Spices and herbs are a wonderful addition to your everyday meals. Not only do they cut the need for salt and artificial seasonings, but they are also packed with nutrients that your body needs. Not to mention, they are rich in flavor and aroma, making your dishes more interesting extra special.

From marinating to baking, these natural ingredients make the taste of your food richer and more diverse. In salads, desserts, and refreshments, they add a hint of fresh summery zing. In savory dishes, they add a layer of flavor that ranges from earthy to nutty.

Truly, cooking with herbs and spices — fresh or dried — can make a huge difference in the overall quality of your home-cooked dishes. What’s more, you can easily find organic herbs and spices online.

It’s high time you appreciate these seasonings and perhaps surprise your family with a flavorful dinner tonight. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most famous herbs and spices and how to use them.

1. Allspice

Allspice is a versatile ingredient. It is clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper all rolled into one super spice. You can find them in ground or whole form. Allspice is used in a number of sweet and savory dishes and beverages.

It is the secret to a great tasting Jamaican jerk chicken, mulled wine, and spiced cider. Here’s a secret tip: tuck whole allspice berries into your beef before roasting to make it taste better.

2. Basil

Close up photo of a basilYou probably know basil as the perennial garnish in pasta dishes, topping to traditional pizzas, and the key ingredient in pesto. But this wonderful herb is more than that. Basil is used in different types of meat and vegetable dishes, as well as in soups.

Its sweet and earthy taste go well with almost every savory dish imaginable. Try infusing your summer squash soup with some fresh leaves and see for yourself.

3. Cinnamon

The woody and sweet-spicy flavor of cinnamon makes it an all-around spice. It is obtained from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. They are used in many American desserts and bread, such as rolls, as well as Mexican chocolate. Just a tip: a pinch of cinnamon and a dash of honey will transform your simple boiled sweet potatoes from yum to delectable!

4. Paprika

Paprika is packed with hot, spicy, smoky, and sometimes sweet flavors. It is made by grinding the dried fruits of bell pepper and chili pepper.

Add this to your dish if you want an extra kick, but don’t get too generous with it or you’ll burn your tongue. Paprika is a popular ingredient in different Mediterranean dishes. They also go well with tomato sauces and chicken marinade.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary is loved for its great scent and flavor. A member of the mint family, this herb has a strong woody flavor that adds an extra layer of taste to meals. It is a perfect seasoning and aromatics for steaks. Even simple egg and potato recipes can get an upgrade when you add a sprig or two of rosemary.

6. Turmeric

Also known as the golden spice, turmeric is rich in antioxidants. Its bright color (yellow or orange) lends dishes with an interesting pop of color. It gives food a warm, slightly bitter, and earthy taste.

Turmeric is popular as an ingredient in curry dishes, but it is also used in a variety of rice dishes, vegetable dishes, and soups. As it is very nutritious, you can add them to your smoothies.

These are only some of the best herbs and spices out there. There are a lot more to try and use in your dishes. The next time you go to the grocery, grab a few bundles of those fresh aromatics or packets of the dried spices to store in your kitchen.