Food Hack: 5 Meal Changing Spices

**Food Hacks: In this new series I'm sharing food and kitchen tips making your time in the kitchen much more of a breeze.  Many tips are insights from my studies in Agriculture while at university. Join the conversation and share your most lived by tips in the comments below.

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Hey guys! I’m still in London but I wanted to stop by and share with you a quick food hack! Before I started this blog nearly two years ago I had a strong, putting it nicely, aversion to cooking…and washing dishes (not much has changed there). I had an incident where I set the microwave on fire by putting tinfoil inside when it was cooking and a few times over caught fire to paper that was hanging out a little too close to the burner. But that’s all in the past.

So, when I started cooking, spices were an area I wanted to explore as a way to make healthy cooking much more flavorful and sustainable. So two years later, here are my top 5 spices that I always reach for when brining out the flavor of any meal.


I adore cumin for its robust and smoky aroma. It’s a spice that I had never played around with but I’ve grown to appreciate its earthy undertones. It’s a bold spice so I use it when I want to flavor anything that needs an extra boost, like hummus or roasted cauliflower. 

Recipes with Cumin (click below):

Paprika and Cumin Hummus

Spicy Sweet Potato Bowl

Shrimp Taco with Homemade Chipotle


This is another spice I run out of all the time. It’s a very versatile spice as it’s a bit more delicate in flavor than cumin. It has a nice nutty flavor that works well in savory dishes. I also love to pair both cumin and coriander in the same dish. When I do that I add something zesty and acidic, like apple cider vinegar or lemon/lime-juice, to break up the earthiness of those two spices. 

Recipe with Coriander:

Pumpkin Curry with Coconut Rice

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This is my most used spice, hands down. Cinnamon is one versatile spice as it camouflages and tastes delicious in both savory and sweet recipes. I use the cinnamon powder within every single sweet recipe. In chocolates, cookies, porridge and brownies – they all have a pinch of cinnamon. I also use cinnamon sticks in savory dishes like curry or any kind of stewed meal. It offers warmth with a touch of sweetness.

Recipes with Cinnamon:

Stewed Cinnamon and Apple in a Yogurt Parfait

Sweet Pear Galette

Cinnamon Raisin Granola Cereal


Here are two other spices that are great to have on hand:

Vanilla Powder for any sweet treat and even in granola.

Turmeric for any soothing drinks, like warm almond milk, and even in curries and stews. 

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And if you give these spices a try let me know how it goes! Leave a comment and tell me what you think. Your notes always help me improve the recipes and articles for you. I appreciate hearing what you guys would like to see more of - more recipes, lifestyle posts, photography advice - shoot me a message so I can get started!

I also love seeing your take on any of the recipes from the blog so don't forget to tag me on Instagram - #8thandlake - so I can see your creations! 

You can also find me on Snapchat with more photos and clips of my everyday life - username - marie8thandlake and on Pinterest - to see what my dream reality would look like ;)

Lots of love from the West Coast,

xx Marie