8 Essential Fall Flavors

Kick your basic pumpkin spice habit with these fall flavors! Incorporating these herbs and spices into creative entrees, coffee, and baked goods will reduce your sodium and sugar intake and satisfy your taste buds. Let’s get into the fall spirit and explore the 8 essential fall flavors.

 

 

Sage

My absolute FAVORITE herb. Sage stands out from most herbs thanks to its velveteen hair-like projections. You’ll notice a slightly fuzzy or fluffy appearance, an earthy flavor, and a strong herbal aroma. It’s unique flavor brings warmth and complexity to savory dishes, and trust me, a little goes a long way – use in moderation.

 

Food Pairing

  • Lemon
  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Chicken

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Bay leaves
  • Ginger
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Thyme

Quick Eats

  • Be basic and mix into your Thanksgiving stuffing!
  • Garnish soup with a sprinkle of fresh sage.
  • Add chopped sage to tomato sauce and pasta dishes.
  • Serve with eggs in an omelet.
  • Toss minced sage with roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts.
  • Use dried sage as a rub for meats.
  • Mix with oil, lemon, and garlic for a delicious chicken marinade

 

 

Thyme

This savory herb with thin, woody stems and small, pungent leaves has a sharp, almost minty flavor making it an ideal seasoning for poultry. Fresh thyme sprigs can be added to soups, stews and other recipes, the leaves typically fall off during cooking and the woody stem is removed before serving. Fresh thyme leaves can withstand long cooking times. Adding them towards the beginning of cooking will slowly infuse flavor into dishes.

 

Food Pairing

  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Winter veggies
  • Eggs
  • Poultry
  • Fish

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary

Quick Eats

  • Add dried thyme to lentil or split pea soup before serving.
  • Use dried thyme for poultry rubs when baking or roasting – baste with lemon juice and additional thyme.
  • Infuse oils with fresh thyme to create salad dressings or marinades.
  • Toss fresh or dried thyme with roasted veggies like potatoes and carrots.

 

 

Rosemary

Another savory herb with tough, pine-like needles and a pronounced lemon-pine flavor. Although the appearance and scent of rosemary resembles pine, it is a member of the mint family. Rosemary is the perfect addition to your favorite fall comfort foods.

 

Food Pairing

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Apricots
  • Bell peppers
  • Winter Squash
  • Pork
  • Chicken

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Quick Eats

  • Add whole sprigs to soups and stews and remove prior to serving.
  • Mix garlic and rosemary with a vegetable butter and toss with pasta or baked potatoes.
  • Make a sheet pan roasted pork with apples, butternut squash and rosemary.
  • Roast with bell peppers, oil, and red wine vinegar for a versatile relish and add to crostini, salads, or pasta.

 

 

 

Ginger

Fun fact: ginger can be used for more than just gingerbread! Ginger’s pungent flavor adds zest to both sweet and savory dishes. Fresh ginger can be used to reduce bitter flavors, temper or intensify other flavors.

 

Food Pairing

  • Pears
  • Passion fruit
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Fish

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Coconut
  • Garlic
  • Lime
  • Scallions
  • Turmeric

Quick Eats

  • Mix fresh ginger with scallions and a dash of sesame oil for a savory meat (or shrimp) marinade.
  • Add some zest to a chickpea and spinach stew.
  • Cozy up with a hot cup of ginger tea.
  • Sip on a ginger pear smoothie.

 

 

Allspice

A combination of flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, allspice is the perfect complement to fall dishes. Allspice is unique in it’s highly fragrant and pervasive, warm flavor can be infused into sweet and savory meals.

 

Food Pairing

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Winter squash

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Nutmeg
  • Coriander

Quick Eats

  • Add to cauliflower soup.
  • Sprinkle into your morning oatmeal.
  • Mix into a garlic and balsamic vinegar-based salad dressing.
  • Sautee with your favorite greens like spinach or chard.

 

 

Cloves

This pungent warm spice has an intense flavor and aroma. You might recognize it as the most prominent flavor in gingerbread or a main ingredient in pumpkin pie spice. Yup, it’s that intensely sharp and astringent flavor so it’s best to use it sparingly.

 

Food Pairing

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chocolate
  • Fruit
  • Coffee

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Cinnamon
  • Coriander
  • Curry
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg

Quick Eats

  • Spice up your coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon and ground cloves
  • Roast some carrots, throw in a food processor, add a sprinkle of cloves and mix with hummus!
  • Try a Sugar-and Spice Roasted Squash by tossing it with pumpkin-pie spices.
  • Slow-cook onions with cloves for a sweet and fragrant condiment for chicken or pork.

 

Nutmeg

Nutty, slightly sweet, and spicy. Nutmeg is a quintessential autumn spice and an incredible kick of flavor that can enhance sweet and savory dishes.

 

Food Pairing

  • Winter squash
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Pasta
  • Fish
  • Chicken

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Thyme

Quick Eats

  • Make a big batch of nutty brown rice using toasted nuts and grated nutmeg.
  • Savor roasted cauliflower with nutmeg and hazelnuts.
  • Impress your guests with a pull-apart pumpkin bread filled with a nutmeg-spinach dip.
  • Infuse an oven-roasted chicken, carrots and potatoes with a thyme-and-nutmeg salt.
  • Use in savory side dishes, like butternut squash soup.

 

Cinnamon

What would fall be without a sprinkle of cinnamon? It’s sweet, woody flavor and pungent aroma are irresistible this time of year. Cinnamon is a wildly versatile spice that can satisfy your sweet and savory tooth (I’m making that a thing).

 

Food Pairing

  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice

Herb & Spice Pairing

  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Turmeric

Quick Eats

  • Start your day with a spicy veggie hash using cumin, cinnamon and red pepper.
  • Simmer chicken breasts in a mixture of onion, olives. dates, cinnamon and ginger for a Moroccan-Style dish.
  • Use cinnamon sticks to make a Cinnamon-Laced Chili.
  • Take plain oatmeal to another level with apples, chia seeds, almond butter, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

We’d love to know what your favorite fall flavor is!

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