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Spice it up for a great flavor!

7 Aug

As a normal part of aging we lose our sense of taste. We then add salt to our dishes so that they taste better. One way to enhance the flavor of foods without adding more salt is by using spices. Spices come in many varieties and can boost the level of tastiness of any dish! Anyone, young or old, can add spices to boring and bland food to make it delicious.

Not only do spices provide flavor, they also provide some surprising health benefits:

  • According to several scientific studies, cinnamon is a tasty spice that contains great amounts of antioxidants.
  • Thymoquinone, the most abundant component of cumin seeds, is known to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
  • Allspice, which is derived from the Pimenta dioica tree, possesses some antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, anticancer, and antitumorigenic properties.

Try these spices and more in moderate amounts, but on a consistent basis, to reap the amazing benefits!    spicesA bottle of spice can last quite a while, depending on the expiration date. They retain their flavor longer if they are kept in a cool and dry place, typically in a cupboard that is far from the heat of the stove.  The spices can be stored in mini jars or spice racks that can be found in almost any store. Some spices are mixed together for your convenience, such as Italian seasoning, which can be added to pastas and breads. Spices and mixed spice blends are important to have in every kitchen so that we can be creative and make new dishes!

Now in this time of technology, recipes can be found anywhere on the internet. Cookbooks from bookstores or the library have endless possibilities, too. Many of these recipes use at least one kind of spice, whether it be ground black pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, or others. Salt is a very common ingredient, but it is not a ‘spice’— salt is a mineral!

Recipes from friends and family are great, too, but you can add your own twist by adding different spices. Experiment and figure out what tastes best! Here is a chicken fruit salad recipe using curry, one of my favorite spices: Chicken-fruit salad, you will need:

  • Two cups diced, cooked turkey or chicken
  • Two apples, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • Three Tbs. vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • ¾ tsp. curry powder
  • 1 cup drained pineapple chunks

Wash hands and assemble clean equipment. Toss all ingredients together. Chill. Make 6 servings. Nutrient Analysis, per serving: 187 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, cholesterol 37 mg., 2 grams of fiber, sodium 246 mg.

To read more about spices you may visit:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92774/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4227268/

https://www.fda.gov/iceci/compliancemanuals/compliancepolicyguidancemanual/ucm074468.htm

https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2003/8-22-2003/herbsnspices.html

Contributors: Maleeha Rahim and Ines Beltran

 

 

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