October 8, 2021 | Cooking

12 Essential Fall Herbs and Spices

herbs and spices

We are running headfirst into the fall season. Coffee shops are already boasting their fall flavor drinks, like pumpkin, apple, and even cranberry. Pumpkin puree is flying off the grocery store shelves. Halloween stores are opening up and pumpkin decor is placed front and center at home stores. Whether we are ready for it or not, fall is coming — and fast. 

Fall is all about scents and tastes, isn’t it? Kids may tell you that candy and costumes are what fall means, but, as adults, we know that making our way deep into the latest list of the top-ranked beers signifies the season. So, you must stock up on fall herbs and spices. That way, whether you are looking to create your own fall cold foam to top off your coffee or make something scrumptious, you will have everything you need. What better way to get ready for fall? 

And, just so you don’t forget anything, below are the 12 essential fall herbs and spices you need to pick up today. 

1. Cinnamon

For many of us, cinnamon is one of those fall spices. Found in just about every dessert this time of year, it is slightly sweet, with just a little spice. It makes everything from cakes, breads, and cookies to coffee, curries, stews, and oatmeals taste fantastic. 

2. Allspice

Allspice is, well, allspice. It contains some of the major players in the fall seasoning game – such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Allspice can come whole or ground depending on how you intend to use it. And it makes all sorts of baked goods and drinks taste magically fall-like. 

3. Sage

This peppery fall herb is commonly used when cooking turkeys, stuffing, and other common savory dishes. Some people burn it as incense or even drink it as tea. Sage is known to have some incredible health and medicinal benefits – especially when it comes to aging. 

4. Cardamom

Cardamom is found in both savory and sweet dishes – and is one of the main aromatics found in Indian cuisine. During the fall, you are likely to come across baking recipes that require cardamom. Its flavor is spicy and delicious. 

5. Cloves

Whole and ground cloves are spicy and add a deliciously unique flavor to just about anything it is paired with. That means various fall breads and cakes, root vegetables, and coffees. Cloves are aromatic and a definite contender in fall spices. 

6. Ginger

Ginger is zesty and spicy but can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. So it can be used to make gingerbread as well as a delicious stir fry! Ginger is another spice that has been shown to have a great impact on health. It helps soothe nausea and reduces gas, acid, and indigestion. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and nutritional benefits, too. 

7. Star Anise

Have you ever thought of eating the fruit of an evergreen tree? Did you even know that an evergreen tree produces fruit? Those native to Southern China do. And it is known as star anise

This fall spice can be bought whole or ground, but most commonly you will see it whole. Ground it up to add it to things like stews, flavorful sauces, meats, and the occasional baked good. It has a unique flavor that many compare to black licorice. If you’ve consumed your fair share of fall eats, though, you have likely had star anise. 

8. Nutmeg

When it comes to the game of pumpkin spice, nutmeg is the all-star wide receiver. It is sweet, with a deep spicy flavor – and it pairs so well with things like sweet potato casserole, chicken thighs, and lamb, as well as pumpkin bread and pies. 

Nutmeg comes in the form of a hard seed from the nutmeg tree. Want to know a trick? Nutmeg is an important part of fall cooking and baking. So, because the jarred variety of spices will lose some of its vigor, consider buying it in its whole form and just shave or shred it as you need it. The flavor is sure to pop!

9. Cumin

Cumin is commonly found in Indian cuisine, as well as Latin American and Middle Eastern dishes. And it also seems to be popular in our fall dishes. 

You can buy cumin in seed or ground form. But for the most flavor, ground cumin is best. This is made by roasting and then grinding the seeds. With its slightly sweet, slightly bitter taste, it is a great addition to curries, stews, meats, and more. 

10. Thyme

Thyme is a fall herb that makes its way into many dishes this time of year. It has grassy, wood notes but it is also a little sweet, too. It pairs well with savory dishes, including roasted meats and vegetables, as well as stews, soups, and even dips. 

Unlike some of the others we discussed, thyme does well dried and will hold its potency well. 

11. Rosemary

Another commonly used fall herb is rosemary. It is easy to grow and even easier to eat. Just throw it on your turkey, in your stuffing, scatter it on some garlic potatoes, or place it in the oven on a sheet pan with fresh green beans drizzled in olive oil. 

It is a common, delicious herb. And, as usual, the fresh version tastes much better. 

12. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin pie spice is the epitome of fall spices – and is essential for your spice cabinet. It is a combination of various fall spices all blended to give you a wonderful tool for baking and creating this time of year. Pumpkin pie spice contains: 

  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground allspice
  • Ground cloves

You can even try making your own!

Remember, fall is a really busy season. In fact, it is one of the busiest times of the year. So if you want to get ahead of the crowds and make sure you have everything you need to turn your kitchen into a delicious fall festival, gather up these essential fall herbs and spices before it is too late!