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Put some Spice Into Your Life!

Jan. 20, 2014|691 views


Put some Spice Into Your Life!

I love good food with a little bit to it and how I do that is add spices! I know sometimes making dinner with a recipe list a mile long can be overwhelming. Here is great tip to keep for you… make your own spice blends. This is one of my favorites; all you need is a coffee grinder and add half a cup of cumin seeds, a quarter cup of coriander seeds, a half a cup of fennel seeds, two teaspoons of ground cloves, a quarter cup cardamom pods and blend then add two tablespoons of sea salt. Keep these spices in a cool dry place, maybe in an air-tight container, and they'll last for months. Okay? You can use them on fish, poultry, anything. Even vegetables, they're delicious.

They say variety is the spice of life. Well, spices in the kitchen certainly add some variety and interest to food. Some are subtle and allow you to build flavor by layers. Others are potent and, well, spicy. A pinch of cardamon adds an exotic note to certain dishes that may be hard to place. But few people are likely to have trouble identifying hot chili peppers, like cayenne.

Herbs and spices add flavorto our dishes, but there’s a lot more to seasonings than just flavor. Many of our most popular spices add substantial health benefits, too.

I’ve talked before about turmeric, for instance. This vivid yellow spice is the foundation of most curry blends. It’s made from the root (technically, it’s a tuber) of a plant that’s related to ginger. Turmeric contains powerful antioxidant compounds called curcumin. Evidence shows that curcumin may help fight cancer in a number of important ways. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Then there’s cumin. Though the name is similar, cumin and curcumin are not related. They do share one thing, though. Cumin offers health benefits, too. Cumin is the seed--either whole or ground--of a flowering plant in the carrot and parsley family. It’s native to the Mediterranean region, even though it’s probably best known to most Americans as a foundational seasoning used in Mexican cooking. It’s various properties appear to play a role in preventing diabetes, reducing the risk of stroke and cutting oxidative stress.

So, what is on for dinner at your house tonight? Love to hear your comments...

Sowbhagya HB. Chemistry, technology, and nutraceutical functions of cumin (Cuminum cyminum L): an overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(1):1-10. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.500223.

Tags:  antioxidant, mediterranean diet, cancer risks