TASTY HEALTHY HOLIDAY SPICES
Welcome everyone to another WHAT’S ON THE #MENU MONDAY. It’s December and, of course, if you’re like me your Holiday cooking and baking has already begun. Now, I’m not the most talented person in the kitchen. But, using the right spices can have a very positive effect on your culinary efforts 😊
Also, as a survivor of three different cancers, I’m always looking for spices that not only taste great but also are good for my health. Fortunately, there are many spices that fit this bill. So, from pies to sides here are some of my favorite holiday flavorings.
5 SUPER SPICES FOR HEALTHY HOLIDAY BAKING:
1) GINGER. This kitchen basic is loaded with calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium. Ginger contains vitamins C, B and E and wonderful essential oils. It contains protein and fiber and has great antioxidant properties that have been used to treat certain cancers, including those of the colon and ovaries. Ginger is a natural pain-killer used for rheumatoid arthritis, headaches and muscular discomfort. It’s also a proven digestive aid, which relieves nausea and bloating. And, when mixed with tea ginger is an effective remedy for heartburn.
2) PEPPERMINT. This is not only one of the most popular flavor treats of the season, but it’s one of the healthiest as well. It can reduce the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), destroy bacteria and viruses and provide relief from coughs and congestion. It appears there also may be a link between peppermint and a reduction in the growth of cancer cells due to the phytonutrients found in peppermint oil. When used topically, this oil is useful for treating rashes, poison oak or ivy and hives. And, in any form peppermint can relieve bloating and gas while easing indigestion. No winter holiday season would be complete without peppermint.
3) SAFFRON. This spice comes to us from the stamen of a crocus flower. And, because it’s harvested by hand it’s expensive. So, it’s fortunate that we just need a little bit to gain significant health benefits. Saffron contains manganese, potassium, vitamins C and B6 as well as magnesium and potassium. This beautiful golden-orange spice helps metabolize carbohydrates, regulate blood sugar and helps our bodies absorb calcium to form strong tissues and bones. It’s rich in iron, which purifies our blood and contains potassium, which helps prevent painful muscle cramps. Moreover, saffron contains crocin, a powerful carotenoid with antioxidant properties that protect us from free radical damage. So, add a bit of saffron color to your holiday feast this season and enjoy its healthy benefits.
4) CINNAMON. A spice that goes hand in hand with the holidays, cinnamon is loaded with pungent flavor and tons of healthy minerals and vitamins, including calcium, riboflavin, iron, vitamin C and all the complex B vitamins. Cinnamon is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory spice that can treat arthritis, prevent ulcers and fight urinary tract infections. It also contains beta carotene and carotenoids, which help our bodies produce vitamin A and has antioxidant properties that have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in leukemia and lymphoma patients. Moreover, the wonderful smell not only pleases our senses but can boost memory and cognitive function as well. Its wonderful festive flavor is just plain good in everything from beverages like tea, coffee and soup to desserts like candy, cakes and pies!
5) NUTMEG. Last but not least we have nutmeg. This spice is rich in essential oils that have anti-depressant and anti-fungal properties It’s loaded with minerals, including calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and copper – all good for red blood cell production and the maintenance of proper blood pressure and heart rate. Nutmeg also is great for promoting good digestion and its antioxidants help protect us from colds and infections while strengthening our immune system. As a natural sleep aid, nutmeg also can ensure a restful night’s sleep after the most hectic and busiest of holidays.
And, there we have 5 great spices that will add aroma, flavor, color AND wonderful health benefits to any holiday dish. May you enjoy the Season and all it has to offer with those you hold dear. After all, it’s all about Family, Friends, Fantastic Food and Festivities!
Thanks again for joining me everyone. Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .