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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Best Spices to Give Mom


Best Spices to Give Mom

Lynley Jones

Hey my friend, Mother’s Day is practically here, and you know what you should be doing today? Buying that woman a gift! A delicious gift. A gift that compliments her good taste. A gift that takes her on an adventure. And I’ve got just the thing.

Here are my top 5 recommendations for spices for mom this year:

(And, ahem, I’ve got 15 years mom-experience under my belt. So you know it’s legit.)

#1: Mexican Sweet Blend

This is one of the first blends I created for my spice shop. It’s a one-of-a-kind spoonable combination of Mexican piloncillo sugar and Ceylon cinnamon that’s as sweet and special as mom is. It’s a different and more complex approach to cinnamon-sugar, from the perspective of a classic Mexican flavor combination. You can use it with sweet things like French toast, desserts and drinks; or take a savory approach with things like ribs or roast pork shoulder.

Mexican Sweet Blend

A sweet blend of Mexican flavors: piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) and canela (Mexican cinnamon). Bake with it, sprinkle it over fruit, stir it into coffee or hot chocolate, or combine it with savory spices for a barbecue rub.

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#2: Sumac & Sage Seasoning Blend

This is the other blend I initially launched my spice shop with. It’s a unique combination of ground sage and sumac (an ancient spice that’s been getting a lot of press lately!), and freshly ground black peppercorns. It’s a ready-to-go seasoning blend that’s seriously perfect on just about anything. It’s already got the salt, so you just sprinkle it on and go!

Sumac & Sage Seasoning

An irresistible blend of ancient wisdom with sumac and sage. A citrusy herbal blend that adds an adventurous, colorful pop of flavor to roast chicken, pork, or turkey. Great on roasted or grilled veggies!

1/2 cup -sized jar.

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#3: Sumac

An ancient spice that everyone in this country has suddenly discovered. It’s been called the “Spice of the Year” this year, but it’s been around for a thousand years before. Sprinkle it on your salad, veggies, hummus, avocado toast, scrambled eggs, or chicken dinner. Ours is super fresh and aromatic, straight off the ship from our importer, and into a jar for your mom. It’s the real deal.


Crushed berry common in Middle Eastern, Persian and north African cuisines. Citrusy flavor, this spice is great sprinkled on meat, veggies, fish, salads, or anything you might add a squeeze of lemon to.

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#4: Hibiscus Flowers

These babies are called “sorrel” in the Caribbean and “jamaica” in Latin America. Steep them in hot water to make tea, or equal parts sugar and water to make a tart, red dessert sauce. Simple and tasty, and you can find lots of things to make with them here.

Hibiscus Flowers (Jamaica)

Common in Latin American, Caribbean and Middle Eastern and Persian cuisines. Steep with spices for tea or use to make a dessert sauce. Steep with savory ingredients to make a sauce for chicken, lamb or shrimp.

1/2 cup-sized jar.

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#5: Aleppo Pepper

If you haven’t tasted Aleppo pepper yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s mildly spicy, with about as much heat as ancho chiles. But it’s got layers and layers of flavor, including a hint of smoke, along with lots of other complexity. Shake it over anything where you want a touch of heat and lots of flavor. Since this is a mild chile, you can use more than the standard red pepper flakes - and that’s a good thing because it’s going to reward you with all. that. FLAVOR. (Seriously, yum.)

Aleppo Pepper

Originally from Aleppo, Syria, this pepper is now being grown in neighboring Turkey. Mildly spicy, it’s like a cross between ancho chile and red bell peppers. Addictively good on veggies of all kinds, as well as grilled meats, fish and more.

1/2 cup-sized jar.

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Get all the recipes for Cooking with Adventure Kitchen Spices.

You can shop our collection of spices online or visit us at the Montclair Farmers Market every Saturday from June-September in Montclair, NJ.

(Hope to see you soon!)