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 with recipes from the Food Monster App.

1. Cumin

10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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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 by Rhea Parsons!

2. Garlic Powder10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 Cathy Elton‘s Chipotle Chocolate Chili.

3. Cinnamon10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 in this Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe by Emily von Euw.

4. Mexican Oregano10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 by Carrie Forrest.

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5. Onion Power10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 by Marly McMillen.

6. Coriander (or Cilantro)10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

Cilantro, whether fresh or dry, is welcomed for Mexican favorites like salsa and guacamole. Use fresh cilantro for these Spicy Vegan Nachos by Amie Valpone.

7. Chili Powder10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 like in this recipe by Veronica Grace, which you can use to season tofu, tempeh, beans or veggies.

8. Paprika10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 by Attila Hildmann.

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9. Black Pepper10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

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 by Zsu Dever.

10. Cloves10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals

Cloves have a warm, sweet and aromatic taste that works well for desserts. Try them in this Vegan Spiced Shortcrust by Clémence Moulaert.

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We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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