Today we launch a week of fabulous holiday giveaways on Kitchen Explorers with this gorgeous spice box from our friends at Spice Islands.

If you are anything like me, you have a drawer or a shelf completely stuffed with dried spices, some of which you likely use on a daily basis and some of which you bought for one recipe and hardly know what to do with. Unfortunately, the seasoning that many of us reach for far too often is salt. But did you know that we can reduce our need for salt in recipes if we use plenty of the right spices?

What’s more, adding herbs and spices to our family meals is one of the healthiest (and tastiest) cooking decisions we can make. Not only do spices increase the flavor of meals, thereby reducing our need to use excess salt, but they also are concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, according to neurosurgeon Dr. Larry McCleary, author of Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly.Β  They may also help you burn more calories, feel fuller, improve your brain health and boost your immunity.

For some helpful tips about using and storing spices, including when to add spices to your meals, visit the Spice Islands’ site.

The spices and spice blends I reach for most often are cinnamon, black pepper, curry powder, dried basil, dried dill, thyme and chili powder.

To be eligible to win the spice box, please leave a comment below telling us which dried spice YOU use most often. Please leave your comment by December 12th, 2011. One winner will be chosen on December 13th by Random.org. U.S. addresses only, please. Contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Kandace. Thank you all for entering!

We’ll be doing giveaways every day this week, so please make sure and check back often. Thanks and good luck!

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193 Responses to “Spice Island Spice Box Giveaway”

    • April Hare

      The spices I use most are pepper, chili powder, 21 seasoning salute, and garlic powder.

  1. Deb Harris

    Dried thyme is my favorite, although I guess that’s actually a herb. I use it in beef dishes, chicken & pork chops. As for an actual spice- cinnamon or cumin.

  2. Pamela

    Cinnamon is the most used, but cardamom is wonderful at this time of year!

  3. Kerry Pope

    Chilli Powder in an awful lot of dishes, but if not Cinnamon

  4. kim/reluctant renovator

    I’d say the basic Italian blend with basil and oregano. When I have it in stock, a spiced cinnamon sugar blend is very popular in my house to top french toast and other breakfast goodies.

  5. MaryEllen

    My favorite go to spices are Dill (which I guess is techinically an herb but goes great on fish, chicken, pork, on potatoes, in dip….) and Nutmeg (try a little ground nutmeg in your mac & cheese (I know, sounds weird, but gives it just a punch of something).

  6. christene

    i use granulated garlic an awful lot! also, my home blend of garam masala.

  7. holly

    mostly i use tumeric i have no idea why but i love it i also use mrs.dash and i love pepper too

  8. Barbara

    Garlic powder, onion powder, lemon thyme, cinnamon, chili powder

  9. J Grant

    Turmeric, Mrs. Dash original blend, ginger, black pepper (i prefer peppercorns), parsley, garlic. Quite a few of mine are Spice Islands brand! πŸ™‚

  10. Michelle Goff

    Hands down. Cinnamon. I love it that so many spices have such wonderful nutritional values!!

  11. Amy HH

    Oregano, for Middle Eastern dishes, Mediterranean dishes, in soups, and on salads; it’s just a fantastic and versatile spice. A close second would be cinnamon. I use it in sweet things such as crisps, cupcakes, puddings, and cookies, but also with beef and lamb. It adds a lovely surprise flavor for the modern palate in a meat dish. We do a lot of international cooking at our house. A lamb roast with oregano, cinnamon, garlic, onions and lemon juice goes over really well!

  12. jeanie zamarripalee

    we use the black peppercorns regularly. also pumpkin pie and italian blend.

  13. Katherine

    Definitely an Italian blend of basil & oregano for all family dishes but for mine it’s cayenne. I like it hot.

  14. Ingrid

    I regularly use dill as well as cilantro and black pepper.

  15. Gina

    Fenugreek leaves (aka kasuri methi). Went to one of emirils restaurants for my birthday one year and they had this dish with fenugreek leaves. ZOMG good. And garlic, but fresh. Dried I use alot of oregano.

  16. Cyndi

    Probably thyme or ginger. Who knew cinnamon was so popular?

  17. Debbie

    Lately it’s cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spices.

  18. Andrea D

    Nutmeg is one of my favoraties it go into both sweet and savory. I love it’s flavor.

  19. Amanda Spencer

    Some of my most used are ground coriander, ginger, ground cumin. We use the coriander as a substitute for cinnamon since my son is allergic to cinnamon.

  20. Joanne

    I love cooking with garlic powder and oregano. Yummy! πŸ™‚

  21. CarolinaGirl

    Of course, salt and pepper, always. I have been using quite a bit of chipotle pepper lately.

  22. Jesse M

    Hard to say which I use the most…. some of the most often used are: Garlic, Oregano, Cinnamon and Cumin!

  23. Laura

    I use Everglades, salt and pepper, and cinnamon a lot. Everglades is a blend of seasonings and spices from Florida. My mother in law lives there and sends us giant 8lb jars of it.

  24. Melissa

    Garlic powder! Garlic in everything! Garlic for the world!

  25. Michelle

    I use lots of herbs everyday and it depends on what I am making what I use. Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Savory, Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and so many more.

  26. Janeen

    Cinnamon, is probably the big one for sure as I use it in a lot of baking recipes. Otherwise, we do tend to use a lot of oregano and basil (for lasagna) and rosemary (for a really yummy chicken recipe I like to make). Which reminds me, time to get some new spices!

  27. Taliesyn

    I use red pepper flakes and garlic powder the most. πŸ™‚

  28. Micaela Torregrosa-Mahoney

    black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, basil, cumin, sage & thyme

  29. Ryan R.

    I’m a big garlic fan, but cinnamon is a close second.

    Thanks for the give-a-way!

  30. Anne

    We use cinnamon the most. Love basil, cumin, and coriander as go-to spices also.

  31. Monica

    Cinnamon! My kids like a little in their eggs. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for the opportunity!

  32. Amy Kelly

    Basil. I know, yummy but boring. I love nutmeg and last holiday season I discovered thyme when I made potatoes au gratin. Oh my gosh…I added too much and was worried …but I LOVED it! πŸ™‚

  33. Amy Specht

    It’s hard to pick just one. Garlic… I use garlic alot. πŸ™‚

  34. Terri

    I do a lot of cooking and find that I am always reaching for the cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. I cook with many others as well but these are the ones I use the most.

  35. Jane Cunningham

    Definitely cinnamon…my granddaughter LOVES it!

  36. Marsha Jo

    I use cinnamon, chili powder, and mustard powder in lots of dishes. We like the soup at our house to have a bit of zing and chili and mustard powder give our vegie beef soup a delicious flavor.

  37. Mary Breeden

    I think it’s a toss-up between cinnamon and basil – we use a lot of cinnamon since we love it on toast, but we also use a lot of basil making marinades for summer veggies, salad dressings, etc.

  38. Darcee Johnson

    Basil is number one for me! I put in anything I can (fresh and dried). Cumin is right up there too.

  39. Cathy from Arizona

    Ancho Chili Powder is one of our favorite spices. Cinnamon is high on the list also.

  40. Kate Maxwell

    Dried, crushed rosemary – I’ll put it on almost anything I roast in the oven.

  41. Erica

    Hmmm…it’s seasonal for me. But I’d have to say cinnamon is the most used by the household. And I put lots of fresh ground black pepper on just about everything we eat.

  42. Diana G

    we put garlic powder in pretty much everything. we go through tons of it.

  43. Janelle

    Cinnamon & garlic powder are the two I use most often

  44. Lisa

    Cinnamon, in coffee and hot chocolate, on toast and cookies, pretty much everywhere.

  45. Sarah Colwill

    Basil or Oregano get used the most in our kitchen.

  46. Susan

    Black pepper. I cannot live without black pepper. I’d gladly give up salt to have black pepper.

  47. Sarah

    Lawrys Season Salt, perfect for potatoes! Or nutmeg, especially this time of the year.

  48. Suzy

    hmm… that’s tough one. Cinnamon, chili powder, Rosemary, Dill…the list goes on!
    Thanks!

  49. Karen Lynch

    I use so many, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Cilantro, Rosemary, Pepper. Thanks for the giveawy.

  50. Kristen M.

    I use cinnamon or oregano most often. The one I don’t use as much but open frequently to smell is cardamon.

  51. Miss Margy

    I love freshly ground pepper, cinnamon, paprika, and chile powder. When it comes to herbs, I prefer to use fresh ones, if available. If not, I really like using dried dill. I has such a great flavor.

  52. cyndi shonnard

    the spice i reach for most often is dried basil…second comes dried thyme.

  53. Barbara Castor

    black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning

  54. Cindy

    It would have to be cinnamon as I use it EVERY morning in my oatmeal.

  55. Mary

    cinnamon, garlic powder and black pepper. Although not used all together πŸ™‚

  56. Alison

    Probably cinnamon… whenever a recipe calls for it I usually double the amount!

  57. Beth Young

    Our most often used spice is garlic, seems like it goes into almost anything savory that I make! πŸ™‚

  58. cassandra

    I use a lot of garlic!
    cmarquez482(at)ymail(dot)com

  59. Caroline

    My favorite dried spice has to cinnamon! I love cinnamon on my coffee drinks, cookies, cake, and whatever else I can! πŸ˜€

    Oh, and I gotta say… I LOVE Spice Island’s vanilla!! Makes my cookies and cake so yummy <3

  60. Jill

    I use a lot of cumin and mustard seed. I also use nutmeg in a lot of dishes.

  61. JoAnn Melton

    Cinnamon and cloves, simmering on the stove for holiday scents! Rosemary when called for. Oregano and Basil and Garlic, of course!

  62. janet

    So hard to pick just one……but my standby is always cinnamon………

  63. Jen LF

    I think I use rosemary most often, because it’s in the breakfast frittata that I make every week. I also love the Indian spice blend garam masala. It’s so fragrant!

  64. Jennifer Collins

    I like garlic spices a lot. Also a lot of mixed blends for flavoring meals.

  65. Emily Chaudhury

    Gotta be cumin. My husband is Indian and I also love to add it to recipes that don’t call for it to give a little zing without turning off the picky eater kid πŸ™‚

  66. Debby Berros

    i use so many of Spice Islands spices! my favs are cinnamon, chili, cumin & garlic powder! love, love, love your spices!