Spices give life flavor. Every budding chef knows that the secret to a tasty and complex recipe is the proper seasoning. The distinct flavors may go unnoticed; but if you throw together the right symphony of spice, suddenly your food becomes ten times more delectable than before.

Now, with the rise of pumpkin spice, our favorite little flavor-makers are getting the attention they deserve. But pumpkin spice is not the end-all be-all of seasonal spice mixes.

Here are some sweet, savory, and, most of all, spicy fall flavors that will shake up your pantry this autumn.

1. Chai Tea Spice Mix

Erin Rose

Traditionally you would steep these spices in their whole form with your black tea, but they have so many applications when they're ground up. This spice mix can step in any time that one gourd-related-spice-blend-that-shall-not-be-named is normally used.

It's a sweet spice mix, but it is still versatile. I like to use it on yogurt, applesauce, ice cream (especially coffee-flavored), and in baked goods like cakes and cookies (chai macarons are a must for the advanced baker). 

Chai Tea Spice Mix

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:5 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon ginger powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon white or black pepper

Step 1

Whisk ingredients together until combined. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and enjoy!

2. Moroccan Spice Mix

Erin Rose

There's nothing better on a cool fall day than a hot bowl of beef tagine fogging up your glasses. What Moroccan food is known for, in addition to comforting clay-pot stew and traditional mint tea, is its showcasing of spice. This recipe is, of course, doctored and non-traditional. But it is inspired by Ras el Hanout, a traditional North African spice blend.

Rub this on any kind of meat—I recommend lamb, chicken or pork—for a bit of an earthy kick, or throw it on some root vegetables and give 'em a roast. Better yet, throw it in hummus or even salad dressing. No matter what the occasion is, this spice blend packs a warm, inviting (not too hot) punch to any savory dish.

Moroccan Spice Mix

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:5 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon white or black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon allspice

Step 1

Whisk ingredients together until combined. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and enjoy!

3. Poultry Seasoning Mix

Erin Rose

When thinking of fall spices, it's easy to gravitate toward the classics: cinnamon, nutmeg, or maybe turmeric for its vibrant color. But I adore using dried (or fresh, depending on availability) herbs in the fall and winter.

There's nothing better than stuffing packed to the brim with sage and rosemary for a savory-sweetness you can't even describe. It can transport you to a Thanksgiving day even when you're actually just cooking to the tune of October rain.

Poultry seasoning is an American classic you can find in almost any home. Like the seasoning's name suggests, it is fantastic on chicken or turkey, but you can use it for so much more than that. Try making an herb bread like focaccia, soup, or casserole—try putting in your mashed potatoes. You can't go wrong with this classic combination.

Poultry Seasoning Mix

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:5 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried ginger optional
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed

Step 1

Whisk ingredients together to combine.

Step 2

Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and enjoy!

If you're still not convinced, this poem will do the trick.

A Poem for Spices

Spices, oh spices,

Ginger, Baby, and Posh,

You always spice up my life,

make me say "Oh My Gosh."

Every fall, to you I run:

You are my cherished one,

Faults, you have none.

Spices, oh spices,

My love you have won.

— Erin Rose, 2016

If my terrible poetry can't make you love spices as much as I do, then nothing can. I encourage you to try these recipes; put 'em in a little spice shaker, and whip 'em out whenever. Is your popcorn boring? BAM! Take that 'corn on a Moroccan vacation. Those vanilla cupcakes a little, well, vanilla? Add some Chai, and now they've got some Indian flair.

Take these recipes—try them out, modify them to your tastes—and use them to bring you out of any flavor drought. You, too, can become a Spice Girl. Or Boy. Or whoever you identify as.