Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, and Onion Powder are probably the most used seasonings in my kitchen. I keep the peppercorn grinder right behind the stovetop so I can easily grab it when I am cooking. When it’s possible, I prefer to use fresh garlic and onion, but a lot of times, for pure convenience, I use the seasonings.


Black Peppercorn

Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Health Benefits

Peppercorn has become the most widely traded spice in the world. Peppercorn is actually the fruit of the black pepper vine that is dried out. 

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Blood Pressure Reduction
  • Blood Sugar Reduction
  • Cancer Cell Growth Inhibitor
  • Combats Obesity
  • Digestion Health
  • Heartburn Eliminator

Cooking with Black Peppercorn


Peppercorn is such a popular spice because it is very versatile. Most of the time it is used cracked by crushing with a mortar and pestle or freshly ground in a pepper mill. We used it freshly ground in any recipe that calls for pepper. 

Growing Black Peppercorn

I’ve never grown my own peppercorn, but it grows best in tropical climates, so would probably do well in our garden in southeast Texas. Although, the vine that it grows on can reach twelve feet tall, so maybe that wouldn’t be so great in my yard with only a six-foot fence.

White, green, red, and black peppercorn are all harvested from the same plant, but the color of the dried fruit (which is what peppercorn is) will depend on how soon you pluck it from the plant.

Purchasing & Storing Tips

When you buy peppercorn from the store, you want to purchase the whole corn and use a pepper mill to grind it as you use it. The flavor is released when the shell comes off of the rest of the fruit, so if you have already ground pepper, you will miss out on a lot of the taste it adds to your dish.

As with most spices, the whole peppercorns can be stored in the pantry. I like to buy the largest container I can and refill my grinder as needed to cut down on the amount of plastic waste. We use it often enough that I don’t find it going stale before finishing a container.


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Garlic Powder

Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Health Benefits

For many centuries, garlic has been used for its medicinal value. Garlic is a popular home remedy because it is fairly cheap and widely available. Many of the benefits come from crushed or diced garlic but some are still present in garlic powder.

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Blood Pressure Reduction
  • Colon Cancer Risk Reduction
  • Heart Health
  • Stomach Cancer Risk Reduction

Cooking with Garlic Powder

Garlic is used in a wide variety of foods from almost every culture. It adds a strong but unique flavor to a dish and doesn’t take much.

Growing Garlic

Well, you can’t specifically grow garlic powder, but you can grow garlic plants from a few store-bought bulbs. They need soil with good nutrients that has room to drain as garlic is susceptible to root rot. The easiest way to plant garlic is to use the cloves from a bulb and plant them a few inches apart with the pointed end up and need to be fertilized as they grow. If they start to flower, trim those off so the plant focuses on the garlic bulb.

Your garlic will be ready to harvest when the leaves on top have started to die off. Carefully dig the bulb out, and let it lay out to dry for a few weeks before storing in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area.

Purchasing & Storing Tips

Garlic Powder can be bought in the store on the same aisle as all of the other spices and seasonings. If you want to make your own garlic powder, you’ll have to slice a bulb of garlic into very thin pieces and dehydrate them. Once they are completely dried out, run them through a grinder until they are the desired consistency.

Store the garlic powder in an airtight container with any other seasonings in the kitchen.


Onion Powder

Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

Health Benefits

Made from dehydrated onions, onion powder contains some of the nutrients of a fresh onion but loses some of it in the drying process.

  • Antioxidant
  • Blood Pressure Reduction
  • Digestion Health
  • Low in Sodium
  • Muscle Health
  • Stroke Risk Reduction

Cooking with Onion Powder

Onion powder, since it is in a concentrated form, has a lot of flavor in just a small amount and goes a long way. This can be used as a substitute in almost dish that calls for onion as long as you make sure to put in the correct ratio and don’t overdo it.

Growing Onions

Garlic and Onion are very similar in the way they are grown and harvested. If you want to use an onion scrap, you will need to cut the root end off of an onion and plant it in nutrient-rich soil. It will grow stems above the ground, and just like the garlic, trim off any flowers that grow so the plant focuses on the onion bulb underground. Onions are ready to harvest when the leaves start to brown and die off. Dig around the onion bulb to carefully remove it from the soil and rinse it off before bringing inside.

Purchasing & Storing Tips

Onion Powder is available with the other spices and seasoning at the grocery store. Making your own onion powder is done in the same way as the garlic powder. Cut the onion into very thin slices and dehydrate until every piece is crispy. Then use a grinder to make a powder out of the onion.

Keep your onion powder in an airtight container that can be stored with your other seasonings.


Sources:

  1. http://www.heirloom-organics.com/guide/va/guidetogrowingpeppercorns.html
  2. https://draxe.com
  3. https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/how-to-buy-and-store-peppercorns-like-a-pro-article
  4. https://www.livestrong.com/article/268286-benefits-of-garlic-powder/
  5. https://www.livestrong.com/article/4697-need-health-benefits-onions
  6. https://www.burpee.com/gardenadvicecenter/vegetables/garlic/garlic/article10268.html
  7. https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/09/diy-garlic-powder-recipe.html
Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

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11 thoughts on “Essential Herbs & Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 2: Black Peppercorn, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder

  1. I am obsessed with garlic powder! I love the garlic flavor and sometimes it works out even better than fresh garlic. I also often forget to buy garlic, so its my stand in.

  2. I use garlic powder more than anything. I love garlic so much so I can never seem to get enough. I now buy it in bulk. It is the only spice I actually go through quickly.

  3. Spices definitely help with so many health issues. I really need to make sure that I have some of these in my cabinets and at the ready for dishes.

  4. We are always seasoning our dishes so will definitely stock up on these! I especially love adding garlic powder but will try onion as well.. Thanks for this dear!

  5. OMG a 12 foot tall peppercorn plant would be so fantastic! You should totally do it. I also keep all three of these on hand. Black peppercorn is used in everything and the other two are great when I don’t have fresh!

  6. This is such a great resource. I’m going to bookmark this page. I love using spices in my cooking. It’s great to know I’m adding more than just flavor.

  7. Wow this Herbs & Spices has a lot good health benefits. Honeslty I hate Peppercorns in this time I’ll try to practice eating peppercons. great post from you!

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