Jan 12, 2012
The Ten Best Spices for Healthy Cooking
For an easy and guilt-free way to add flavor to any recipe, use food spices. Even the smallest amount of the top spice of your choice can transform a dish from blah to ta-da! Let this spice list show you how to use the best spices to add tons of flavor without adding calories.
Crisp, slightly spicy and unbelievably versatile, it is no small wonder that black pepper is the most common spice in the world. Black pepper is great way to add a touch of heat and a bright aroma to just about any sort of savory application, from eggs and salads to rice and beef. To get the most flavor out of black pepper, freshly grind whole peppercorns using a pepper mill.
Cinnamon is one of the best spices around because of its surprising versatility. One of the more potent of the essential spices, only a little cinnamon is needed to bring its trademark dense and rich flavor to a dish. Classically associated in the list of spices used in dessert, cinnamon is a great addition to savory rice and Indian dishes.
Another popular food spice, cumin has a rich smoky flavor that works well in a variety of dishes, particularly Mexican and Indian recipes. Cumin is one of the best spices for cooking because it can be added to a wide variety of recipes.
Coriander is one of the most unique spices in that, when this seed is planted, it becomes the herb cilantro. However, considering coriander brings a bright, warm, almost citrus flavor to a dish, the seed tastes nothing like the herb. Coriander works best in a recipe as a contrast to the heavier smokey flavor of cumin or as a compliment to orange and lemon flavors.
Extremely aromatic and slightly sweet, cloves are the top spice that contributes to the distinctive smell of Indian food. Cloves, whether whole or crushed, have a strong flavor and are best used in small amounts. Sprinkle a pinch of crushed cloves in your coffee or tea to add a bright chai flavor.
Spices have been brought to our kitchens from all over the world throughout history, and are used by all different kinds of people to make food taste better. You are an immigrant and have brought your own traditional spices to your new life in the US. If you have run out of a certain spice, you can order it online as well.
For more spice information, look at this comprehensive encyclopedia of spices.
Jan 12, 2012
Spices such as cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric were known, and used for commerce, in the Eastern World well into antiquity.These spices found their way into the Middle East before the beginning of the Common Era, where the true sources of these spices was withheld by the traders, and associated with fantastic tales. The Egyptians had traded in the Red Sea, importing spices from the “Land of Punt” and from Arabia. Luxury goods traded along the Incense Route included Indian spices, ebony, silk and fine textiles. The spice trade was associated with overland routes early on but maritime routes proved to be the factor which helped the trade grow. The Ptolemaic dynasty had developed trade with India using the Red Sea ports.
With the establishment of Roman Egypt, the Romans further developed the already existing trade. The Roman-Indian routes were dependent upon techniques developed by the maritime trading power, Kingdom of Axum (ca 5th century BC–AD 11th century) which had pioneered the Red Sea route before the 1st century. When they encountered Rome (circa 30 BC– 10 AD) they shared with Roman merchants knowledge of riding the seasonal monsoons of the Arabian Sea, keeping a cordial relationship with one another until the mid-7th century.
As early as 80 BC, Alexandria became the dominant trading center for Indian spices entering the Greco-Roman world. Indian ships sailed to Egypt. The thriving maritime routes of Southern Asia were not under the control of a single power, but through various systems eastern spices were brought to the major spice trading ports of India such as Barbaricum, Barygaza, Muziris, Korkai, Kaveripattinam, and Arikamedu.
According to The Cambridge History of Africa (1975):
“The trade with Arabia and India in incense and spices became increasingly important, and Greeks for the first time began to trade directly with India. The discovery, or rediscovery, of the sea-route to India is attributed to a certain Eudoxos, who was sent out for this purpose towards the end of the reign of Ptolemy Euergetes II (died 116 BC). Eudoxos made two voyages to India, and subsequently, having quarrelled with his Ptolemaic employers, perished in an unsuccessful attempt to open up an alternative sea route to India, free of Ptolemaic control, by sailing around Africa. The establishment of direct contacts between Egypt and India was probably made possible by a weakening of Arab power at this period, for the Sabaean kingdom of South-western Arabia collapsed and was replaced by Himyarite Kingdom around 115 BC. Imports into Egypt of cinnamon and other eastern spices, such as pepper, increased substantially, though the Indian Ocean trade remained for the moment on quite a small scale, no more than twenty Egyptian ships venturing outside the Red Sea each year.
Jun 1, 2013
Herbs and Spices for a Healthy Dog
It is amazing how well we can look and care for humans, but often neglects to take proper care of our best friends, our dogs! Humans add healthy spices and herbs not only for the flavor, but very often for the treatment of ailments and health benefits they contain. There are in fact many popular spices that are very good for dogs and adding healthy spices to your dog’s diet is very beneficial.
A healthy immune system is what all dogs deserve and a healthy diet supports just that. Herbs and spices do not only have a benefit to the health of dogs, but many of the herbs and spices are actually liked by dogs. Some of the healthiest herbs and spices for dogs include the following:
Aloe Vera, which are full of vitamin A, C, E, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, folate and amino acids. It acts as an anti-oxidant, anti –allergy, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. A daily dose for dogs should be ½ tablespoon for a lb. dog, 1 tablespoon for 8 lbs. dogs and 2 tablespoons for large dogs over 30 lbs.
Basil is rich in oils, electrolytes, phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins and you can add it fresh or dry to food.
Caraway Seeds are rich in anti-oxidants, minerals, vital vitamins and dietary fibre and have warming properties.
Cinnamon sprinkled over a dogs food has many good properties and removes Alfa toxins present in dog food and fight bad breath and keeps teeth clean.
Flax Seeds are rich in fatty acids and omega 3, nutrients, anti-oxidants and pass toxins out of a dog’s body. Dosage for dogs are ½ tablespoon for 4 lb dogs, 1 tablespoon for 10 – 25 lb dogs and 1 heaped tablespoon for dogs over 30 lbs.
Fennel Seeds are rich in anti-oxidants, dietary fibre, vitamins and protect dogs against disease and infection. It is great for the urinary tract in dogs and absorption of food, helping with digestion and keeping a dog’s teeth clean.
May 15, 2013
Research proves that spices are not only tasty and adding lovely flavouring to our food, but they can aid in staying healthy. Spices can be used every day with every meal and there is no limitation on amounts as healthy spices has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral compounds and rich in natural antioxidants. Regular intake of spices will aid in immunity boosting, lowering of blood sugars, circulation, and digestion, fight free radicals and reduce inflammation.
Following is examples of some popular spices which you are welcome to use every day:
Fennel is great as a digestive aid as well a strong antioxidant and you can chew it raw or braise it with meat. Garlic contains antimicrobial compounds and research shows it can aid against colorectal and gastrointestinal cancer. Roasted garlic is great on toasted bread and sautéed in many food dishes. Thyme with its minty flavour has immune-enhancing properties and especially good for colds and flu. It is rich in antispasmodic and antibacterial properties and also a great antioxidant. Thyme is often used to flavour soups and stews, but in a salad dressing it also works very well.
Ginger is well-known for its circulation and anti-inflammatory properties and its warming properties. It is high in potassium and works well for upset stomachs. Add ginger to deserts, salads, soups, marinades, curries and stir-fries. Cinnamon is a great source of calcium, iron and magnesium. It will reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels and may help in lowering blood sugar levels. Deserts, cereals, yoghurt, fruit and sweet potatoes are some products that go very well with cinnamon. Cilantro may counter indigestion and remove toxic metals and revitalize a body. Salsa, chicken, fish, Chinese soups, marinades goes well with this spice. Peppermint is a known stomach soother and rich in vitamin A and C. be careful though as too much peppermint can cause heartburn. Great in sorbet, salads, and tea.