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Posts Tagged ‘cooking spices’

spicesIt’s amazing how adding a little spice can really “jazz things up.” I’m finding the more I unleash my creativity in the kitchen the more it spills over into other areas of my life, creating a sense of possibility and openness that ignites a positive curiosity that actually helps me to become more aware of my habits and break them down! Here is a list of the top 5 spices that are sure to heat up your evolutionary kitchen!  Keep a look out for the next 5 coming to you soon…

1. Sea Salt. Get your self some high quality sea salt. It is full of life giving minerals. I suggest adding at the end of cooking by pinching with your fingers and sprinkling over the top. This way you use less, and it really makes a difference in the way the flavors “pop.”

2. Cumin. I was raised in New Mexico and grew up cooking amazing Southwestern food. Cumin is essential in this style of food. It has a musky, almost smoky quality to it, and I find it adds depth to the other flavors. It is particularly nice with black beans, corn dishes, chicken, and it compliments chile powder beautifully. It helps prevent gas and can ease a nauseous stomach.

3. Curry powder with extra turmeric. Curry powder can transform any ordinary dish into something extraordinary! It is truly an amazingly delightful spice. Put it into your stir-fry, put some in with your beans, add to your rub for meats, sprinkle into the water that you cook rice or quinoa in, or add to salad dressing for extra pizzazz! Curry powder is a blend of several spices, most often including turmeric, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, and ginger. These spices (particularly turmeric) can have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. They are also “warming” and help to circulate “qi” or energy in the body. In addition they can be very helpful for smooth digestion. If you add extra turmeric then just be aware that this can increase bitterness.

4. Garlic powder. Garlic powder can be a big time saver and if you get fresh powder it can add quite a lot of flavor. If I am out of fresh garlic or if I don’t feel like taking the time to mince it, I just add in some garlic powder. I use it soups and stews, beans, quinoa, my savory breads, and in my pumpkin seed pesto. The antimicrobial benefits are not as high with the powder.

5. Cardamom. I am currently in love with the spice! The aroma is sweet, and citrus and enveloping. The health benefits are pretty stunning as well. Cardamom has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It’s great in spice cookies and sweeter vegetable-based soups such as pumpkin, or butternut squash. It also pairs well in dishes focused around chicken, rice, and lentils. I use it as my secret ingredient in my “GF Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies!” (see our Sweets & Treats course for the recipe!)

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