Spices are an integral part of daily cooking – and many of us don’t even realise it. Pepper is a spice and we put it on everything, and vanilla and chillies are also found in many everyday foods. There are hundreds of variants of spices, too many to list, but we’ve got some of our favourites below. Spices have a ton of antioxidant properties, and add heaps of flavour without adding calories or salt, so we are big fans of sneaking them in wherever possible, even in our G’NOSH dips.
Turmeric is actually a root which looks a bit like ginger. Its bright orange colour is what gives curry that trademark hue, and if you’re not careful, it will stain your hands and clothes too! It is packed with anti inflammatory qualities, and one of our favourite turmeric based dishes is a sweet potato soup. Simply add a tablespoon or two into the sweating onions and garlic at the start of cooking, and enjoy some of this spice’s health – giving benefits.
Another G’NOSH favourite, this does wonders for your sweet cravings. We add it to our Black Bean dip for an extra kick of sweetness. Usually found sprinkled over pretzels and sweet pastries, it’s also really good simmered into a ragu before making shepherds pie. We also like cinnamon tea; just steep a few sticks in hot water and drink in the evening for a relaxing, blood-sugar balancing tea.
This is actually a blend of spices, and there are regional variations across India. The basic mix is turmeric, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and cardamom. It’s used in several curry recipes but goes incredibly well with dark chocolate – try a spoonful in your next brownie recipe. Trust us, it’s amazing! If that’s a step too far, mix it with some mild oil and combine with cauliflower before roasting for 40 minutes.
Best bought as seeds, then toasted and ground, cumin adds astringency to many dishes and is an essential component of garam masala. Unlike some other spices, cumin is synonymous with lots of cuisines; Mexican black beans aren’t the same without cumin, and neither are Indian curries, and good old BBQ sauce isn’t as good without a good whack of it. We use it in both our Red Pepper and Black Bean dips, and also love it sprinkled on hummus alongside some punchy olive oil. Try adding to lamb mince before shaping into kebabs, and serve with a garlicky, yoghurt sauce.Comments Off on Well spiced