Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Spice Up Fall Cooking

By Megan Myers, October 7, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Megan Myers

SpicesI used to be one of those people who thought that cooking healthy food was all about bland, boiled dishes. But that’s not so! By using spices and herbs instead of added sodium, extracted oils and refined sweeteners, healthy recipes can indeed be delicious. Learning to cook with natural flavors will open you up to a whole new world of food!

Fall, with its warm and hearty dishes, is a great time to experiment with herbs and spices. Most of our stores sell spices in our bulk section, so you can buy as much or as little as you like, which is especially convenient if you’re playing with new flavors.

Even a simple sprinkling of sage can really elevate a dish, but for extra wow factor, try a spice blend. Spice blends are easy ways to add worldly flavor to everything from beans to roasted vegetables, and make it so you won’t have “veggie fatigue”!

Get started with some of these combos:

  • Italian: garlic, onion, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and marjoram
  • Thai: garlic, shallot, basil, lemongrass, curry, ginger, mint, cilantro and chiles
  • Mexican: cumin, cilantro, garlic, coriander, onions, chiles and cinnamon
  • Moroccan: garlic, onions, cinnamon, ginger, cilantro, mint, saffron and cumin
  • Asian: ginger, garlic, coriander, miso, scallions, soy, rice vinegar and sesame
  • Greek: garlic, mint, oregano, dill, chiles, cinnamon, parsley, thyme and marjoram
  • Indian: garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, cumin, coriander, curry blends and garam masala (a blend on its own, garam masala can be used alone or with other spices)

Now that you know some yummy flavor combinations, try them out in a few of these recipes:

Tahini Miso Sauce Broccoli Salad with Almond and Chile Dressing

Tempeh Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans Lentil Chili

Collards with Lentils, Tomatoes and Indian Spices Tofu Breakfast Tacos

Southwest Veggie Burgers Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Pears

What spices do you use to kick up the flavor in your fall dishes? Share in the comments!

Category: Food & Recipes




nik says ...
Lately lots of Cajun and cayenne. :)
10/07/2012 8:36:19 PM CDT
jenna lyndly says ...
[DIRECT RESPONSE - NN] Are there any cooking classes scheduled for the fall in the Montgomery County area stores? Thank you. Jenna
10/07/2012 9:12:00 PM CDT
Devin says ...
Thank so much for writing this blog! This is very helpful! I recently had a cardiac stent put in to correct an 80% blockage at 37 years old. Tricks like these to help keep flavor in without using unhealthy additives are a huge help. I hope you do not mind, but I put a link over to this blog on my own. I started one to journal my new found heart healthy path in the hopes of spreading the knowledge I will gain. Thanks again for your wonderful blog post! -Devin http://www.mychangeofheart.com
10/08/2012 12:14:10 PM CDT
Samantha Poliseno says ...
I just bought a product from a Whole Foods in New Jersey (Princeton) called HerbNZest - they use spices like fennel, saffron, chives and tumeric in their chutneys, relishes, and butters. Lots of flavor, hardly any calories. My new favorite thing to cook with!
10/08/2012 12:18:00 PM CDT
F. Javier Martinez R. says ...
Hi, I would consider the Peruvian food ingredients too. The varieties of Chiles (Charapira, Limo, Pimiento, etc) and the Sutil Lemon are unique in the cousine.
10/08/2012 1:19:01 PM CDT
emma bolding says ...
im looking for vanlla beans do you have them
10/17/2012 3:36:56 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@EMMA - Our products vary between store locations so I would suggest you reach out to your local store to see if they carry vanilla beans. We typically have them in the spice area of our Grocery department but double check just to make sure! You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
10/17/2012 5:12:23 PM CDT
Brenda says ...
Do any of the stores in Central Florida carry bulk spices? The store I frequent dont.
10/17/2012 5:32:02 PM CDT
jeanne berger says ...
I love the Indonesian blend of quantities fresh squeezed lemons, lemon zest, onions, red pepper flakes, and brown sugar.
10/17/2012 5:32:08 PM CDT
lo ja says ...
luv this, great combos, great ideas, will definitely share - just makes you want to cook - and EAT
10/17/2012 6:04:05 PM CDT
Lori Magsano says ...
I add a sprinkle of nutmeg when I'm cooking greens like kale and spinach. It just heightens the flavor of these already delicious foods.
10/18/2012 7:21:00 AM CDT
MDG says ...
10/23/2012 12:52:53 AM CDT
nichole says ...
This was really helpful. In tired of eating the same old stuff. I will be using this in the future.
10/24/2012 11:18:40 PM CDT
Enjaybee says ...
Thanks for the flavor profile cheat sheet. I'm going to print it out and tape it in the front of my personal recipe book.
10/26/2012 1:22:15 PM CDT
Anthony Cardaropoli says ...
Savory is also a great Italian flavor. I use the standard seven, onion and garlic along with some ginger and turmeric in my pasta sauce. They add to the flavor and protect against heartburn of any sort. Using a thirty year old set of Litton Wear dishes in my microwave produces great pasta sauce in only ten minutes. Adding about a half cup of cheese to a large can of tomato sauce and small can of tomato paste along with one cup of water makes enough sauce for four persons. I've made pasta sauce this way for over thirty years now. Gone are the waiting all day for the slow cooker and 23 or so spices. Trader Joe's does make a 23 spice blend that I've tried out but I go through the bottle very fast. Does Whole Foods make such a multi spice blend. Thanks.
10/26/2012 1:38:49 PM CDT
Irina Stiles says ...
Does Whole Foods sell Berberry (or Barbaris) dried berries?
01/25/2013 11:03:44 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@IRINA - Thanks for your question. Our products vary between store locations. I would suggest reaching out to your local store to see what berry options they carry. You can find a list of contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
01/28/2013 3:05:30 PM CST
I used to shop @ your Portland, ME store, but now I have moved Greenville, SC and they have very few spices. How can I get the spices that I want?
04/18/2013 11:35:50 AM CDT
denise says ...
I bought a Thai Spice Blend that had sesame seeds in it in the AZ store. They no longer carry that brand and I ran out of it. Is there any way to find out the brand to see if I can buy it online??
08/16/2013 6:37:32 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DENISE - Our buying is done at the store/regional level. Check back with the store if they can look up the brand for you!
08/19/2013 4:38:13 PM CDT
Sam Guynes says ...
I am going to Mexico soon, and my hosts have requested (12) 1.75 gram bottles powdered tumeric-WHOLE FOODS BRAND ONLY Can you sell it to me online? Is it available in your Austin Flagship Store off 6th Street>
02/05/2014 3:45:22 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@SAM - I would suggesting calling the Concierge desk at our Lamar store at 512-542-2243 and they can check if this is in stock. They'll be happy to set some aside for you to pick up or they offer shipping within the US.
02/06/2014 3:53:15 PM CST
Vittoria says ...
do you carry Gullah Luv seasoning?
08/14/2015 9:32:50 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@VITTORIA - Our products differ between stores so check with your local store to find out if they have this in stock.
08/14/2015 4:35:37 PM CDT