RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small-batch spice blends plus recipe cards to help you successfully incorporate these new flavors into your meals.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: RawSpiceBar
The Cost: $8 per month
COUPON: Use coupon code SPICEADDICT5 to get your first box for $3!
The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: U.S. (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This is the “Haitian Flavor Kit" and includes some Caribbean flavors and recipes perfect for summer grilling!
In addition to sending recipe cards each month, RawSpiceBar also has a variety of recipes on their website available here. You can now filter by spice and diet to find recipe ideas, and there are a lot of great recipes for our included spices this month!
Cardamom Summer Spice Mix, .3 oz
This blend of cardamom, star anise, and cinnamon was very fragrant! It was seriously tasty even on its own and somehow even tasted a bit sweet to me. There were some really yummy recipes included for this, but I ended up brewing it with my coffee one morning. Delicious! Cardamom is one of my favorite spices to use to dress up my coffee a bit, and the star anise and cinnamon were a nice new addition that added a bit more spiciness. I can't wait to brew another cup!
Allspice Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, .3 oz
The ingredients on this packet are mislabeled, so, unfortunately, I don't know exactly what's in this jerk seasoning (although I'm guessing allspice is included!). It was delightfully spicy and flavorful, and I'm sure you could use it in any recipe that calls for jerk seasoning.
(Worth noting that I've been reviewing this subscription for about half a year, and this is the first time I've had a mislabeling issue.)
Scotch Bonnet Salt, .3 oz
Yes, more seasoned salt! I've been a fan of RawSpiceBar starting to include salt regularly in their packets over the last few months. Although this looks similar to last month's Pequin Salt, it's definitely hotter and the heat lingers! Scotch Bonnets are rated the same level of hotness as a habanero pepper so these are definitely up there.
There were additional recipes online this month, but three were included in the box:
Jerk Grilled Shrimp
I've been anxious to break out my grill again soon, and this recipe looked delicious! Simple and spicy, just how I like it. This recipe calls for 2 of the 3 included spices this month, the Jerk and the Scotch Bonnet Salt.
Cardmom Summer Banana Pancakes
We rarely have bananas in the house because my son and husband don't like them, but I'm so curious to try this recipe! My current favorite pancake recipe is made with greek yogurt (super easy, tasty, and relatively healthy), but banana would be so good paired with the Cardamom Summer blend!
Jerk Black Bean Burger
This recipe was calling my name as soon as I opened the box. I love black bean burgers and it's been awhile since I'd made them, and I knew my husband would love the spiciness after I sampled the spice packets this month.
After taking a quick look at the pantry, I knew these were the perfect thing to whip up for a quick weeknight dinner. I did make a couple substitutions, though. First off, quinoa tends to upset my stomach for some reason, so I chose to replace it with good old fashioned breadcrumbs. (I've made a lot of veggie burgers over the years and regardless of my stomach, and I've also had mixed success with using quinoa in the past: it tends to make the mixture too wet to form a good solid patty.) Second, I wasn't keen on using a habanero pepper with a "helpful" toddler who likes to be around me in the kitchen when I cook, so I substituted half a green bell pepper instead.
Here are the patties cooking up! I reserved about 1/4 of the can of beans and folded them in after the food processor, to keep some of them fully intact and add texture. The recipe made 4 generously sized burgers. I always fry my veggie burgers in butter, and the cast iron pan really helps get a nice brown crust on our electric stovetop.
I couldn't resist adding some pepper jack cheese and sprinkling a bit more Scotch Bonnet Salt on top.
These were really, really good. Both my husband and I loved the seasoning, which had a fair amount of heat, but was very flavorful. I am happy that I omitted the quinoa and definitely feel they would have been really hard to form into patties if I'd followed the recipe exactly. I wish I knew which ingredients were in the jerk seasoning so I could try to recreate this blend myself in the future!
Verdict: This might be my favorite month of RawSpiceBar yet! These flavors were interesting twists on spices I'm already familiar with, and the recipes this month felt the same: they were variations on things I already cook and felt easy to whip up but were exciting to try. I'm also happy to see that there were more recipes online this month since my last few months have been lacking in that area.
As usual, I think this subscription is best for someone who already knows their way around the kitchen a bit but wants to get some fresh inspiration and new flavors to try. It costs less per month than buying a premium spice blend from a specialty store, and it's always a fun experience for me!
What do you think about RawSpiceBar?