best novelty grinders on the web, to share them with you here today. These are not what you would call subtle kitchen gadgets, and a better word to describe some might be ‘downright crazy’, but they are sure to be the most interesting spice grinders you have seen in a while. Here are our top pick for unusual table tools for grinding spice and seasonings…

1. A grinder straight out of a Victorian horror movie

We suspect that this somewhat spooky looking contraption would fit right in at Dr. Who’s dinner table. With its delightfully vintage design, it will suit any fan of Victoria era fiction and fantasy too, we are sure.

Steampunk Grinder

[Steampunk grinder via designswan.com]

2. A quirky, modern take to milling salt and pepper

With a sleek design, the windmill grinder is stylish enough to pass for a contemporary grinder, while still being just interesting enough to act as a conversation piece.

Windmill Grinder

[Windmill Grinder by Koziol via Polyvore]

3. A religious icon to make sure that you watch your sodium intake

The Blessed Mother can now watch over every dining experience, to provide much-needed motivation to watch what you eat, while also providing blessings on the meal about to be enjoyed.

Virgin Mary Grinder


[Virgin Mary Grinder via Sour Puss Clothing]

4. A gigantic pencil grinder, complete with eraser

This one is bound to be a big hit with kids – especially those who are just starting school. Add some fun to the dining table, and let the giant pencil follow up the meal with homework reminders as soon as the last plate is cleared.

Giant Pencil Grinders

[Giant Pencil Grinders via Buzzfeed]

5. A grinder that every photographer will appreciate

Cleverly disguised as a realistic looking lens, this grinder makes a fabulous gift for the photographer in your life. The detail in the design is quite astounding, and best of all, it is totally functional to boot.

Camera Lens Grinders

[Camera Lens Grinders via petapixel.com]

6. A grinder for the puzzle fanatic, geek or 80s child

Actually, just about everyone will love this Rubik’s cube grinder, which may not be solvable in the traditional puzzle way, but works very well to give you freshly ground pepper on the double. This is a fun gift, a great conversation starter and also something that those 80s kids will enjoy.

Rubiks Cube Grinders

[Rubik’s Cube Grinders via wantist.com]

7. A stylish but somewhat creepy helping hand grinder

Wooden marionette hands have become rather in vogue lately, particularly in homes that have a Scandinavian style of modern interior décor. This interesting grinder takes the trend one step further, providing you with a gadget that is not only on trend, but also useful for those perfectly seasoned meals.

Wooden Hand Grinders

[Wooden Hand Grinders via Petagadget]

8. A grinder that will have you reaching for a tissue

Best suited for fresh black pepper, the Ah Choo grinder is a joy for those who love a good pun. It will certainly get a laugh at your next dinner party, and smaller kids will never get tired of making sneeze-related jokes.

Ah Choo Pepper Grinder

[Ah Choo Pepper Grinder via fab.com]

9. A grinder for the Star Wars fans

How could any collection of novelty gadgets be complete without functional Star Wars memorabilia? Everyone’s favourite beeping droid comes all the way from the Empire and right to your kitchen to give you freshly ground spice with just a quick twist.

R2D2 Grinder

[R2-D2 Grinder via Tumblr]

10. A spice hack for those wanting to try a fun seasoning

This one is not exactly a grinder, but the idea is novel enough that we had to share. Grind your favourite Doritos chips with a pestle and mortar; then pop them into a spice grinder to sprinkle over burgers, pizza, salad, sarmies and anything else you feel like seasoning. While not the healthiest way to add flavour to meals, this is worth sampling nonetheless.

Doritos Grinder

[Doritos spice hack via Buzzfeed]

Of course, if you prefer your gadgets on the simple, stylish and functional side, you can always browse our range of spice grinders that get the job done quickly and simply, every time.

5 Essential Whole Spices for Healthy Living

Whole spices have long been associated with health benefits, acting as a natural alternative to salt, sugar and other unhealthy additives. But surprisingly, the use of spice is still not as widespread as it ought to be in the western world.

It goes without saying that quality makes all the difference as far as spice shopping is concerned. Buying your spices fresh, whole and (where possible) organic gives you the best chance of getting every ounce of goodness that these aromatic seasonings have to offer. Using pre-ground spices is sometimes unavoidable – especially when life gets hectic and you don’t have anything fresh on hand. A simple way to ensure that you always get the most from your spices and herbs is to prepare your own mixes in advance, which you can store for a few weeks in a cool, dark place. Investing in a spice grinder is a must, allowing you to easily grind your favourite spices to have them on hand for cooking, meal preparation and beverages.

Which whole spices have the most benefit to your health, and how can you use these super spices to get the optimal healthy boost? Keep reading to find out.

Fast-Track Your Health With These Powerful Whole Spices

Some of the spices that you should add to your collection include the following:

  1. Cinnamon. This sweet spice is known for its versatility in desserts, baking, cookies, pancakes and chai tea, but it can be used in savoury foods as well. This spice has antioxidant properties, along with antidiabetic properties and anti-inflammatory properties.  Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of the spice, has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and when applied topically as oil or ground spice, cinnamon also has a number of skin and hair benefits. Try adding a sprinkle to your tea or coffee, over oatmeal or even to soaps, stews and sauces. You can also use whole sticks as stirrers in your favourite hot beverage (it is particularly tasty with hot chocolate and cocoa!).
  2. Paprika. Made from red peppers, this hot spice is high in capsicum – a strong antioxidant that is good for the immune system. It has a high level of carotenoids, providing an excellent dose of vitamin A. In fact, just one tablespoon of paprika gives you over 100% of your daily vitamin A allowance. This vitamin helps to promote vision, reducing night vision and improve eyesight. While you probably won’t want to get your dose with a tablespoon of straight paprika, adding this spice to green tea, honey and lemon drinks, avocado sandwiches, potato salad, pasta and other meals will help you get the benefit of its vitamin-enriched goodness.
  3. Cayenne Pepper. Helping to ease upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats and coughs, this anti-irritant spice is made from chili peppers, and is as hot as they get. But despite its uber spicy reputation, this spice is full of powerful nutrients. It is a natural pain reliever, boasting anti-allergen, anti-flu and anti-cold and anti-fungal properties. Its high levels of capsicum make it great as an all-round immune system booster, too. The best way to get the benefit of this spice is to slowly start to add a tiny amount to your diet, so that you can get used to it without being put off by its spiciness. You can also use it on wounds by sprinkling it directly over the injury, in order to stop bleeding.
  4. Ginger. An old favourite for colds and tummy bugs, ginger is the ultimate ‘feel better’ spice. Used along with lemon and honey in hot toddies, it is great for colds and flu. Used whole, cut into slices, it can be added to tea or hot water to help reduce nausea. Motion sickness, upset stomachs, morning sickness and various other tummy problems can all be eased with ginger. It can be used ground, whole or even as an oil. Make your own ginger tea by adding freshly sliced ginger to your favourite Ceylon or rooibos tea.
  5. Turmeric. This bright yellow spice contains curcumin – a substance that has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has loads of healthy properties that make it good for everything from heartburn and headaches to arthritis, colds and tummy bugs. Used topically in skincare treatments, it is just as powerful; offering exfoliating and skin brightening properties. To use it in meals, add to rice, curries and stews. You could also try ‘golden milk’, which is turmeric blended with almond milk.

To get optimal use out of your spices, be sure to purchase and store whole spices carefully so that you can retain the full flavour and nutrients of each spice.

How to Make Homemade Seasoning with Whole Spices

Great as a gift or to use in your own kitchen, making homemade seasoning with whole spices is a great way to add more variety to a wide range of dishes. If you enjoy using spices in sweet and savoury food, you may have your favourites that you use on a regular basis.

Many home chefs like to experiment with flavours by adding a hint of that and a pinch of this, resulting in aromatic combinations that taste as good as they smell. Making a batch of custom seasoning using your preferred combinations will allow you to save time and effort, while still getting the full benefit of rich flavours.

What seasonings can be made with whole spices, and how do you make these delicious blends?

How to Make Homemade Seasoning with Whole Spices

Making Flavoured Oils, Rubs & Seasonings with Whole Spices

There are many different ways to use freshly ground spice as seasoning. Flavoured oils, rubs and salts are the easier to make and the most versatile in the kitchen however, so those are the ones we will focus on today. Check out the instructions below to find out how to make each of these seasonings with the help of a good spice grinder, quality spices and some fresh herbs. For best results, we recommend buying your spices whole rather than already ground – this will provide far more flavour.

  • Flavoured Oils. Olive oil is always a good choice (and a healthy choice, too), but you could try some other oils such as avocado oil, apricot kernel oil and even grapeseed cooking oil. Avocado oil has a nutty flavour that is great for salads and fine for cooking, while the latter two can be used for cooking or salad. Grind your spices, chop up your preferred herbs, garlic, lemon or whatever else you wish to add, then funnel into a glass bottle or a jar and cover with your chosen oil. It is best to leave the bottle or jar in a dark, cool place – the longer you let the spices and herbs sit in the oil, the more flavour will be infused. Be sure to write down which combination you have used in each bottle so that you remember it in a few weeks! These oils are good for roasting, cooking, salads and pasta, and make a perfect gift, too.
  •  Flavoured Rubs. Rubs are used on meat, chicken and fish, or even vegetables, to provide a coating of flavour that is rubbed in before roasting or putting on the braai. Typically, a rub may include salt (which helps to tenderise meat), as well as a range of herbs and spices. You can make these to taste by using your favourite freshly ground spices, herbs such as rosemary and basil, coarse black pepper, chopped garlic and good salt such as sea salt flakes or pink Himalayan salt. To ensure that your spices stay fresh and flavoursome, rubs should be made in smaller batches and stored in airtight jars or containers.
  •  Flavoured Salts & Sugars. Similar to rubs but used to sprinkle over food rather than rub into food, flavoured salts and sugars are easy, tasty and versatile. For savoury food, prepare your spices so that they are in small, easy to grind pieces rather than already ground. Chop dried herbs into small pieces too, and then mix with coarse salt and pour into a grinder. This will allow you to grind everything together over food, to release more flavour. Some good combinations include ginger salt, rosemary salt, garlic flake peri-peri salt and Italian herb salt with basil, oregano and sage. For flavoured sugars, freshly ground cinnamon, all-spice, ginger, mixed spice and nutmeg are always a good bet. Make a set of sweet spice mixes to give to friends or family in grinders or pretty jars, or mix things up with your favourite blends to add more taste and aromatic delight to your baking efforts. These sugars are also great in tea and hot beverages, or sprinkled over cookies, ice-cream and other desserts.

One of the best things about making your own seasoning is that you can be sure exactly what ingredients are included. All too often, store-made seasonings are loaded with preservatives, additives and other nasty chemicals that make them far from healthy. Homemade seasonings on the other hand contain only the good stuff – whole spices and herbs that are safe, healthy and always tasty.

Top Tips for Buying Storing and Using Whole Spices

There is much that can be said about the complexity, flavour, wholesomeness and aroma given to meals when whole spices are used. From spicy Indian cuisine to Mexican, Italian, Thai and many other types of food styles, herbs and spices have been used to prepare tasty food since the dawn of time.

Spices and herbs also offer a number of health benefits that give them even more value in cooking. And, for those trying to live a healthier life, adding some freshly ground spices is a simple (and delicious) way to reduce the need for added salt and sugar.

Buying Whole Spices

The secret to getting the most from the spices you use in food however lies firmly in how spices are sourced, as well as how they are stored and used.

How to Buy Whole Spices

Buying pre-ground spice from the supermarket may seem like the easiest way to get your dose of spicy goodness. But sadly, there are no guarantees of freshness or quality when it comes to mass produced spices that often sit on the shelves for long periods. Even whole spices may not be fresh.

With that in mind, some of the things to keep in mind to ensure that you buy the best possible spices (without breaking the bank) include the following:

  • Take the time to visit local spice shops, markets and other outlets that specialise in spice. Shops that focus on sourcing quality spices from around the world have a far better understanding of variety, shelf-life and usage. You will often have a much greater variety to choose from, with ground and whole options on offer in various quantities. It’s often cheaper to buy your spice this way, too.
  • Buy smaller amounts rather than bulk. As spice can easily go stale (even when whole!), buying more than you need is a waste of money and spice. Rather choose smaller amounts and get more when those are running low. This way, you can experiment more easily without wasting or ending up with stale product that ruins your food.
  • Grow your own herbs whenever possible. Or, source your herbs from anyone you know who grows their own. Herbs are easy to grow, even in a small kitchen. Once your plant has a decent yield, you can cut and hand bundles of herbs upside down and dry them, filling jars with the dried leaves and grinding small portions as needed.

Storing and Using Your Whole Spices

Once you have a good selection, you will want to make sure that you store and use your spice properly. Inside each individual plant, seed or leaf are volatile oils that start to vanish as the spice molecules break down. When this happens, they lose their flavour and complexity, becoming less aromatic and tasty. This happens to whole and ground spice at some stage – even if whole spices have a longer shelf life.

Light, heat and air can all hasten the evaporation of these precious oils. This means that you should never keep spice near your stove. Transparent containers should be kept in a drawer or somewhere away from the light. Do not be tempted to keep them in the fridge either, as they do not need to be kept cold – the light from the fridge could also ruin them.

A good way to store them is in tins that are labelled and then kept somewhere that is within easy reach and sight. Forgetting about spices that are not often used is a sure-fire way to end up with stale spice, so having easy access to your selection will ensure that they are not forgotten about. You may even consider labelling your containers with the date of purchase to ensure that they do not go past their ‘best by’ date.

Last but not least, one of the best things that you can do is invest in some type of spice grinder. These tools help to release all the goodness and flavour easily, allowing you to enjoy your carefully chosen spices to the max. With a little thought and effort, you can get the most from your whole spices and ramp up your cooking in the process, too.

Add Some Festive Flavour with These Whole Spice Christmas Ideas

Adding whole spice to your meals is not only healthy – it’s tasty, too. And what better way to spice things up than the festive season?

Many people have the assumption that spicy means hot. While it’s true that freshly ground chili and other hot spices make up quite a large portion of spicy food, there are many other ways that spices can be used to add flavour, depth and aroma to sweet and savoury foods. With the holidays around the corner, we share some easy ways to add more flavour to your Christmas meals with the help of whole spice.

Tasty Holiday Cooking with Whole Spice

Here in South Africa, we are blessed with a warm climate that is perfect for outdoor dining, braais, picnics and other fun dining options. Whether you are planning your festive dinner or lunch, or simply wanting to enjoy some holiday cooking that gets you into the spirit of things, here are some ways to add more spice to your life…

  • Spiced Eggnog. Who says the northern hemisphere countries have to keep their delicious warm beverages to themselves? Even in sunny SA, warm, comforting eggnog will always go down like a treat. Adding sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, clove and ginger will bring out the subtle blend of milk and custard, resulting in a perfect alternative to cocoa or coffee.
  •  Spiced Chocolate Cake. The lovely Nigella Lawson offers her fans a recipe for Spiced Chocolate Cake – a dessert that is almost guaranteed to have everyone going back for seconds. You don’t have to save it for parties either… this cake is every bit as good for tea time or any other time.
  •  Spicy Cookies. Gingerbread, Swedish spice biscuits and other spicy cookies are festive and delicious. Dig out that old recipe book, or ask your gran or mom for her favourite recipe, then whip up a batch of freshly baked cookies that you can keep all to yourself or even give as gifts. As whole spices are ground fresh, a lot more flavour is released compared to pre-ground spices, making your cookies even more scrumptious than ever.
  •  Spicy Roast Duck. Jamie Oliver has a mouth-watering recipe for Roast Duck with Spicy Rub and Masala Gravy, which is sure to be a hit on any lunch or dinner menu. Served with Asian noodles and a crisp stir fry, this is a modern take on traditional roasts that is full of wholesome flavours thanks to the curry blend.
  •  Spiced Salads and Veggies. There are many ways that you can introduce some flavour to your veggies or salads as well. A basic green salad can be given a spicy Thai dressing for example, or vegetables can be placed on skewers, marinated in a ginger and soy sauce and put onto the braai as kebabs. Even old favourites such as potato salad can be given a new twist with mustard seeds ground into the mayo and a dash of ground paprika.

You don’t have to add spice to every dish that you prepare of course – unless you love spice as much as we do. But even one dish that has been ramped up in taste is sure to add just the right touch of flavour to your festive meals. With your favourite whole spice and a trusty grinder from Global Grinders, you can be sure that you eat, drink and be merry during the holiday season.