Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Healing Spices


Fill Your Life With Good Taste
And Good Health

Long ago, spices were brought to Europe from far off places on the backs of animals and in wagons. They were so important to the Europeans, that adventurers sailed the seas in search of shorter, cheaper spice trade routes.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Cinnamon and nutmeg laced
home made apple pie -
Now that's good medicine!
Today, modern transportation has made the treasures of long ago so much cheaper that we take spices for granted.  

We've forgotten that in addition to flavor, spices are also healing and medicinal.

The most familiar spice in American cuisine is cinnamon.  We love the taste in gooey breakfast buns, homemade apple pie and luscious coffee cakes but, in addition to good taste, cinnamon relieves allergies, eases pain, slows bacterial growth, controls blood sugar and helps you relax after a hectic day.  That's a pretty impressive. 

When we think of cayenne (red) pepper we think of spicy chili, jambalaya and bloody Marys but we rarely think that cayenne is lowering our cholesterol and triglycerides with every bite.  Cayenne is used topically, too, in warming ointments that are rubbed on the body to ease arthritis or sports injury pain.

Gingerbread!
Who know good health could taste this good!!
Ginger (as in ginger ale) is best known for settling upset stomachs and bringing down fevers but this healthful spice also helps prevent arterial plaque.   A favorite ingredient in pan Asian recipes, you can feel healthier for each bite of Thai, Chinese or Japanese food you enjoy.

Less common to American cuisine are cardamom (fights bronchitis), cloves (prevent clots), fennel (breaks up coughs), fenugreek (controls blood sugar) and turmeric (fights cancer and Alzheimer's disease) but they are none the less healing spices, worth their weight in gold.

Add some healing spices to your kitchen pantry to spice up your recipes and bring good health to your table.

Recipes 

Honey Cayenne Thai Salad Dressing
Especially good over a cold cellophane noodle salad.

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/3 cup lime juice (2 to 3 limes depending on size)
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Whisk everything together.  Refrigerate to blend flavors.

Karla's tip: Thai fish sauce is a bottled condiment available in the oriental food sections of most grocery stores.


Cardamom Coffee
Add a haunting lemon-lavender taste to your morning brew with a pinch of ground cardamom.  Sweeten to taste and add milk, if desired.


Spiced Up Veggies
Sprinkle cooked orange vegetables (like carrots, winter squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes) with pumpkin pie spice for a healthy dose of cinnamon and cloves. Drizzle with a little melted butter, honey and or brown sugar, if desired. 

Spices add health and good taste
 to all your cooking
Ginger Lemon Tea 
Per cup: Put 1 (3 inch piece) of crystallized ginger into an 8 oz. cup of water and microwave till steaming. 

Add a thin slice of lemon and, if desired, sweeten with honey or raw sugar.

For an extra treat (and extra dose of good health) nibble on the ginger when you're done sipping.

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