Spices play an important part in making delicious meals. They give our foods distinct flavor and aroma. Did you know that certain winter spices can give your body warmth? Here are just a few that can help steer off that down to the bone chill winter so graciously offers.
Cinnamon – This winter spice is used often for its distinctive taste and smell. Add a cinnamon stick to a hot beverage. Ground cinnamon is a great topping for toast, oatmeal and fruit. Cinnamon also finds it way into baked foods, chili and soup. Cinnamon can be used as a natural sweetener for applesauce. Diabetics can use this winter spice to help reduce blood sugar levels along with triglycerides and cholesterol.
Ginger - Ginger not only warms a cold body, but is also quite healthy. This spice is known for having powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Many use this spice to help with migraine headaches, arthritis and nausea. Ginger can be added to soups, to top vegetables or sprinkled over meats to give them a tangy flavor. It can also give tea a zesty bite.
Cloves - Cloves have a unique taste. They are often used when roasting meats to give the meat a full flavor. Hams are especially tasty when topped with cloves. This spice can be used in teas or baked foods. Cloves are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric - This Indian spice is usually found in powder form. It adds flavor to soups, stews and chili. It can be used when roasting meats and is often found in pasta sauce. Scientific studies have shown that turmeric not only warms the body but can also help in protecting the body against cancer. Turmeric has been used for treating stomach ulcers and relieving free radical stress in people suffering inflammation.
Cardamom – In experimental studies cardamom has been shown to prevent cancer and help in detoxifying the liver. Cardamom is often used in conjunction with cinnamon. Teas, ciders and flavored hot waters are enhanced by cardamom. Cardamom can also be used when flavoring foods with cloves to enhance the flavors and aroma.
Pepper – Just the sound of pepper warms a body. Pepper is a strong spice often used when cooking bland dishes. This spice gives a pungent flavor to almost any food. Adding a little extra pepper instead of salt to your foods can be both a warming and healthy benefit. Pepper is also said to be helpful to those who have asthma.
These are just a few of the winter spices that will help head off that cold winter chill. Add them to any of your favorite foods. The taste and smell are sure to warm the body and comfort the soul.