Eat Cinnamon Every Day For Better Health
Cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon toast crunch. Cinnamon apple crisp. These cinnamon-based dishes are not only delicious, but you may be surprised to hear that the cinnamon in them provides a wealth of health benefits, too. There are many health benefits of cinnamon that you may not have known about. After reading the following list, you may begin using cinnamon in your everyday cooking and food preparation more and more.
Cinnamon has antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemical compounds that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals in your body that may cause damage to your cells and lead to degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Cinnamon is chock-full of antioxidants. It even has more than the presumably healthier “superfoods” such as garlic or oregano. Therefore, a steady diet of cinnamon may help bring you to the regular level of antioxidants you need to avoid contracting these terrible diseases.
Cinnamon may prevent heart disease
Another major health benefit of cinnamon and its regular consumption is that it may prevent heart disease. Studies have been conducted that showed people who consumed small samples of cinnamon per day saw a significant decrease in their LDL cholesterol levels, which are known to clog arteries and cause heart disease. In addition, the people who ate cinnamon saw their triglyceride levels go down as well. These two factors combined make it likely that cinnamon consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Cinnamon Can Fight Diabetes
The nutritional community is well aware of cinnamon’s ability to lower blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that taking as little as half a teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower fasting blood sugar levels by up to 30%. It does this through two molecular interactions. First, it blocks several digestive enzymes which slows down the breakdown of carbs into sugar. Second, cinnamon mimics insulin and is able to have your cells take in glucose at a slower and more steady rate.
There are many health benefits of cinnamon that you may not have been aware of. Now that you have learned some major ones, go ahead and find more and more opportunities to eat cinnamon every day!
See our cinnamon varieties here.
What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric, in addition to being a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world, is also a staple ingredient in many supplements, as it has been scientifically proven to help with a multitude of ailments. Turmeric is derived from a chemical, Curcumin, which is a fat-soluble chemical that you can take as a daily vitamin. Turmeric is believed to help ward off dementia, relieve heart problems, and reduce general inflammation in the body. Keep reading to know the health benefits associated with turmeric and what it actually is.
How Do People Usually Ingest It?
Turmeric as a spice can be added to give flavor and an orange tinge to many savory dishes, including omelets or pasta dishes. It may also be steeped in hot water to produce a soothing, antioxidant-rich tea-like drink. The root chemical, Curcumin may be purchased at a regular supplement store, or even at some drug stores. You can take the recommended dosage (a capsule or two) with a full meal, as this chemical is fat-soluble, so just taking it with water will not do much for you.
Where is Turmeric Usually Found?
Those who love their food to be brightly colored and packing a ton of flavor probably know that turmeric is a spice that originated in India. It is a staple of the cuisine in that part of the world, and wild turmeric grows on plantations along the mainland of India and several Indian Ocean islands. It was in Indian medicine that turmeric made its emergence and people began to really learn what it is and its great health benefits. They saw that tea made from steeping the spice resulted in greater health and vitality.
With an Indian restaurant in just about every community, you have every reason to ask “What is turmeric?” Once you realize how it can be used to add color, flavor and a few health benefits to every meal, you will be sure to keep it in your kitchen. Add turmeric to your favorite dishes or brew some tea and see how this antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice can help you.
See our Turmeric here.
So What Really is Rhubarb?
When you mention the word rhubarb, most people think first about the always popular rhubarb pie. While the pie is always amazing, cooking with it can really intensify a meal and satisfy any diner.
When is it used?
Really answering the question of what this ingredient is fairly simple. In addition to being used for food, it was used for medicinal purposes. Most people prefer to cook it with sugar, because of its bitterness. This versatile ingredient is often paired with strawberry because of the sweetness to help balance it out.
What kind of food is it?
Rhubarb resembles celery and is technically a vegetable but legally is designated as a fruit. This was for importing purposes and a New York court made the declaration in the late 1940s.
When can I get rhubarb?
It is normally in season and you can harvest rhubarb from April through June. The earlier you find it the more tender, while later it is more robust. Rhubarb stalks are generally very crisp. The ideal stalk has the leaves still attached and is a dark red color. Dark red makes for a much sweeter taste overall.
What is the best way to cook it?
There are a number of ways to think about when cooking with this “fruit”. This includes stewed, pureed, roasted, and sauteed. There is no need for a great deal of water when cooking it since it has high water content already.
There are a lot of different recipes to look at here MyRecipes.
The next time you are at the grocery store, be sure to consider trying this strange but unique ingredient. Or tell your friend who is ready to bring over a treat exactly what is rhubarb. The sweetness is simply amazing!
For more information on harvesting rhubarb yourself, check out this amazing article from Happy DIY HOME.
DIY Seasoning blends
One of the most popular trends being followed today is the trend toward healthier eating. Most people are trying to avoid unhealthy foods and seasonings that have additives and other harmful ingredients. A better way to accomplish the use of healthy seasonings is by making the blends yourself. You can add a combination of your favorite spice blends together for a do it yourself seasoning that is nutritionally better for the body. Some easy do it yourself seasonings include what you prefer, and like in your food.
Make a list
To start with your do it yourself seasoning blends, shop for your favorite spices. Get enough to make at least five different blends. You can either grow fresh herbs and spices in your garden or purchase them fresh from your favorite market. You can allow them to dry, or use them fresh. They will eventually dry on their own. Decide what spices will blend well together, and give you the flavor that you want.
Set up mixing materials
Get out the bowls, measuring spoons, and the containers to be used. Mason jars in various sizes are ideal for this project. This is something that the kids can help with. It will give them an opportunity to use their math skills. Once the spices have been blended, put them into containers and label. The herbs will sometimes clump together once they sit for a while, but just give them a stir and they are ready to use again.
Use the seasoning blends on favorite foods
A cajun blend will go great on chicken, pork, salmon, and burgers. Make up a chili blend to enhance soups, ground beef, and sloppy Joe’s. For grilling steaks, chicken, fish, and pork, a jerk blend is a perfect mixture. A tasty Mediterranean blend gives a zesty flavor to roasted vegetables, chicken, and seafood. These do it yourself seasoning blends puts you in control of your sodium intake and saves money on the expensive store-bought seasonings. Enjoy eating healthier and eliminating many of the harmful preservatives that are used in packaged seasonings by experiencing do it yourself blends.
You can purchase some seasonings here.
How To Make Your Own Dried Herbs And Spices
There are several benefits to making your own spices and herbs, and you need to learn how to do that if you want to save what you grow in your garden. The process of drying the herbs and spices is easier than you might think, and they also taste better than what you can get in a store. Here are a few tips, as found on Farmer’s Almanac, for making your own spices and herbs.
Harvest The Herbs When They Are Small
You don’t want overgrown spices and herbs for drying, but you will want to pick them when they are small and fresh. The best time of day for cutting the herbs is once the dew is gone in the morning hours. Harvest them when they are healthiest so that they will taste great when dried.
Give The Herbs A Gentle Wash
You might be able to get away without washing some of the herbs if they don’t have the appearance of dirt on them, but those that look a bit dirty need to be gently washed. You can use a bowl of water to put them in and give them a gentle bath in it. Don’t touch them too much or you might bruise them.
Dry And Store The Herbs
Once the herbs are washed, you will need to find a good place for them to dry. You will want to keep the dried herbs out of the sun because the sunshine can ruin their flavor, and you will want to hang them upside down so they will dry quickly. Allow the air to dry them, and then get airtight containers to put them away. To store the herbs, remove the leaves from the dried plants and save them. Keep the containers in a cool part of your house to keep them fresh.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind For Dried Herbs
- Harvest them at an optimal time before they freeze.
- Make sure they are fully dried before you store them away.
- Store them away from moisture and sunshine.
See more about our herbs and spices here.
Transform your leftovers using spices
They say that fresh is best, but often, leftovers taste better the next day. Many, for example, think Thanksgiving Day turkey is great, but leftovers such as turkey sandwiches, perhaps with a little mayo and cranberry sauce, could sustain many for a week.
One way to really make those leftovers “zing” is by adding spices to them. Here are a few examples:
In India, they have a technique called “tadka,” which involves tempering spices by briefly heating spices in either oil or clarified butter in order to release the aroma of the spice.
Indian women who want to revive leftovers swear by taking a few cumin seeds, heating them along with a little onion in either clarified butter (ghee) or oil. Once the tadka is prepared, it is then mixed with yesterday’s dish, and you have a whole new and inviting meal.
Malaysian Fried Noodles
Have you ever cooked too much pasta and don’t have any spaghetti sauce to freshen it up for a meal. Most likely, since pasta is relatively cheap it went into the garbage, or maybe into your compost in the garden. But consider this recipe for Malaysian style fried noodles.
You add dried cloves, onions, ketchup, fish sauce, and sugar, (I personally like to add some white pepper as well,) add some pork or prawns, together with yesterday’s pasta along with some tomato and other vegetables, then heat it in a hot skillet with oil for a couple of minutes.
Spice-up leftover pizza
One thing that generally doesn’t taste better is yesterday’s leftover pizza. However, that’s because you don’t get creative with it. A popular Chicago pizza chain has these ideas: add mozzarella cheese, onion, pepper flakes, minced garlic, oregano, and melted butter together with some egg, and milk. Pour it over the leftover pizza and bake for 45 minutes.
Whether you ordered Chinese, Thai, or Indian, chances are you got too much rice and have two choices, throw it away or revive it. Throwing it away is so wasteful, so consider reviving it by frying it, then add onions, scallions, garlic, or ginger; chopped fresh or frozen and if you prefer some additional spices like cumin. Mix in a little hamburger meat and you’ve got something 10 times better than Hamburger Helper.
Look at our spices here.
What Spices go well with Eggs?
The egg is a versatile type of food. Although commonly associated with breakfast the egg can also make great brunch, lunch and dinner dishes. In fact, there are a variety of egg dishes that can be prepared, and one of the key elements to these dishes is the spices. So, what sort of fresh spices work well when creating an egg dish? Turns out the sky is the limit in fact, any kind of spice can be used with an egg dish. Here are some examples of some fresh spices that can be used and suggestions on the egg dish they could be incorporated in.
It might interest some to know that there are several different varieties of basil to choose from. Basil is a spice that is quite versatile when using in egg dishes. In fact, be it fresh basil or the kind bought in bottle basil can be used in anything from simple scrambled eggs to a gourmet quiche.
Unlike basil, this one needs to be used in moderation. Why, because tarragon is a very poignant spice that a little can go a long way. Just a dash of Tarragon can enhance most egg dishes, but it is especially excellent when making eggs benedict, a dash of tarragon in the hollandaise sauce that tops the dish adds a delicious finishing touch.
A spice many could mistake for chili powder, but it isn’t as spicy. Given the fact that it’s a subtle type of spice makes it versatile to add to most egg dishes to complement them beautifully.
For those who want an extra added kick, there is the spicy chili powder. When wanting to create egg dishes such as a frittata or even Huevos Rancheros. But like Tarragon a little can go a long way especially if you aren’t looking for too much heat that could overpower the egg dish.
Paprika is widely associated with deviled eggs. In fact, it is a key ingredient in this appetizer type dish.
These are just some prime examples of the type of spices you can use in eggs. The best advice to any cook, experiment. Make an egg dish uniquely your own, spice things up, you aren’t limited to just salt and pepper.
Check out our spices here.
Best Carne Asada recipe with Cumin!
Carne asada includes a few different spices and some other clean ingredients. This recipe is an altered version of a recipe that was created by a well-known chef. However, it has been simplified to a version where it is best to replicate at home.
The best recipe for carne asada always includes cumin. It also includes marinated flank steaks or skirt steaks that are grilled to perfection. It is best to grill the meat after letting it sit and marinate in your choice of spices. That will make it packed full of authentic Mexican flavors. It is all in the marinade, make sure to marinate your choice of steak in a delicious mixture of flavors including cumin. When marinating your steak, it is best to refrigerate it for at least two hours before cooking. You want to create a delicious piece of meat that you can put in a burrito, on a taco, on a salad, or just eat it plain. You want to make sure that your steak can hold its own and be able to satisfy your taste buds with the delicious flavors.
As previously mentioned, the best type of steak to use when cooking carne asada is a delicious skirt steak or a flank steak. Both of these types of steaks are well-trimmed and of similar size, so they can be utilized interchangeably. Just keep in mind that flank steak is the lean version full of intense flavors while a skirt steak is more stringy and fibrous but also full of intense flavors. Both flank steaks and skirt steaks are ideally cooked at a rare or medium-rare amount in order to prevent them from becoming chewy and too tough to bite into. Also, be sure to cut your choice of steak against the grain, this will make it easier to bite into and to chew.
A few simple ingredients in the marinade: Olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. That is it! Make sure you let it sit covered in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, then grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Enjoy!
Learn more about our spices here.
What is Cumin Used For?
Cumin is a spice that has been used for many centuries. Cultures that are known to use cumin as a staple in their foods are Mexican, North African, Indian, and the Mediterranean. The spice is the perfect ingredient when you want to add warmth and earthiness to a variety of dishes. The spice really stands out from other spices because of the flavor it adds, even though it has a peppery aroma, it does not taste like pepper. Cooking with cumin will definitely make your food more flavorful even if you are not a very experienced cook.
Some Background Information On The Spice
The spice currently dates back 4,000 years and was being used by the Egyptians during the Bible times. If you are unfamiliar with the spice you may ask yourself, what does cumin go with? The spice goes excellent with meats, vegetables, stews, and soups. This particular spice breaches all cultural barriers and can be used to warm and spice any food. Here in the United States, this spice is in the top 10 when it comes to being purchased by consumers. Cumin comes as whole dried seeds or as a ground powder.
Cumin is not just used for cooking purposes but it is also used for cosmetic purposes, for medical purposes, and some say even as an aphrodisiac. The seeds of the spice are used in some cultures to make a tea that helps to soothe an upset stomach. It is also recently thought of to help with weight loss. When used as an aphrodisiac, it is said to strengthen a romantic relationship. Most of the bigger spice growing companies like to grow this spice in an area where no pesticides are used and the sun, temperature, and soil are just right. The spice is harvested by hand, sun-dried, and screened very carefully to remove stems and twigs. This is how the spice companies ensure that the spice delivers the purest and the most flavor to food all over the world. It is rare to find such a spice that delivers such awesome flavor and warms up the food so uniquely.
Check out our cumin here.
Cooking with spices is something that most people do on a daily basis, but cooking with holiday spices usually happens only a few times a year. Which spices are reserved for this special time?
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Chai Spice
- Gingerbread spice
These are just some examples of what spices can be used around the holidays.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin Pie Spice can be used for many different things. It can be used for the obvious pumpkin pie, can be added to coffee, used in a pancake batter, used to make muffins, and much more. It is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg which makes it give you that warm and cozy feeling when you smell it.
Chai is a spice is a combination of ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, black pepper, and anise to create the perfect blend of warm spices. It can be used to make hot drinks and baking. Baking with holiday spice blends such as this one will make you feel warm all Winter long.
Gingerbread is one of the most famous beloved holiday cookies. It is a combination of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. This warm and lovely mixture creates the flavor of the holidays. Use gingerbread spice in cookies, breads, and cakes. Cooking with spices, especially gingerbread, is a sure-fire way to make you feel in the mood for the holidays.
Baking with holiday spice blends is so much more than just cooking with spices. It turns your holiday cooking into warm memories for years to come. That is why baking with your favorite herbs and spices is a special occasion that is reserved for the holidays. Need some holiday recipes? Find some here!
Read more about herbs and spices here!