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Spices

Spices play an important part in making delicious meals. They give our foods distinct flavor and aroma. These are just a few of the spices that you can use to season food in many unique and yummy ways. Add them to any of your favorite foods. The taste and smell are sure to warm the body and comfort the soul.

  • Cinnamon - This winter spice is used often for its distinctive taste and smell. Add a cinnamon stick to a hot beverage. Ground cinnamon is a great topping for toast, oatmeal and fruit. Cinnamon also finds it way into baked foods, chili and soup. Cinnamon can be used as a natural sweetener for applesauce. Diabetics can use this winter spice to help reduce blood sugar levels along with triglycerides and cholesterol.
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  • Ginger - Ginger not only warms a cold body, but is also quite healthy. This spice is known for having powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Many use this spice to help with migraine headaches, arthritis and nausea. Ginger can be added to soups, to top vegetables or sprinkled over meats to give them a tangy flavor. It can also give tea a zesty bite.
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  • Cloves - Cloves have a unique taste. They are often used when roasting meats to give the meat a full flavor. Hams are especially tasty when topped with cloves. This spice can be used in teas or baked foods. Cloves are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
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  • Turmeric - This Indian spice is usually found in powder form. It adds flavor to soups, stews and chili. It can be used when roasting meats and is often found in pasta sauce. Scientific studies have shown that turmeric not only warms the body but can also help in protecting the body against cancer. Turmeric has been used for treating stomach ulcers and relieving free radical stress in people suffering inflammation.
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  • Cardamom - In experimental studies cardamom has been shown to prevent cancer and help in detoxifying the liver. Cardamom is often used in conjunction with cinnamon. Teas, ciders and flavored hot waters are enhanced by cardamom. Cardamom can also be used when flavoring foods with cloves to enhance the flavors and aroma.
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  • Pepper - Just the sound of pepper warms a body. Pepper is a strong spice often used when cooking bland dishes. This spice gives a pungent flavor to almost any food. Adding a little extra pepper instead of salt to your foods can be both a warming and healthy benefit. Pepper is also said to be helpful to those who have asthma.
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  • Crushed Mint – Mint is a very romantic spice. It is the Romeo of spices and is sensuous on savory dishes, such as lamb and vegetables, while also a welcome deviation on deserts and fruits. The versatility of mint goes beyond food and adds a touch of class to almost any drink, including teas and other adult beverages. Studies show that mint also helps to produce stomach acid, thus aiding in digestion, which is a great thing if you like to eat. Another known fact about mint is that it repels rodents.
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  • Bay Leaves – While these delightful leaves are commonly found in kitchens worldwide, they are hardly ever used except for beans, gumbo and the occasional turkey on Thanksgiving Day. This spice is rich in vitamin A and C and was once used to crown Roman Gladiators – reason enough. Next time, try bay leaves in your soup, casserole or roast, the longer the cook time, the more flavor will be pulled from the leaf. Just make sure to remove the leaf before eating, otherwise you will get a shock of strong, woodsy flavor when you bite down.
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  • Mustard Seed – Just like the common condiments, these little balls are bursting with a spicy and noticible flavor. Coming in a variety of colors and flavors, it will do good to try them all. Grinding up the seeds adds a beautiful color and taste while cooking rice. Using whole seeds while oil is warming, allows the seeds to pop open, releasing their sharp flavor to permeate the oil. Ground mustard seeds also go well on meats such as chicken and lamb; add a little mustard seed and brown sugar to your breading mixture and you have an extremely tasty and crunchy crust when baked.
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  • Herbs De Provence – Herbs De Provence are, essentially, the Swiss Army Knife of the spice rack. This one combo-punch packs all of the common spices, such as basil, marjoram, thyme, sage, savory and rosemary. This mixture gives a full and robust flavor to any meat, including Venison, Bison and other strong meats. It is also quite tasty on anything grilled. A little HDP on your skewers ties everything together and makes the meal memorable.
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  • Pumpkin Spice – Pumpkin Spice is mostly used during the holiday season, which makes it a dual spice, used for both baking and cooking. Pumpkin spice is phenomenal in pancakes and waffles to add that “wow, this is amazing” factor that hits you in the back of the throat. It can also be used in slow cooker recipes such as pot roast or chili.

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