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Foodie Freebie Friday: McCormick Super Spices

Welcome back and I hope you had a fabulous weekend! It was a gorgeous weekend here in Chicago and I hope the weather continues the rest of this week. Grilling season is upon us and I'm now starting to think of ways to add some flavor to grilled meats. Aside from marinades, an easy way to put a new spin on food is with spices. Did you know spices were also healthy for you?!

McCormick has come done some extensive research on the benefits of spices and says "There's new reasons to season."

When you hear the word "antioxidants," what foods come to mind? Blueberries? Pomegranates? How about cinnamon?

That's right. When it comes to antioxidant prowess, cinnamon vies for top billing along with blueberries and pomegranate juice. You may be surprised that spices and herbs are extremely rich in antioxidants – with levels comparable to many fruits and vegetables, including today’s popular "super foods."

Spices and herbs make food taste great. You already know that. And you're probably aware of how they can help you eat healthier by cutting down on salt, fat and sugar when cooking. Now there's emerging evidence that these kitchen essentials may help protect your health. With each pinch, dash and spoonful, spices and herbs can help boost the antioxidant power of practically everything on your plate.

So what exactly are these things called antioxidants and why should you care? Antioxidants are extraordinary workhorses in our bodies. Studies suggest they provide a range of benefits, including giving our immune system a boost. They also appear to reduce inflammation, which is increasingly recognized as a first step in heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic disease.

Preliminary studies indicate that spices and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that may hold tremendous potential in promoting good health. Other studies suggest spices and herbs may help curb your hunger and boost your metabolism – which might make it easier for you to manage your weight.

Now more than ever, there are new reasons to season.

The Seven Super Spices dubbed by McCormick includes:

Cinnamon
Ginger
Oregano
Red Pepper
Rosemary
Thyme
Yellow Curry


For this week's Foodie Freebie Friday, McCormick has generously offered to giveaway a few Seven Super Spices Sets! You'll have a greater chance of winning this week's freebie since I will be choosing FIVE lucky readers! Ready to get in on the action?

Some guidelines:
- Giveaway is only for those who live in the United States - my apologies to my international readers!
- You must have a valid email address (within your comment or blog link) so that you can be contacted if you win.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment answering:

- Of the Seven Super Spices, which one do you use most? How do you prefer using it?


Deadline:
Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 12 midnight CST.

FIVE WINNERS will be randomly chosen by Random.Org's Interger Generator based on the number of your comment and will be announced on Friday, May 22, 2009. Good luck!

93 comments

  1. I'm definitely a HUGE fan of using cinnamon. I use it more for baking, but I'm starting to branch out and use it for savory reasons as well!

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  2. I cook a lot of roast veggies, and rosemary is my go-to herb for roast veggies. I can't think of a vegetable doesn't taste better with rosemary!

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  3. It's a toss-up for me... my 6 month old daughter loves cinnamon in her apples, pears and sweet potatoes, but my husband and I put red pepper in just about everything we eat!

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  4. Probably oregano, since it's in both Italian and Mexican food. But since I recently ran out of thyme, I've been finding that it's in all sorts of things. I guess I took that for granted when I had it around!

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  5. I use many of those a lot! But probably cinnamon the most though, because I use it in sweet (cakes,cookies, breads) and savory (braised chicken).

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  6. It is a toss up between oregano and cinnamon - I am a huge italian food fan and find a way to use oregano at least 2x a week, but I also love my baked goods so cinnamon makes a frequent appearance! This is a great giveaway!

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  7. I use thyme just about everyday. It's got great flavor and it brightens up everything. I love the way thyme smells when it's cooking with onions, too.

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  8. I probably use ginger the most, I create a lot of asian inspired dishes and LOVE the flavor of ginger, especially in stir fries!

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  9. I use a lot of red pepper, it gives many dishes the perfect punch of flavor!!!

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  10. I used just about all of them, but if I have to pick one I'd say I use cinnamon the most. I can't eat fresh fruit because of an allergy so I bake all of my fruit and always sprinkle some cinnamon on top of it!

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  11. I use a sprinkle of cinnamon in my coffee every morning. It jazzes up my coffee without having to buy the flavored kind, which is never really as good anyway.

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  12. Definitely cinnamon or oregano. They're very versatile.

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  13. I think I use oregeno the most. On chicken and such.

    But my most used spice is cumin!

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  14. I like to cook a lot of meat and veggie dishes together so I probably use rosemary the most

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  15. Cinnamon, I love the flavor it gives things, it can really make a dish.

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  16. I would say the yellow curry would get some good use in our house!!

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  17. I love red pepper! I love spicy food and practically use it in every dish.

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  18. I love using red pepper in my dishes (both ground and flakes). I sometimes have a heavy hand with it and make dishes that are a little too hot, so I have to be careful!

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  19. It's definitely a hard choice among the lot. I'd probably say the curry powder or the cinnamon, as the others I tend to buy fresh more often than use dried. Still, good spices are always useful!

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  20. I would say rosemary or oregano. They are so versatile and go with so many different types of cuisine! My favorite spice is fresh basil, though. I use it in EVERYTHING!

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  21. It is probably a tie between the rosemary and the ginger. Both have been used in my cooking quite a bit lately.

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  22. Cinnamon, I have used in baking and cooking. I have this awesome McCormick Cinnamon spice rub...its perfect on ribeyes!!! YUM!

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  23. It's probably a tie between rosemary, which I love with chicken, potatoes, pork, etc. and cinnamon, which I put in coffee, cobblers, fruit dishes, and breakfast foods!

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  24. When in the kitchen, here's my motto: "never enough thyme."

    Being from Louisiana I was already raised on liberal sprinklings of this most versatile of herbs, but being a modern girl I have expanded my thyme repertoire.

    Always a welcome addition to meat dishes, sauces, red beans and rice, roasted chicken or soups and broths I also add it to my vinaigrette, marinades and dust my roasted vegetables. A spread made of part goat cheese, part yogurt and part mayonnaise with thyme herb is also nice.

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  25. I definitely use red pepper the most. I love the flavor and bit of spice it adds to a variety of meats and things like sauces, dips, and gravies and even some veggies!

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  26. I would definitely say cinnamon. It just makes me feel homey and comforted. I start everyday by putting a dash or two in with the ground coffee in my coffeepot before the bewing starts.

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  27. hmmm i would probably say i use cinnamon or oregano most often..we love both of those for so many reasons..
    what a great giveaway

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  28. Red Pepper- most everything tastes better with a dash of it

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  29. Cinnamon. I use it a lot in baking, but I've found great ways to use it for dinner- a little pinch in chili is super yummy!

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  30. All of those spices get a good workout in my kitchen.

    I'm going to go with thyme. Fantastic with different kinds of meats, in casseroles and even crushed up and used in a rub.

    YUM

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  31. I probably use cinnamon the most - great for baking and actual meals!

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  32. that's tough... It used to be rosemary because I cooked more and I love the flavor for any kind of meat or savory dish...but now it's cinnamon because I bake alllll the time and it gives everything a wonderful spiciness.

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  33. Red pepper can be found in just about everything we eat at our house! Although oregano is a very close second...

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  34. Red pepper! I love it in pastas, burgers, veggies, egs, etc.

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  35. I use red pepper the most... we add it to give a little extra spice in pastas, burgers, steak and other items. Yum!

    evitawylie at hotmail dot com

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  36. I probably use oregano most often, in Italian and Mexican dishes. I have a large oregano plant in my herb garden, but I also dry it for use in rubs and for sprinkling on roasted veggies and meats. Yum :-)

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  37. Cinnamon! I use it in everything, especially for The Kiddo. Keeps his blood sugar stable longer, which means he's fit to live with for longer. :)

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  38. I use cinnamon the most. It is great is sweet dishes like apple pie and also in savory dishes pulling from india as inspiration!

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  39. I try to incorporate cinnamon in every dessert because its flavor is so good. Cinnamon rolls always gets double!

    shen[dot]margaret[at]gmail[dot]com

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  40. It's a toss-up between cinnamon and red pepper. I put them in everything! My husband still isn't used to the fact that I put cinnamon in savory dishes, but he never complains.

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  41. Cinnamon, definitely-- improves coffee, oatmeal, and baked goods! The one I WISH I used the most is yellow curry... I love curry but I'm still working up the nerve to try to replicate my favorite dishes.

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  42. I probably use oregano the most. I love the flavor it adds to all my dishes and the aroma it gives off, makes my kitchen smell so good!

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  43. I use red pepper the most, but yellow curry is a close second. I've been in a huge curry phase lately!

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  44. Thanks for another great giveaway! I love using red pepper. It adds a nice little kick to anything from chicken to potatoes to fondue.

    [email protected]

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  45. I think I use red pepper the most. My husband and I love spicy food so it gives our meals a nice kick and some extra flavor.

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  46. Red pepper makes everything better!

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  47. Love, love, love cinnamon. We use it a lot at breakfast.
    [email protected]

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  48. Thyme is my #1 pick. I love it on everything... especially potatoes or chicken.

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  49. For us it's cinnamon. I use it in so many things.

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  50. I probably use oregano the most since I tend to cook a lot of Italian. I need to branch out and experiment more with spices. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  51. I used red pepper a LOT. It adds an extra kick to things, and we really like spicy food in our house.

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  52. I used red pepper flakes almost eery day on my frozen lunch entree, so I'll have to pick red pepper.

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  53. Red Pepper. I use it in pasta, soups, and lots of other stuff. I love some spicy food!!!

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  54. Also just saw your post on the Spice House. I love that place! You should try the Milwaukee Ave. rub for pork. It's amazing.

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  55. I use thyme the most. I put it in practically everything. It's terrific in coleslaw made with mayonnaise. Thyme grew wild in the islands and when we lived there I began to use it frequently and got hooked.
    Sam

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  56. I'm a big fan of OREGANO! I use it all the time because I follow Rachael Ray's cooking. I add it to my pizzas too. :)
    Susie
    [email protected]

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  57. We love oregano. I put some into anything I make that's Italian.

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  58. 5 winners - how exciting! I probably use cinnamon the most, since I love baking, but it's a very close race!

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  59. I sprinkle cinnamon on rice pudding!!!!

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  60. red pepper! I love spicy food and use various peppers in pretty much everything. I use quite a bit of oregano as well. This is a great giveaway!

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  61. I use both cinnamon and oregano the most. I probably use the cinnamon a little more because I love to put it on breakfast food.
    Becky
    [email protected]

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  62. We LOVE spicy foods, so red pepper is what we use most of. I love learning that it has health benefits, too!

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  63. Hands down, Thyme. I had a post just like this (sans giveaway) ready to go.

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  64. Rosemary! Use it on some grilled pork chops... YUMMY!

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  65. Of the 7 spices, I use cinnamon the most. Usually for baking!

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  66. I use oregano in most everything I make, both to season meats and sauces.

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  67. I'd have to say thyme. It lends such a great distinctive earthy flavor to so many dishes. I particularly like it in brown butter sauces or as part of a honey sauce for salmon.

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  68. i am a big fan of red pepper!!! since i love spricy food, i just put it in everything.

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  69. I use rosemary the most. Potatoes, chicken, fish, you name it. Yummmmmmm!

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  70. Cinnamon!!!

    i bake so much this is a STAPLE

    ptinaw at gmail.com

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  71. I'm going to have to say cinnamon, but it's really close with oregano. I like to make desserts with cinnamon, but I'm also an italian food whore!

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  72. I use Oregano is just about everything. So delicious.

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  73. I use oregano the most. I do a lot of Italian cooking so it always winds up in most of my recips.

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  74. The oregano, rosemary and crushed red peppers (plus other spices) make great homemade pizza. I love getting the rolled up thin crust pizza and making it on the grill (If you've never tried it, you should!).

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  75. I would probably say I use cinnamon the most. I love it in sweet and savory dishes.

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  76. I think I use oregano the most, but rosemary is the runner up.

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  77. I think I use rosemary the most. And to think I used to not be a fan of rosemary! I use it on lots of stuff - vegetables, beef, chicken, you name it!

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  78. I love love love red pepper - crushed especially, but ground works great too. I like my dishes to have a zip. Discovered you via Bookmarked Recipes btw :)

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  79. I use cinnamon a lot in baking and on my microwaved sweet potatoes.

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  80. I use all of those spices a great deal, but I probably use ginger the most.

    I use ginger on darn near everything. I like it on roasted eggplant with cinnamon. I also like ginger shrimp and/or ginger chicken.

    Melissa

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  81. Cinnamon - hands down. It's in my oatmeal every morning, it's in my famous black bean and squash enchilada's. Yum!

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  82. Rosemary...on everything. Garlic bread, pasta, sauces..always adds a little.

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  83. Ginger will be the spice I will use most --for pastries, desserts and entrees. Thanks for the giveaways!

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  84. i probably use red pepper/red pepper flakes the most because i like the little kick it gives to my favorite savory foods.

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  85. I use Rosemary the most. I add it to most chicken dishes I make, and we eat a lot of chicken. I also like it on roasted potatoes.

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  86. I think its a tie between the cinnamon i use all the time for baking and the red pepper that I like to put into everything when I cook

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  87. Thyme! I can't get enough of it.

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  88. I use cinnamon the most, but curry is really my favorite. Curry for a little something special in chicken salad or kabobs, or Ina Garten's butternut squash and apple soup, or a hint in my apple squash bread. Yum!

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  89. I use cinnamon the most, I love it sprinkled on my oatmeal, applesauce, pudding, you name it!

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  90. My favorite is definitely cinnamon...for snickerdoodles and cinnamon toast...mmmm

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  91. I use ground red pepper the most out of everything in our spice rack - I put it in pasta sauce, spinkle it in to liven up mac n cheese, put it in marinades for steak and pork. Just a little goes a long way in adding a spicy punch to meals.

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  92. I would definitely use cinnamon the most....the cookies and cakes and pies and fruit and rolls...ahhh the lists are endless!

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  93. I use rosemary the most... on chicken and roasted potatoes... yum!

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