The Basics: Quick Guide to Every Herb and Spice in the Cupboard

By Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

INGREDIENT GUIDES FROM THE KITCHEN

Ever get coriander confused with cumin? Or wonder just what exactly curry powder is made out of? As much for our benefit as for yours, we’ve put together this quick reference guide to all the most common (and some uncommon) herbs and spices!

Saffron

For any herb or spice listed below, click on the name to read the full description. We’ll continue adding to this list as we cover more of the seasonings we use in our cooking.

Dried Herbs & Spices

  • Asafoetida (Asafetida) – Used as a digestive aid in Indian cooking, asafoetida has a strong odor that mellows out into a garlic-onion flavor.
  • Achiote Paste and Powder – Reddish-brown paste or powder ground from annatto seeds with an earthy flavor. Used primarily in Mexican dishes like mole sauce, cochinita pibil, and tamales.
  • Allspice – Similar to cloves, but more pungent and deeply flavored…

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Learn Your Land

By Adam Haritan

Continue reading “Learn Your Land”

Cooking for Health

By Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Serving medicine for dinner may not seem terribly appetizing, but most cultures traditionally eat much of their medicine. It may not be a coincidence that nature has provided so many of our medicinal needs in herbs that taste good. When you want to take herbs over a long period of time – either to treat a chronic problem or to fend off disease – incorporating medicinal plants into your meals makes a lot of sense.

The next time you add a pinch of this or that, consider that you are doing far more than flavoring your meal. Throughout these posts and other websites, you have seen many familiar kitchen herbs and spices mentioned as medicines. For example, ginger relieves pain, garlic is “nature’s antibiotic” and ginger and turmeric, two of the main ingredients in curry powder, improve liver function.

Almost every cookbook is filled with recipes that rely on herbs…

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Edible Spring Greens {Recipes}

By Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Spring Green Salad

It’s time to renew. This applies to our outer worlds as well as to our inner worlds. Spring has traditionally been a time to jump-start the liver and gently cleanse our bodies.  The natural world, with its infinite wisdom, provides us with every opportunity to do just this. Bitter and nutrient-packed greens come to life, and for those of us paying attention to nature’s hints, provide us with delicious and nutritious Spring tonics.

Dandelion greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, and also, provide a bitter kick that helps support liver function.  This is important during spring because the hepatic function can become naturally a little sluggish after a more sedentary winter filled with rich seasonal food.  Violet-greens and chickweed are super-packed with nutrients, making them just the spring pick-me-up your body needs.  Young greens of dandelion and violet especially are ideal, for both texture and taste reasons.  You’ll…

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Mexican Mint Marigold

By Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

This very ancient herb goes by a variety of common, but somewhat confusing names. ‘Mexican mint’ marigold is the most common, but you’ll also find it listed as ‘Texas’ tarragon, ‘Mexican’ tarragon, cloud plant, Coronilla, winter tarragon, sweet mace, sweet marigold and ‘Spanish’ tarragon. It isn’t, however, related to ‘French’ tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus ‘Sativa’) at all.

Don’t confuse ‘French’ tarragon, which is used for cooking, with false or ‘Russian’ tarragon, A. dracunculoides, because it is somewhat invasive, grows well in hotter climates, and is grown from seed.

The Latin name, Tagetes Lucida, refers to its other Tagetes relatives, the marigolds. ‘Mint’ marigold is a perennial, native to Central and South America and has been used as a seasoning herb, tea plant and medicinal in native cultures for more than a thousand years.

The flavor is anise-like, a bit sweeter than ‘French’ tarragon, but used in some of…

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