Burritos, tacos, and other Mexican food are as much of a favorite for Americans as pizza, pasta, or burgers. Part of the appeal of Mexican food is that delicious flavor which comes from several herbs and spices that are popular south of the border. Spices commonly used in Mexican cooking can transform simple and cheap plant-based ingredients such as rice and beans into flavorful, main course worthy dishes. Here are 10 Mexican spices to spike up your meals.
Cumin is popular in Mexican cuisine, but it has also been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing properties. It also contains iron; just 1 tablespoon of cumin contains 20 percent of the recommended daily value of iron. Try it in this Mexican-Spiced Tofu Scramble!
Garlic has a pungent flavor, and though fresh garlic is superior in taste and freshness to the powder, it helps to have garlic powder around for Mexican food. Use it for this flavorful Chipotle Chocolate Chili.
Mexican cinnamon is often considered by bakers and chefs to be “true cinnamon,” and it specifically comes from Sri Lanka, often labeled as Sri Lankan cinnamon or Ceylon. Use it for these Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles.
Mexican oregano is different than the typical oregeno you probably have in your cabinet, called Origanum Vulgare, which is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. This type of oregano works well with tomatoes and aromatic Mexican food. Try it over these Cheezy Roasted Tomatoes.
Onion powder can give a nice little kick to dishes when using onions would be too overpowering in taste. For making salsas, burrito fillings and pasta dishes, onion powder is great to have. Use onion powder for this Mexican Lasagna.
Cilantro, whether fresh or dry, is welcomed for Mexican favorites like salsa and guacamole. Use fresh cilantro for these Spicy Vegan Nachos.
Chili powder packs the right amount of heat, giving great flavor and spice to Mexican food. Use 2-4 tablespoons of chili powder to make your own Fajita Seasoning, which you can use to season tofu, tempeh, beans or veggies.
Paprika is a red powder made from grinding dried sweet red peppers. The color varies from bright orange-red to deep red, depending on which peppers are used. Use this red spice for these Tex-Mex Burgers.
Black pepper comes from the berries of the pepper plant, and it can be found in almost any cuisine, paired with salt. Use black pepper for these Tamale-Inspired Bowls With Beans.
Cloves have a warm, sweet and aromatic taste that works well for desserts. Try them in this Vegan Spiced Shortcrust.
If you enjoy articles like this and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.
The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!
Lead image source: Mexican Hot Chocolate Vegan Snickerdoodles