Let your creativity run wild and splurge on using these exquisite flavours in foods, snacks and beverages.
Get your senses to indulge in the experience of other places, new sensations and invigorating health.
1. Allspice is the fruit of a West Indian tree and popular in spice mixes for soups, roasts, marinades and mulled wine. It is also known to aid digestion.
2. Cardamom is a pod containing seeds. Its aroma has a hint of eucalyptus and is sweet, strong and heady. The taste is camphor like, a bit lemony, pleasant and warm and pairs well with sweet and savoury dishes, baked goods and tea-spice mixes. It may protect against heart disease and improve digestion.
3. Cayenne is the fruit of a pepper plant originating in Central and South America. The fiery powder infuses lemon or chocolate drinks, soups, meats, rice, vegetables, pastas and fruit with punch and passion. It is highly beneficial for circulation, digestion, and immune defense.
4. Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a tree with a sweet and woody aroma. Its warm and delicately spicy taste is equally suited to both savoury and sweet dishes, and beverages. Use it with fruit, desserts, soups, casseroles, pies, breads or enjoy it as part of tea or coffee blends. The numerous health benefits linked to cinnamon include blood sugar management, weight loss, vasodilation, and many more.
5. Cloves have a camphor-like warm aroma and a hot, peppery taste. They bring seasonal spirit to fruits, soups, meats, breads, desserts and tea blends. Their health benefits include immune-boosting, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Coriander seeds are harvested from coriander plant (you may know its leaves as cilantro). They have a mild, warm flavour with undertones of orange peel and are used in soups, spice mixes, with sausages, cured meats, game and in breads. Their numerous health benefits include support of bone health, eye health and management of cholesterol.
7. Cumin comes from the delicate cumin plant and belongs to the parsley family. It’s warm, spicy aroma and pungent earthy taste make a great addition to vegetables, soups, dressings, roasts and stews. Health benefits include increased absorption of nutrients from other foods, stimulation of pancreatic enzymes, relieves bloating and gas.
8. Ginger is a bulbous root with warming pungent flavour, adding zing and zest to water, tea, soup, vegetable dishes, smoothies and juices. It is also the defining ingredient in the gingerbread spice mix. Numerous health benefits linked to ginger include supporting digestion, promoting energy flow, alleviation of colds and flu symptoms and nausea.
9. Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen Caribbean tree. The original meaning of its name is „nut which smells like musk“. Its warm and spicy, slightly peppery taste is indispensable for creamy vegetable soups, spinach dishes, pumpkin dishes and eggnog. Health benefits include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
10. Saffron is one of the most precious and legendary spices on the market. It comes as thin threads of red and orange, the harvested stigmas from crocus flowers. The exotic, slightly sweet aroma and delicate, mildly bitter taste are exquisite companions for soups, risottos, pastas, fish dishes and cakes. It promotes heart health, digestive function, vitality and memory function.
11. Turmeric the “Golden Goddess” is a bulbous root, dried and ground into golden powder. Aside from its famous anti-inflammatory health benefits it lends an earthy exotic touch to everything from salads, soups, stews, meats, vegetables, fruit and desserts. It is especially beneficial when prepared as a Golden Milk drink.
12. Vanilla is the edible pod of an orchid variety. The most prized kinds come from Reunion Island and Tahiti. Its sweet, indulgent exotic flavour delights in desserts, sweets, baked goods, fish dishes, spice mixes and drinks. Powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol balancing properties some of the numerous health benefits.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !