5 Unique Ingredients No Home Cook Should Be Without

What ingredients you have on hand can make a huge difference between what you cook and what you settle for in the kitchen.  Although everyones’ tastes are different: these are five unique ingredients everyone should have on hand.

Dried Dashi

If you ever make soup, gravy, or anything savory that requires a good base: it’s vital to always have dried dashi in your home.  Dashi is dried fish and bean flecks that create an instant savory depth to anything they’re added to.  This doesn’t make your recipe fishy or ruin its flavor of it but gives it a fantastic umami taste you can’t get anywhere else.  Although most packages are too big to use all at once, you can put this in a plastic bag and store it for later so you’ll always have some to use.

White Pepper

White pepper is the best way to boost your cooking through one single ingredient!  Less pungent than black pepper, white pepper has more depth and gives you the chance to thoroughly season or pepper any dish without adding color differences or visible flecks of pepper.

White pepper is mostly used in east Asian cooking, but you can find it in almost any supermarket; it’s a fantastic item to include in your cooking.

Pepper Jelly

Jelly may sound one-note, but pepper jelly opens a world of opportunities to anyone who’s willing to go for it!  Adding a fun mix of sweet heat to any sandwich, cookie, or dish you make, pepper jelly is a fantastic staple to have in your fridge for whenever you need it.  It’s usually affordable to buy pepper jelly online, and it’s long-lasting in the fridge.  Going without this ingredient can cost you a lot of flavors, but having it on hand will sharpen any dish and make it that much better.  Pepper jelly is a must.


You may think you never use molasses: but the average home cook already has it in their kitchen and may not know it.  Molasses is one of the two ingredients that create brown sugar; the other ingredient is white sugar.  Not only is molasses great for adding some herbal sweetness to tea or cookies, but it’s also great to use in a glaze and can darken the color of bread and cookies while adding some fantastic flavor.  It’s a staple in some parts of the south, but every kitchen should have a container of molasses in it!

Frozen Spinach

Frozen spinach might not sound like that big of a deal, but it’s vital for everything from healthier gnocchi to better soups and fantastic dinners.  A pound of frozen spinach usually doesn’t cost more than a dollar or two and can last up to a year.  This makes it a great addition that you can grab whenever you need it to fill out a soup or sauce or add something green to a meal.  There are dozens of ways to use this ingredient, so it’s a worthy one to keep around.

Your Pantry and Freezer Say a Lot About You!

Whether you have these ingredients or not, your pantry and freezer will say a lot about the type of food you make and what matters most to you.  Consider adding some of these options and make your kitchen the perfect place to cook.

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