During the cold winter months, I tend to stay inside more and spend a lot more time cooking. One of my favorite things about cooking in the winter is the wonderful aroma created by spices that linger in my kitchen after making dinner. Here are my top 5 favorites – the best winter spices.


The wonderful aroma of cinnamon makes me feel warm, safe, and relaxed on cold winter days. I love to make cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pie and spice cake. It’s also perfect in my butternut squash soup, roasted spiced carrots, glazed salmon and curry.

Chili Powder

Nothing beats the winter blues like a great crockpot chili. I let it simmer on low all day full of delicious spices, including just the right amount of chili powder. It’s also great in enchiladas. I especially love to sprinkle chili powder on my fries for extra seasoned flavor with a slight kick.


Ginger adds spice to almost anything – savory or sweet. Ginger is used in nearly every cuisine in the world. You will find it in Caribbean, Indian and Asian cuisines. In Western cuisines it is added to salad dressings, baked goods such as muffins and cookies, breads, tea and other beverages. Dinner, drinks and sweets – this spice enhances them all!


Cumin has a perfect warm, earthy flavor that is ideal for winter cooking. Packed with antioxidant properties, a nutritious diet that includes cumin is not only delicious but good for your health. Cold weather recipes such as grilled pasta, cauliflower soup and glazed ribs are all enhanced by cumin.


Technically not a spice, garlic is considered to be a dehydrated vegetable. However, few warm winter dishes would be complete without garlic which is why it makes the top 5 best winter spices. Its pungent taste produces such a warmth and unique flavor in just about any cuisine. Garlic chicken, garlic potatoes, and garlic bread are some of the best winter comfort foods around.