Just because you're living a minimalist outdoor lifestyle, doesn't mean you have to skimp on flavor. With the right spices, camping meals can be just as tasty as meals cooked at home, if not better. Here are seven versatile cooking spices, besides salt and pepper, to put in your camping bin.
Cinnamon1 of 8
Once you start sprinkling cinnamon, it's hard to stop. Not only does this king of cooking spices taste good, it's one of the healthiest ingredients around: Cinnamon can help lower blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Although breakfast is one of the most cinnamon-friendly meals—add the spice to coffee, oatmeal, granola or yogurt—you can carry the flavor into lunch by adding it to trail mix and sprinkling it on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Turmeric2 of 8
Another powerhouse powder, turmeric has been known to reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Its bright yellow color makes it easy to identify. Just be careful if the kids are helping with dinner: this spice can stain hands, pots, clothes and anything else that gets in its way.
Sprinkle it on any steak, chicken, ground beef, potato, stir fry, rice pilaf or tofu dish.
Cumin3 of 8
Most commonly associated with curry, this Indian spice is often overlooked in everyday meals. Cumin tastes great in soups, stir fry, scrambled eggs and marinades.
Cayenne Pepper4 of 8
This cooking spice is a must for campers who like their dinners hot. If you still want the flavor, but dialed down a notch, opt for chili powder instead. Whereas cayenne is ground hot pepper, chili powder is a mix of cayenne with milder spices.
The most popular use for cayenne or chili powder is in Mexican dishes. Mix it up with ground beef for taco night or sprinkle it over fresh popcorn for a snack.
Thyme5 of 8
Fresh or dried, this cooking spice can turn any boring dinner dish into a gourmet meal. Show off your cooking chops at camp when you add thyme to any of these popular camping dishes:
- Scallops or fish
- Roasted potatoes and veggies
- Soups and stews
Old Bay Seasoning6 of 8
Traditionally used to season crab and shrimp, this spice is so versatile you can add it to almost any dinner dish. Some of the more common uses include as a chicken or fish rub; popcorn seasoning, steamed veggie or potato topping; or as an ingredient in soups, stews and bloody Marys.
Lemon Pepper7 of 8
A go-to flavor for meat rubs and marinades, this cooking spice delivers a refreshing kick to campfire meals. Grill up some lemon pepper shrimp and serve it over Caesar salad; add it to your tin foil meal; or use it to season your seafood.