Tag Archive | flavor

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Cumin!

Even though it’s a spice that is commonly used in a variety of recipes, many people are not aware that cumin boasts amazing health benefits! Cumin has a unique flavor due to it’s content of cuminaldehyde, a compound shown to have powerful medicinal qualities. Research has shown that cumin can help fight diabetes and prevent against cataracts. It’s also been shown to help our bones stay strong and it can aid in preventing osteoporosis. Cumin’s volatile oil and rich content of vitamin A and C make it a strong antioxidant, helping to prevent cancer and keeping our immune system strong. In India, researchers discovered that cumin was most effective in blocking the action of bacteria that cause food poisoning. I suggest you check out the cumin from MySpiceSage.com, a great website and resource for a wide variety of spices.

FAST FACTS:

– Cumin pairs nicely with allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and garlic. It can be used in dishes containing potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, and curries.

– Cumin seeds should be dry roasted before they are ground to really bring out their flavor.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Horseradish!

Do you love horseradish? It’s very popular, not only for it’s powerful flavor but for it’s healing properties! Horseradish is a weedy herb with a perennial root. It was originally cultivated for medicinal purposes instead of for cooking. Horseradish is a natural antibiotic and studies have shown that it can be very useful in healing bronchitis, ear infections, sinusitis, and digestive issues. It’s also been said to help heal frustrating urinary tract infections. If you ever get the flu or strep throat, horseradish has healing properties that can help speed up your recovery time. Horseradish pairs nicely with basil, fennel seed, celery, parsley and rosemary. You can incorporate it into your diet by using the leaves in salads, the root to flavor fish dishes and vinegar. Horseradish also works well in dishes with apple, beans, and potatoes. Check out the horseradish powder from MySpiceSage. Love it!

FAST FACT:

– Did you know that an estimated 85 percent of the world’s horseradish is grown here in the USA? It also stays here because Americans consume six million gallons of horseradish a year!

– Raw horseradish has no odor but if you cut into the flesh, the smell can open up your sinuses!

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Coriander!

The nutty yet sweet little seeds that are found on the coriander plant are not only an excellent spice to add to a variety of dishes, but they are loaded with health benefits! Coriander has been around for thousands of years and was even used as a spice in ancient Greece. In ancient Asia, natural healers used coriander to treat a variety of health ailments. For example, coriander has been shown to have a soothing effect on digestive issues that include IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), chronic constipation, and gas. In Ayurvedic practices, coriander has been used as a diuretic and in folk medicine it has been used as a way to heal bladder infections and calm allergies. Studies have shown that coriander can help in decreasing blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol. It’s also shown to be very useful for headaches, insomnia, and bloating. Coriander works well with many spices but it’s especially wonderful with ginger, garlic, turmeric and allspice. You can add it to a variety of dishes with fish, chicken, mushrooms, lentils, and vegetables. When it comes to purchasing coriander, you can typically choose from two varieties; European and Indian. European coriander has more flavor and Indian coriander has a lemony scent. Most of the coriander available for purchase in the USA is European. Check out the fabulous coriander powder from MySpiceSage, perfect for cooking yummy Indian dishes!

FUN FACTS ABOUT CORIANDER:

– Indians use the entire plant (including the leaves, stem, roots and seeds) of coriander to make chutney and different sauces.

– Coriander is often used as a flavoring in gin and other varieties of alcoholic beverages.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Thyme!

Thyme is everywhere! Did you know that there are over 100 hundred varieties of thyme of these little herb? The one thing that they all have in common is the volatile oil called thymol, a powerful antiseptic that kills harmful germs. If you ever get a nasty cough or a sore throat, try brewing some dried thyme leaves as a strong tea. You can even add a little raw honey for some more powerful nutrients. Thyme has also been shown to help prevent tooth decay and cold sores, making it a dream herb for dentists! This herb is also known to help prevent cancer, ulcers, and heart attacks. It is also a dream-herb for those trying to slow the signs of aging. Thyme pairs well with basil, bay leaf, rosemary and sage. It is a delicious addition to casseroles, sauces, chicken and fish dishes. Check out the fabulous thyme from MySpiceSage.com. You will love it!

FAST FACT:

– Dried thyme can be used in potpourris to repel moths!

– Studies have shown that by adding thyme to a high-fat diet can reduce the the formation of blood clots, a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Basil!

Basil is one of my favorite herbs to grow in my little home garden! It has such a beautiful flavor and pairs nicely with many other spices. I add it to many different dishes including soups, pesto, salads and sauces. There are different varieties of basil including sweet basil (very popular in the United States and Europe), Thai basil, holy basil (I drink this as a tea), and East Indian basil. In addition to tasting great, did you know that basil has amazing healing properties? It has been shown that basil can help kill the bacteria that can cause acne and aid in the healing of wounds. Basil is also known to help prevent certain cancers and cholesterol problems. If you are suffering from eye problems, you can find many eye drops on the market that contain basil. These drops help relieve the symptoms associated with conjunctivitis and aid in the recovery from cataract surgery. Some studies have shown that the extract from basil leaves can help lower blood sugar levels, which is helpful for those with diabetes. Check out the fabulous basil leaves from MySpiceSage! Love them.

FAST FACT:

– Basil is a favorite plant in India and is carved into prayer beads called Tulsi beads.

– The flavor of basil pairs great with garlic, mint, oregano, saffron and thyme.

References: Healing Spices by Bharat B. Aggarwal. Sterling Publishing Co, 2011. New York, NY.

Spice up your Life – The Healing Power of Cinnamon!

In my three years of being a nutrition blogger, I’ve found that when the topic of spices comes up, people get really excited about cinnamon. It’s such a delicious and warm flavor that compliments so many dishes! Did you know that in addition to tasting amazing, cinnamon has awesome health benefits? Believe it or not, it’s been said that cinnamon can help balance blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has also shown to have heart-protecting properties and aids in lowering the risk of diabetes. If you suffer from candida, cinnamon is very effective in fighting off the abundance of yeast that can take over the body. This spice has such powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that it can also aid preventing cancer and promoting swift wound healing. Ground cinnamon contains many nutrients including manganese, fiber, and calcium.

FAST FACT:

– Eating cinnamon may boost your brain power! Studies have shown that chewing on something cinnamon or even just smelling it improved peoples’ cognitive function.

– Much of the cinnamon available at stores is not “true” cinnamon. It’s called Cassia cinnamon and is very similar to the real cinnamon called Cinnamomum verum. These spices look a lot alike but they differ in flavor. You can often find true cinnamon in Indian marketplaces or specialty spice shops found online.

References: Aggarwal, Bharat. Healing Spices, Sterling Publishing Co, New York, NY. 2011.