Spice Up Your Life!
From sipping a chai tea latte to adding a sprinkle of turmeric into a warm bowl of soup, many of our favorite comfort foods are flavored with heartwarming spices. Besides making all winter dishes taste amazing did you know that these spices can actually provide a few wellness benefits?
Cinnamon is available all year long, but it really shines during the holiday. This sweet spice, has a spicy undertone and can be used both ground and in stick form. Cinnamon dates back thousands of years and is historically known for having medicinal properties including being full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In stick form, cinnamon can be used when cooking dishes like curries and soups. Cinnamon can be used powder for baked goods like oven roasted apples, or sprinkled in coffee or tea for additional sweetness, without extra sugar.
4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
4 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 400°.
Slice off top of apples and scoop out cores, leaving a well.
In a bowl mix brown sugar, cinnamon, cranberries and walnuts until blended.
Stuff each apple with 1/4 of the mixture.
Place apples in a deep baking dish.
Top each with 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp cinnamon.
Fill the bottom of the pan with water (about ¾ cup) and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until apples are tender.
Turmeric is the new popular kid in town, but this vibrant golden spice has been used for all kinds of things, from dye to curries. Turmeric is traditionally found in the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisines, but with a resurgence in awareness of its medicinal properties, it’s being used in fun new ways. Turmeric has high doses of curcumin, which is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In some instances, it may be a natural way to ease joint and muscle pain. This spice has a subtle earthy flavor and has the soft scents of ginger and orange. One of our favorite ways to enjoy this spice is a turmeric latte, also known as golden milk. You can buy golden milk in the store, but we like to make our own.
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup almond milk
Honey to taste
Vanilla extract optional
Add spices to a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
Heat 8 oz. milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture and continue heating milk, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
Pour turmeric milk through a strainer into a cup or mug.
Add honey and vanilla extract to taste.
Store remaining spice mixture in an airtight container away from heat and light.
Ginger adds a delicious spicy kick to teas, Asian dishes, baked goods (yay gingerbread!), and my personal favorite kombucha. It’s spicy, yet sweet, and warms the body from the inside out. Ginger is a great go-to for gastrointestinal discomfort (aka tummy aches), nausea, and has anti-inflammatory properties (are you seeing a trend here?). It is hot, zesty and biting yet sweet and warm. Try this savory recipe inspired by Cooking Light Magazine.
Sautéed Snapper with Curried Greens
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons grated fresh garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 (15.5-oz.) can light coconut milk
3 cups cooked collard greens (we love the greens mix from Trader Joes)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 (6-oz.) red snapper fillets
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high.
Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in curry powder; cook 30 seconds. Stir in sugar and coconut milk; cook until reduced by half, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in greens and juice; reduce heat to medium, and cook 2 minutes.
Divide greens and sauce among 4 shallow bowls. Keep warm.
Season fish with salt and pepper.
Heat pan over medium-high. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan.
Add fish to pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Top each serving of greens with 1 fish fillet. Serve with lime wedges.