The mortar and pestle are ancient tools still used to crush, pulverize and mix herbs, grains and spices. Though you can purchase pre-ground herbs and spices, fresh foods prepared with a mortar and pestle are healthier, more aromatic and richer in flavor. Mortars and pestles are available at most kitchen supply stores, but you can save money by making your own.

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You can make your own mortar and pestle with a bowl and a rock.

Step 1

Soak a rock in bleach and rinse it, or wrap a clean rock in plastic wrap. This will prevent any bacteria on the rock from getting into your food.

Step 2

Place your herbs, spices or grains in your bowl. If using a wooden bowl, double line it with plastic wrap before crushing strong-flavored herbs and spices. The goal is to prevent the bowl from absorbing these flavors.

Step 3

Smash your food inside the bowl by bringing your rock down upon it. Continue until you have ground your food or have pulverized it to your liking.