Why it Works: Heating Spices
To best retain the flavor of spices and herbs, water is removed and spices and herbs are dried. This can be a problem as adding dried basil to a boiling soup or ground cinnamon to muffins may release only some of the herb's or spice’s flavor. The secret to getting the most out of your spice cabinet? Preheat your herbs and whole spices by dry roasting or frying. Heating releases the trapped essential oils, allowing them to more easily flavor your dish. To experiment, try heating whole spices like cumin, peppercorn or cinnamon in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Within minutes you will smell the essential oils reawaken! Allow them to cool on a plate before grinding and adding to your dish. You will be surprised by the intensity of the flavor.