Interested in spicing up your health?

Healthy Herbs, Garlic, and Ginger Root on a Tray

Last week I shared the not so good things about conventional spices and some things to be aware of when purchasing spices and blends from the store or better yet buy handcrafted blends from a trusted source. This week I’d like to dive into some herbs and spices that are beneficial. Interested in spicing up your health?

Let’s look at some of my favorites. We will also explore how this benefits you and some fun ways in which to use them.

Cayenne Pepper and the heat factor in chilies is brought on by capsaicin, a substance that makes peppers hot. Highly therapeutic, the substance helps relieve aches and soreness. It’s even an active ingredient in some over-the-counter pain relieving creams. Other medical benefits include improved circulation, heart health and helping fight prostate cancer and ulcers. It may lower the risk of skin and colon cancers; studies show it also helps people eat fewer calories. Try hot pepper on pizza or in pasta adds a spicy kick to foods like vegetables, tuna and turkey.

Fennel dates to the times of the Ancient Greeks. Fennel is high in calcium, which is essential for the healthy growth of bones and teeth and rich in niacin, which helps to turn food into energy. Fennel is also high in vitamin C, which helps to promote a strong immune system and is an excellent source of dietary fiber and iron, which help to keep your metabolism and digestive tract running smoothly. Fennel is also a natural appetite suppressant and can also help detoxify and exfoliate the skin. This peppery plant can be served raw or cooked, but the highest nutritional value comes from consuming fennel leaves raw in salads. It can also be steamed with other greens or used in stir fry and fish recipes.

Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tropical evergreen tree and has one of the highest antioxidant values of any spice. The spice has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar and blood triglyceride levels, alleviate nausea and increase sensitivity to insulin as an aid in fat burning. It’s also a good source of manganese, iron and calcium. Cinnamon also kills bacteria, so the next time you get a cut, you can sprinkle the spice on the wound. Just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon daily lowers blood sugar, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides in people with type 2 diabetes. While cinnamon is an incredibly healthy and nutritious spice, the most common uses are coffee, cookies, muffins and desserts. But there are healthier ways to reap the benefits of this magical spice: pour it over oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or cottage cheese, stir it into peanut butter or protein shakes and sprinkle it on sweet potatoes or carrots.

Ginger in its whole form is a tree root. This underground stem is excellent for treating upset stomachs, gas and bloating, sore throats and colds in addition to other conditions, such as arthritis and motion sickness. Ginger can stop nausea and may also relieve heartburn and bloating. This spice can help lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and generally reduce your risk of heart disease. A spicy herb that is used in both sweet and savory dishes, ginger can be sliced, grated, sugared or eaten like candy. Ginger is staple in many baked goods and Asian dishes and can also be consumed as a tea, which can help ease an upset stomach. Add it to your diet by dipping a whole-grain roll in olive oil instead of butter. Then add a sprinkle of sage and black pepper. Try adding a few slices of fresh ginger to stir-fries or salad dressings. It’s a favorite of mine fermented or added to kombucha.

Turmeric contains an active component called curcumin, which may stop cancer from spreading and help prevent type 2 diabetes. Many claim that this bright orange-yellow spice provides pain relief equal or better to over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen. Turmeric is also being investigated for its potential benefits for those with Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. An incredibly powerful antioxidant, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties while helping to digest fats quickly. The spice can be added in pinches to a variety of foods including meats and salads, making it easy to consume. Curries and sauces are also great bases for turmeric.

Oregano has antiviral, antibacterial, anticancer, antioxidant and antibiotic properties. Its oil and leaves are used medicinally in treating cough, fever, congestion, body-ache and other illnesses. Use it as a seasoning in stews, pizzas and tomato-based sauces. Whenever possible, opt for fresh oregano leaves, which can enhance the flavor of salads and soups. Fabulous base for many great Italian seasoning blends and dressing mixes.

Basil A popular herb used to season sauces, soups, salads and pasta dishes, basil is known to have exceptionally powerful antioxidant properties that can protect the body from premature aging, common skin issues and some types of cancer. The herb contains plant pigments that shield your cell structures from oxygen and radiation damage and can be applied to wounds to help prevent bacterial infections. Basil is an easy addition to any diet. Toss a few basil leaves into your favorite dish for a fresh burst of flavor or use whole leaves and tomato slices to make a flavorful salad. It’s also often used as the foundation of a great pesto, which I love on pizza.

Nutmeg contains antibacterial compounds that may help fight listeria, E. coli, and salmonella, per research. Try nutmeg in soups or chicken dishes or on sweet potatoes.

Cumin is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that may help stop tumor growth. Try cumin in tacos, or use it as a rub on meats or in chili and is excellent with black beans.

Peppermint is a great source of vitamin C and A and can help soothe indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Here’s how you can add it to your diet: Puree 2 tablespoons fresh mint with 1/2 cup yogurt or ricotta cheese. Serve with berries. This beautiful scent is an excellent essential oil used for helping those who suffer from headaches and migraines.

Garlic destroys cancer cells and may disrupt the metabolism of tumor cells, says Karen Collins, RD, nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research. “Studies suggest that one or two cloves weekly provide cancer-protective benefits.” Let garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes after chopping and before cooking so the active form of the protective phytochemicals develops. Sauté fresh garlic over low heat and mix with pasta, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese.

As you can see, there are many wonderful benefits, other than the pure pleasure of our taste buds with these chosen herbs and spices.

Do you have a favorite herb, spice or remedy that others could benefit from? If so, please share in the comments below and let’s help each other.

To your health,

Kellie

Holistic Wellness Mentor

Some of the sources were from FITNESS magazine and Men’s Health.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding

Strawberry rhubarb quinoa pudding

Strawberry-Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Think of quinoa pudding as a delicious whole-grain cousin of tapioca pudding. This healthy quinoa pudding recipe is flavored with tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries and topped with sweetened, creamy yogurt for a delicious,
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hour
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hour
Strawberry-Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Think of quinoa pudding as a delicious whole-grain cousin of tapioca pudding. This healthy quinoa pudding recipe is flavored with tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries and topped with sweetened, creamy yogurt for a delicious,
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hour
Servings
6 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
25 minutes 1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Combine 2 cups water in a medium saucepan with rhubarb, strawberries, quinoa, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir into the quinoa mixture, return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  2. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and lemon zest. Whisk cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup water in a small bowl.
  3. Remove from heat. Divide the pudding among 6 bowls. Refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
  4. Just before serving, combine yogurt, vanilla and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl. Top each serving with a generous dollop of the vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries, if desired.
Recipe Notes

TIPS & NOTES

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare pudding (Steps 1-2), cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Make the topping (Step 3) just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of www.eatingwell.com

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Rhubarb Dumplings

Rhubarb Dumplings

Rhubarb Dumplings
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
18-20 servings
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings
18-20 servings
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Rhubarb Dumplings
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
18-20 servings
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Servings
18-20 servings
Cook Time
35-40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare your biscuits, roll out to about 1/2" thick and cut into 3" rounds or if you'd like larger dumplings, use a 4" cutter.
  3. Place several pieces of rhubarb in the center of each piece of dough and fold over, place the pinched side down into a greased 9x13" pan.
  4. In a small saucepan, add the remaining ingredients, except the cinnamon and cook for about 5 minutes to melt the butter and thicken the sauce just slightly.
  5. Pour the sauce over the dumplings.
  6. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve warm. You may like to add milk or ice cream. Enjoy
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Maple-Roasted Pears

Maple-Roasted-Pears

Maple-Roasted Pears
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Maple-Roasted Pears
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When it froths, whisk in the maple syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Remove from the heat and place the pears cut side down in the pan. Spoon a bit of the sauce over the pears and bake for 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Serve warm, drizzled with the pan juices.
  4. Recipe courtesy of The Nourished Kitchen - photo courtesy of Kitchen Stewardship
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Grilled Pears with Honey-Cinnamon Crème Fraiche Recipe

Grilled-Pears

Grilled Pears with Honey-Cinnamon Crème Fraiche Recipe
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 minutes 1-4 hours
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 minutes 1-4 hours
Grilled Pears with Honey-Cinnamon Crème Fraiche Recipe
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 minutes 1-4 hours
Servings
4 servings
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 minutes 1-4 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, cream, honey, and cinnamon. Cover and let stand for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours until it thickens.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
  3. Place the pear halves cut-side down on the grill. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once, until the pears are tender and blistered.
  4. To serve, place 2 pear halves in each bowl and spoon the crème fraiche on top. Serve Grilled Pears with Honey-Cinnamon Crème Fraiche warm.
  5. Recipe and photo courtesy of Mother Earth News
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Basic Black Chai

Cup of tea

Basic Black Chai
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Cheers to Your Health As I mentioned earlier, chai tea is one of my favorite. It think it’s one of those comforting, spicy blends that just calms and soothes and I just enjoy it. There are many varieties on the market, but if you’d love to have a blend that’s put together by your very ow
Servings
1 serving
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 minutes 2-3 minutes
Servings
1 serving
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 minutes 2-3 minutes
Basic Black Chai
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Cheers to Your Health As I mentioned earlier, chai tea is one of my favorite. It think it’s one of those comforting, spicy blends that just calms and soothes and I just enjoy it. There are many varieties on the market, but if you’d love to have a blend that’s put together by your very ow
Servings
1 serving
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 minutes 2-3 minutes
Servings
1 serving
Cook Time Passive Time
2-3 minutes 2-3 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Units:
Instructions
  1. To make the tea, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add cinnamon, cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 2 minutes.
  2. Return pan to heat, bring to a boil, adding tea, spices and ¼ to ½ cup milk and 1-2 tablespoons honey. Cover and remove from heat, steeping for 3 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Enjoy.
  4. If you use raw milk and raw honey and don’t want to destroy the beneficial enzymes, slightly warm the milk and honey together (no more than 100 degrees) and add to your cooled spice blend. Let steep together a few minutes.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Elderberry Syrup – Immune Boosting

Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup – Immune Boosting
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Elderberry syrup is a proven remedy for preventing and recovering from the flu, colds, excessive mucus, sore throats, and contains large amounts of antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin C. Serving size 1 tablespoon daily and if sickness strikes, 1 teaspoon every 4 hours.
Servings
1 quart
Servings
1 quart
Elderberry Syrup – Immune Boosting
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Elderberry syrup is a proven remedy for preventing and recovering from the flu, colds, excessive mucus, sore throats, and contains large amounts of antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin C. Serving size 1 tablespoon daily and if sickness strikes, 1 teaspoon every 4 hours.
Servings
1 quart
Servings
1 quart
Ingredients
Servings: quart
Units:
Instructions
  1. Add the berries, water, cloves, ginger and cinnamon stick to a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling, reduce the berry mixture to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, remove from the heat. Using a potato masher, mash the berries (still in the now juice mixture) to remove any extra juices.
  4. Smash and think of the savings in the pot.
  5. Strain the berries from the juice. I use a cheesecloth and small mesh sieve over a bowl. Push the berries in the strainer down with the back of a wooden spoon to remove any extra juice.
  6. Stir in the honey. The berry mixture should still be warm, not hot, and just slightly warm.
  7. Keep in the fridge. Take 1 tablespoon daily by spoon or mix it in a smoothie.
  8. Recipe and photo courtesy of www.livesimply.me
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Apple Cider Kombucha

Kombucha

Apple Cider Kombucha
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Passive Time
3-7 days
Passive Time
3-7 days
Apple Cider Kombucha
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Passive Time
3-7 days
Passive Time
3-7 days
Ingredients
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. Place 1st fermented brew into a 1/2 gallon jar. Add chopped apple, cinnamon stick, cloves and raw honey.
  2. Let ferment for 5-7 days. Strain off apples, cinnamon stick. cloves and put into your bottles of choice and refrigerate.
  3. Yummy!
  4. If you'd like to enjoy warm, gently warm, no hotter than 100 degrees so as not to destroy the enzymes and good probiotics.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe