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10 of Our Favorite Holiday Spices & Pantry Must-Haves

Mon, Dec 03, 2018 at 9:50AM

During the holidays and beyond, Peach Valley is your go-to destination for warm seasonal treats and a bright, cheery atmosphere.

But in between outings to the Valley, you can still enjoy an equally delicious experience at home! The key is to stock up on all the right spices, seasonings and pantry must-haves for all that holiday cooking. Today, we’re taking a look at ten such essentials worth picking up for a smooth, stress-free and savory season ahead. Just read on!


Certainly one of the most instantly recognizable holiday spices, cinnamon is noted for its warm, down-to-earth aroma, and its careful balancing act of sweet and spicy. You’ll want to have cinnamon on hand for a variety of holiday baking projects, including classics like good-old-fashioned snickerdoodles. Of course, one of the best uses of cinnamon (in our book, anyway) is an impromptu, homemade potpourri. Simply add cinnamon to a simmering pot of apple peels and orange rinds for a delectable seasonal scent in minutes.


The sharp spice of ginger lends itself to a wide array of treats—especially gingersnaps and gingerbread men and houses! But this spice can do more than sweets. Add it to savory meals, too, such as salmon and Asian-style chicken dishes for a welcome kick this season.


While this sweet seasoning pairs well with many different spices and dishes, we need only say one word to convince you to keep it on hand this holiday season: eggnog. What would our favorite holiday drink be without some fresh nutmeg on top for its distinctly sweet, aromatic touch?


One of the boldest holiday spices, cloves lend themselves to many of our favorite savory dishes. At the holidays, there’s no better companion to a delicious Christmas ham than a honey and brown sugar glaze emboldened by the addition of cloves.


While it may have been named for its similar notes to fellow spices like nutmeg and cloves, allspice is truly a treat of its own—unique for its sweet, spicy notes that are often enjoyed in Jamaican cuisine, barbecue dishes, roasts and much more.


A touch of peppermint extract in your go-to sugar cookie recipe can make all the difference. Its bright rush of flavor clears the senses, and pairs excellently with chocolate desserts as well as more unexpected places (from your Christmas Eve fruit salad to a juicy, slow-roasted lamb).


“Vanilla” is sometimes used to describe things that are dull or boring—but when it comes to the kitchen, we think it’s anything but! Especially if you use whole vanilla beans in lieu of the store-bought version. You’ll be surprised at just how warm, fragrant and exciting vanilla can be when used fresh in your kitchen this holiday season for holiday drinks, cookies and everything in between.


Rosemary and garlic form a strong team. Their fragrant pairing is worth enjoying with pot roasts and other beef dishes this season.

Chopped nuts

Not a seasoning but an absolute pantry essential all the same, chopped nuts (such as pecans) can make holiday baking much easier. Save yourself the prep time and use it, instead, to savor the holiday season’s little moments—the laughs with family and friends and the “mmm” moment when your recipe is finally enjoyed.

Shredded coconuts

Another great addition to any baking setup, shredded coconuts add just the right touch of mild sweetness to a variety of cookie recipes as well as breakfast favorites like oatmeal. You never know just how much adding them can improve upon your tried-and-true recipes!

We hope that today’s guide helps you find just the right ingredients for a holiday season you’ll remember for years to come. Plus, even if you’ve already stocked up, you can assemble these goodies into a beautiful basket and gift it to a close friend, family member or new neighbor.

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