Spice Up Your Food

December 4, 2014

10404210_10204785147620131_6278998220247373730_n… and I don’t necessarily mean with hot chilies, though in small quantities, that’s always nice!

Spices are excellent for your health. They can be”warming” and are believed to help fight all sorts of illnesses from common colds to more serious cancers, diabetes and heart disease. So while many people might stick to salt and pepper, when spices are added to food, as is the tradition in many Asian food cultures, you might just find that it makes your meals so delicious that a little will go a long way, skipping seconds, which is key in maintaining a healthy weight.

Many studies show that the more blend your food, the more likely you are to keep eating looking for more interesting flavors until you find them. When you introduce spices, adding complex layers of flavor to your meals, you approach food in a different way. Perhaps you eat more slowly, savoring every bite, truly engaging your senses. And let’s face it, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that introducing a good amount of plant-based food to your diet, can only do you good. So don’t feel like you have to study herbal medicine before adding herbs and spices to your meal. Just do and switch them up. Your complexion will improve because your body will slowly but surely get rid of toxins. Anything worth its weight in gold takes time.

Every day, I spice up my food (and also add lots of fresh herbs). It’s common sense. Herbal medicine in both Asian cultures and other ancient (Greek and Roman, for instance) traditions always used herbs to help detox and general heal the body. In order for herbs and spices to have an effect on the body, it’s important to include them in daily meals in various combinations. I switch them up often to get various nutrients that are necessary to maintain proper health. Our bodies go through a lot. We live in an environment that is less than perfect. Getting sick, especially in crowded cities, is easy. I encourage you to practice prevention by eating lots of plant based foods, incorporated herbs and spices.

Here is an easy method for making a fragrant oil condiment you can drizzle over any number of vegetarian, seafood and meat dishes. Enjoy! … don’t know what to give for Christmas, how about a nice fragrant oil?

FRAGRANT COCONUT OIL

Feel free to create your own spiced oil. If you want to add cinnamon, orange peel, ginger and or star anise, do so. Have fun with this.

(Makes 1 cup; 1 teaspoon serving size)

1 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons onion seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
7 green cardamom pods
3 black cardamom pods
7 curry leaves
3 cassia leaves
2 dried red chilies

In a small pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil and toast the spices until they pop (but do not burn them), about 1 minute. Remove from heat, let cool and transfer to a heatproof glass jar.

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