TAG: Spices

Surprising Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Derived from the bark of Cinnamomum trees in Southeast Asia, cinnamon has historically been used not only as a spice, but also as a medicine. It is often listed among the superfoods – foods that provide significant health benefits – because it is rich in manganese, fiber, calcium, antioxidants, and other beneficial ingredients. Studies of cinnamon’s health effects have yielded mixed results and more research is needed to prove anything conclusively. However, a number of studies have suggested that it may act as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-microbial agent. Cinnamon contains essential oils that can prevent bacterial and fungal growth (including… read more

Home Remedy Secrets

natural-cure-home-remedies

Outside of your medicine cabinet exists a wide variety of natural remedies. The spice cabinet – or any other storage unit harboring herbs and condimental knickknacks is a treasure trove. Delightful as they are sprinkled in soups and cookies, spices and herbs have many talents beyond food embellishment. For thousands of years, they have been used in medicine and their use is still relevant, as many of the same ailments affect our health today. Initially spices and herbs seem different. Spices through their bold pigmentation and alluring scents provoke exotic visions of faraway lands, while herbs contain a certain familiarity that… read more

Tainted Turmeric

Tainted Turmeric

Spices can add flavor to dishes, and many are also sources of essential nutrients and can contain healthful properties. What has recently been discovered, however, is making consumers worldwide question the safety of their foods once again. The latest scare among the food supply lies within powdered spices. Turmeric, thought to be imported from Bangladesh, has just been recalled as it was found to contain high levels of lead. Lead can build up in the body and can onset a myriad of health issues, especially in developing children. Levels that measured as high as 48 parts per million were found… read more

Make Your Own Natural Fragrance

perfume_bottles

More than a pleasant stimulant for the nasal cavities, what permeates from natural perfumes is a superior quality that surpasses the novel romanticism of  a more glamorous era. Certainly, scents are the strongest provocateurs of memories. But they can be better used to define your present self. Rather than clinging to pungent residues in search of a past comfort, let your fragrance carry you forward, allowing that scent to herald loud your arrival before you’ve even stepped foot into a room as its lightly wafting bouquet proceeds you. Natural scents are additionally desirable due to their accessibility, which allows you… read more

Nature’s Repellents – Part 1

ant_closeup

Getting pests out of your home can be difficult. Keeping them out often proves to be even harder. This is especially true for ant infestations, as you may find your house occupied with a militia of them crawling out of every crevice, appearing only to multiply double the rate at which they are vanquished. Commercial repellents exist, but they are often costly, contain hazardous chemicals (harming the ants and yourself), and usually don’t prevent new infestations from taking place – companies do need customers to keep buying more product(s), after all. Focusing on ants, there is a great deal you… read more

Ways to Naturally Season Foods

Ways to Naturally Season Foods

If you want to cut down on preservatives and salt but still prefer seasoned foods there are simple ways to incorporate natural flavorings. Making your own spices at home is cheaper than buying them and uses what would normally be tossed out from groceries that you already have. Taking this concept and turning it into a functional device, Rianne Koens has created a system for making food enhancers at home. A product designer with an environmental eye, she saw the opportunity for naturally flavoring foods often being thrown in the trash after dinner. She uses the example of a fruit… read more

Uses for Fenugreek

Uses for Fenugreek

Fenugreek, a member of the legume family that includes peas, peanuts, lentils, and beans, is among the world’s oldest cultivated plants. Fenugreek seeds are small and yellow-brown in color. They are rich in protein and their flavor is bittersweet. Fenugreek seeds are often used in curries and other spice blends due to their aromatic qualities. Fenugreek can be used in pickles, chutneys, fish and vegetable-based dishes, breads and rolls, dahl, stews, and halva (a dessert). Fenugreek seeds have a strong flavor, so amounts called for in recipes are typically small. Fenugreek seeds are usually toasted lightly before using. However, it’s… read more

Healthy Herbs & Spices

by Robin

These aromatic flavorings can transform a dish but also pack quite a healthy punch. Next time you reach in the medicine cabinet you might want to think twice and open your spice cabinet. These healthy herbs can do the trick without all the nasty side effects. Here are ten of the healthiest herbs and spices. Star anise seed can help with menstrual cramps, upset stomachs, and coughing. The sweet licorice flavored seeds are a good addition to a tea or rice dish. Cilantro is a delicious addition to salsa and other fresh Mexican dishes. Cilantro is rich in vitamin K and… read more

Turmeric: A Super Spice

Turmeric

Turmeric, a yellow spice obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, is commonly used in Indian curries and Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is often listed among the superfoods because it contains a number of health-promoting compounds, including the potent antioxidant curcumin, which is showing potential as a treatment for a broad array of medical problems. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (2011), evidence suggests that turmeric may: Help fight bacterial and viral infections Reduce the risk of certain cancers Treat digestive upsets and illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers Reduce inflammation and by… read more

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine

Mulled wine is a wonderful winter treat. Recipes vary from one culture to the next, but all require mixing wine with spices, fruit, and sugar or honey and serving it hot. If you’d like to try your hand at making mulled wine, be sure to start with a good wine. Many people think it’s alright to use poor quality wine given that it will be cooked, but the finished product won’t be as good. Most mulled wine recipes call for red wine, but a few favor white or a blend of the two. Some also include brandy, though in Scandinavia,… read more