Five essential spices every college student needs in their kitchen

If you’re upbringing was anything like mine, you probably remember your parents having an entire cabinet or drawer dedicated to a myriad of spices — some you used, some you didn’t. Now that we have our own kitchens and are making our own food, it can be an overwhelming task to collect and decipher which spices we use most that should make a permanent home on our shelf. Here’s a list of five essential spices.

1. Cayenne

The perfect spice to add a bit of heat to whatever it is you’re cooking. Cayenne is also revered as a natural cold killer. If you’re feeling under the weather, a glass of hot water with lemon and a teaspoon of cayenne will have you feeling better in no time.

2. Chili powder

This is another great spice to add to your food for an extra kick. Typically used in Mexican dishes, chili powder can be used to add spice to taco meat or an enchilada sauce.

3. Onion powder

Don’t cry, there’s an alternative to the tears left on your cutting board. This is where onion powder comes in as an easy addition to any meat or sauce recipe that just needs a little more flavor. Be aware and make sure you purchase onion powder without salt added.

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4. Garlic powder

Similar to onion powder, it can be cumbersome and time consuming to mince fresh garlic in a pinch. Add a dash of garlic powder to any pasta sauce and you’ll be good to go. Make sure to buy garlic powder without salt.

5. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a great spice to add to baked goods, hot chocolate and even stews to give a subtle sweetness. Cinnamon is a necessary ingredient for French toast, as well.