5 Spices to Fire Up Your Veggie Grilling Game

When the sun starts shining, lots of us start grilling. Some veggies are the gold standards in grilling (zucchini, peppers and mushrooms, anyone), but if you tend to find yourself grilling the same old flavors all summer long, these spices can really mix up the flavors you put on your plate.  

Not only are spices delicious, but they’ve also been found to have incredible health benefits – for example, a half teaspoon of ground clove has been found to have as many antioxidants as a half cup of blueberries! We’re not yet sure about grilling with clove, but perhaps we’ll have to try creating a blend with cardamom…. 

Getting creative with grilling veggies is a sure-fire way to enjoy more healthy plant food. Beyond the standards, grilling broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and even cabbage and romaine lettuce (keep leafy plants connected to their stem to avoid a full breakdown!), can work well if you use a high-heat oil like avocado oil to keep them from burning.

Another veggie grilling trick is investing in a cast iron grilling pan to cook your veggies in your marinade.  You can find lots of options online, but just make sure it’s a pan and not a tray with holes that spill your delicious spices onto the fire!

To spice up your veggies or veggie mix, simply pour a generous amount of the spice(s) onto your cleaned, chopped veggies. Pour oil over top and mix well to ensure your veggies are well-coated so that they don’t burn on the hot grill.

Zaatar

Hailing from the middle east and traced all the way back to ancient Egypt, zaatar as a prepared condiment made with ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. For a zaatar mix to be authentic, it should also contain sumac, which has an interesting, distinctive taste that is kind of like a really unique blend of oregano and thyme. It’s often just mixed with oil and used as a dip for fresh bread as well.

If you like grilling with herbs de Provence flavors (or just like the taste of fresh herbs on your grilled veggies), you might love zaatar. It’s starting to pop up in upscale grocery stores, but you can also find it online, or take a food food trip to a middle eastern grocery and you’ll likely be able to find an authentic mix and get much more of it for your dollar. (While you’re there, grab some of the Ras el Hanoot to try as well).

Frontier Co-op Savory Turmeric Blend

Turmeric is known for having powerful anti-inflammatory benefits that help our bodies beat the effects of our chronically stressful lifestyles. Frontier has a number of blends that help us all eat more turmeric for drug-free good feels, and the Frontier Co-op savory turmeric blend is an ideal way to “let food be thy medicine,” as Socrates recommended.

Smoked Paprika (option: add balsamic vinegar)

A Spanish classic, smoked paprika brings a warm, delicious flavor to your dishes. It’s a red spice not to be confused with cayenne, which is spicy, while smoked paprika brings flavor without any heat. If you use a little balsamic in a marinade made with it, you can create a brisket-like flavor that works really well for grilling just about any veggie you like.  

Ras el Hanoot

This spice blend is a staple in Morocco, and it usually consists of over a dozen spices that include cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek, and dry turmeric. It ends up having a delicious, exotic but comforting smoky taste, and all of those spices boost the antioxidant benefits of this delicious mix.

Look for ras el hanoot spice blends online or find an Arabic grocery store in your community and take a food field trip to discover it and other new things to try.

Trader Joe’s BBQ Coffee Rub & Seasoning

If you needed another reason to love Trader Joe’s, this spice mix is smoky and delicious – it’s a classic BBQ flavor. Once upon a time we would have used it on salmon, but now that we’re eating a plant-based diet, we love it on cauliflower or a mix of mushrooms, zucchini and onions. You can’t go wrong adding it to just about any veggie or blend of them.

Got more grilling flavors to share with us? Drop us a line or hit us up on our Facebook community to pass the flavor.