These are my 10 go to spices for the winter season. I don't want to hurt any spices feelings, after all there is SO much to choose from. This is just a short list, a lot of herbs are still available fresh, but these are the ones I keep on hand.
Where do we start?
Being we are in this Covid time, I had the time to go through my spice jars, and replenish. BTW, I used old coco yogurt jars for my spices, made my own labels and printed them out. This saves me buying jars... except when the yogurt runs out.
Thankfully I can buy in small quantities. But it is the quality I want to talk about. For years when I worked in the commercial kitchen we only used Frontier Natural Coop spices. They are sustainably grown and do their best to keep their spices and herbs free from cross contamination. That's an A PLUS in my book.
Many of these spices are considered warming spices.
Lets count them : 1 winter spice, 2 winter spice...
Bay Leaves: Rich in Vitamin C , Can be used to treat migraines, great in soups and stews, and if you're having a bad day, just light on one of those bad boys up as incense. They're a mood elevator.
Cinnamon : A few years ago Cinnamon was all the rage. People were taking it in ridiculous quantities and the wrong kind as well. Ceylon is the best and healthiest .Known to lower blood sugar, have cardiovascular benefits, this is a must have for desserts , veggies and even soups. Available in powder or stick.
Chili Powder : There is nothing like a good Chili powder. Its a combo of Cumin, garlic powder, and chili peppers, and often salt . The capsicum on the chili pepper fights inflammation, aids in digestive health, good for nasal congestion.
Curry Powder: Now curry powder is a combination of spices, and no one makes a better one than Frontier. Its a combo of Turmeric, coriander, Cumin, ginger and pepper. Anti-inflammatory , good for bones, cancer fighting... the list goes on. Great to start curries with, roasting veggies, in soups and so on.
Garlic Powder : When fresh isn't available, or you are making a sauce this is a great substitute to have on hand. You know all the benefits already. Heart Health, blood pressure, cholesterol...
Ginger: This is my all time favorite, Known for helping the digestion and anti inflammatory qualities Ginger cant be beat. Powder form is great for baking and drinks.
Salts : My favorite salt is Celtic sea salt or Himalayan, I have Black salt as well as smoked salt. Good for muscle function, fluid balance , electrolytes. If you are on a salt free diet like me, the other spices well make up for the salt.
Star Anise: Now here's some real medicine for you. I use this when making Pho. It has two powerful compounds flavonoids and polyphenols among several others . Its used widely in Chinese Medicine and is an antimicrobial, That's why your Pho feels so good! Used sparingly you don't need much. I like using the actual stars.
Turmeric : Another all the rage spice turmeric's active compound Curcumin is actually what everyone's on about. Very bitter to taste, you can find the root in most grocery stores. The dry kind is still quite bitter, The curcumin is activated when used with black pepper. Naturally anti inflammatory, anti cancer, antioxidant and is also used for skin ailments. Its bitter, so you don't need much .
Veggie Pepper : This is a blend specific to Frontier spices. This grainy pepper contains, garlic, red pepper, onion. and celery leaf, all organic. Its awesome on eggs or any veg. It switches up the flavor like no other pepper I know. Crushed red pepper, another favorite ( just cant leave this out) I use in soups, sautéing veggies and sauces.
Bonus 1 : DRIED ELDERBERRIES : I always keep these on hand to make my own elderberry syrup, the absolute best in immune boosting especially this year and during flu season.
Bonus 2 : RAW CACAO POWDER AND NIBS : is a SUPER FOOD ! Super high in antioxidants this cold pressed powder retains living enzymes . High in magnesium, proteins and iron.
Different than commercial baking cocoa powder where all the enzymes are roasted out.. Great for use in baking , smoothies and puddings.
That's it for now, you may have other go to spices and herbs, especially if they are used often in your cuisine.
Every culture has its medicine! From this short list you can make desserts, soups, stews and immune boosting drinks.
For culinary medicine consults, online classes and personalized recipes, contact me via my contact me page
Stay safe and warm !
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