Spice Up Your Life!

Author: Kathy Ferguson, Achieve Wellness Member

Starting a new eating plan doesn’t mean just sprouts, spinach and boring foods! Adding spice to some of your favorite foods can bring out new flavors. There might also be some health benefits to spices.  Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions, including respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion and fatigue. Although, we shouldn’t use spices to treat medical conditions, we can still benefit from their healthy properties.picture10

Roasting a whole head of garlic makes for a sweeter more subtle taste.  Place on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.  Seal foil and roast in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool. Cut off top and squeeze out the garlic.  Use as a spread instead of butter.

Ginger has been used for over 2,000 years to help digestion, nausea and stomach upsets.  Peel the ginger with the back of a spoon and grate about a one inch nub. Add to a pitcher of water along with fresh lemon slices or cucumber for a refreshing spa like drink.

Cinnamon may reduce inflammation, have antioxidant effects and fight bacteria. Sprinkle on apples or add a pinch to your morning coffee.

Diets rich in chilies and other “hot” spices such as turmeric can actually improve general health.  Mix some cayenne pepper into your BBQ sauce or pot of chili. Spreading a spoonful of wasabi into guacamole creates a tangy, hot dipping sauce.  Whisk a teaspoon of curry powder into mayonnaise to add some punch to sandwiches.

Have fun with spices, mix some together to create your own blend or use the blends readily available.  I use Montreal steak seasoning on baked salmon and roasted vegetables.  Chinese five spice, a blend of anise, ginger, cinnamon, fennel and black pepper is great on stir fry.  I make my own Cajun seasoning that I use on shrimp and chicken.  Trying new spices on some old favorites might just become one of you new favorites!

 

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