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Top 5 Fall Spices

With each new season, comes a variety of familiar scents and meals. The reason for this is due largely to spices. They are just small ingredients to include in your meals but have such an impact on the meal itself, as well as the overall feel for the season. Any one spice can bring you back to a specific time in your life, spark a holiday memory, or even give you that warm “homey” feeling. Fall consists of multiple flavors but below are the most commonly used.

 

  • Ginger

Originally found in Asia, ginger is used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. When it comes to medicinal purposes, ginger offers many health benefits. Throat and nose congestion, joint pain, nausea, gas, cramps and dizziness are just a few of the health issues that ginger assist in treating. Ginger can also be included into many recipes. It can be added to chicken dishes, stir-fry’s, soups, vegetable side dishes, cookies, and cakes.

Need a quick and easy way to introduce ginger into your diet? Include slices of it in your tea if you’re not feeling well and let soak. Add some lemon or honey to it for some extra flavor. Another suggestion? Grate some ginger root and include it into a juice along with carrots, apples and lemon juice.  It’s yummy, on-the-go, AND healthy. A win-win! Here’s a soothing Ginger Root Tea with Lemon and Mint recipe to sip on throughout the day. 

 

  • Cinnamon

Produced in Sri Lanka, cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices. In addition to being used for cooking and baking, cinnamon also has some health benefits. It consists of manganese, fiber, calcium and antioxidants, all of which help the body in some way. Cinnamon helps control blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels, reduces pain linked to arthritis, qualifies as an anti-microbial food, increases alertness, memory and cognitive development, and assists in weight management.

On top of these benefits, cinnamon is also a delicious ingredient that can be used in recipes. You can include them in recipes for cookies, cakes, breads, and pies. Sprinkling cinnamon on slices of apple and peanut butter is another way to use the spice. Sprinkle some in your coffee for some extra flavor, or even some French toast and pancakes for breakfast. Make a batch of Cinnamon Muffins to grab-and-go for breakfast during the week. 

  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin pie spice is probably the most popular spice to use once the fall season begins. If the anticipation of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is any indication of its popularity, then you’ll know just how much people crave and look forward to this time of year. Pumpkin spice is actually a spice that derives from multiple other spices. Allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger all contribute to fall’s unofficial taste.

While it doesn’t have many health benefits, it is a great addition to include in recipes to spice things up (pun intended). The most common use of pumpkin pie spice is most obviously pumpkin pie. But there are also other uses for this spice, as well. You can include it in pumpkin bread, cookies, and cakes. Including it in your coffee and homemade lattes is another use! Here’s a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Spice Granola; eat it plain or add it to yogurt, cereal or oatmeal for extra flavor. 

  • Nutmeg

Found in Indonesia, nutmeg is not only an ingredient that adds warmth to a dish but also offers some health benefits. Nutmeg contains minerals such as manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, and antioxidants. It assists in treating bad breath, clearing up skin (mix ground nutmeg with honey to create a paste and use to wash your face), aids sleep, offers indigestion relief and pain relief (apply nutmeg oil to affected areas), and helps keep the brain sharp.

Want to start including nutmeg in your diet to reap these health benefits? You can include it in cake, cookies, bread and pie recipes. Next time you want to bake, try Brown Sugar Maple Nutmeg Cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth. Looking for a healthier alternative? Butternut squash soup! It’s a healthy dish that you can make a big serving of, freeze, and eat throughout the week for lunch or dinner. 

 

  • Turmeric

Native in Southeast India, turmeric is used primarily in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, giving curry its distinctive yellow color and flavor.  It is also used for medicinal purposes. One of the main ingredients in turmeric is curcumin. This ingredient helps to boost your immune system, helps maintain a healthy digestive system, lowers and maintains cholesterol, promotes healthy blood and liver functions, and supports healthy bones and joints. In addition to those benefits turmeric also helps cleanse and nourish your skin, supports memory function and promotes heart health.

To add turmeric to your diet, you can include the spice in your tea, a kale salad, or a chickpea curry dish, among other dishes. If you’re feeling adventurous and have the time, try a classic Indian dish! Feel a cold coming on? Include some turmeric in your fruit and vegetable juice or smoothie, like this Mango and Turmeric Vitamin C Smoothie, to help boost your immune system to fight that cold. 

Categories: Blog, Fall
Posted at December 6, 2016 - 9:26 AM  |  Comments Off on Top 5 Fall Spices

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