As the temperature in our external environment begins to dip into the single digits, it is time to turn up the heat in our internal environment! One way of achieving this thermal balance is cooking up simmering hot foods with some of the following warming spices!
Ginger: Ginger contains powerful natural anti-inflammatory substances. Ginger extracts and teas have been used to treat arthritis, vertigo, migraine headaches, and various digestive problems, especially nausea. Ginger is readily available in most supermarkets.
Recipe suggestion: Pear and Ginger Juice! Place two pears and a 2inch cube of ginger in your juicer and enjoy! Not only will the ginger warm your insides, pears help strengthen your lungs and reduce mucus.
This mild Indian spice has been scientifically studied for its protective effects against inflammation and cancer. When combined with black pepper, medicinal uses of turmeric include the healing of stomach ulcers and the relief of oxidative, free radical stress in patients with inflammation. Turmeric powder is readily available in the spice section of most supermarkets.
Recipe Suggestion: See your Healing Foods Recipe Book, which was emailed on Thanksgiving for the Tri-Dosha Dal! (If you did receive your copy, please do not hesitate to contact me!)
Cumin is the most popular spice in Indian cooking. It is used to treat coughs, colds, and illnesses of digestive tract. One teaspoon of limejuice and a pinch of cumin in a glass of orange juice is also a tasty cure for hangovers! Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend drinking a cumin, coriander and fennel tea to help clear up acne.
Cinnamon, Cardamom and Cloves
These spices add flavor and aroma to dishes. Their wonderful flavor and medicinal attributes of anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties makes them popular. Cinnamon also plays an important role in stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Recipe suggestion: Try this easy recipe of Yogi Tea from Yogi Bhajan:
Prep Time: 05 minutes, Cook Time: 03 hours: Total Time: 3 hours, 5 minutes
2 quarts water
15 whole cloves
20 black peppercorns
3 sticks of cinnamon
20 whole cardmon pods (split the pods first)
8 fresh ginger slices (1/4″ thick, no need to peel)
1/2 teaspoon regular or decaf black tea leaves (approximately 1-2 tea bag)
Dairy or soy milk and honey or maple syrup to taste.
Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add cloves and boil one minute. Add cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger. Cover and boil for 30 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for two to three hours. Remove from heat, add black tea, and let cool. Strain and store in the refrigerator. Reheat when you want a cup and add milk and honey to taste.
The nutmeg is used for intestinal problems, especially for diarrhea. In India, nutmeg is believed to increase sexual stamina and has an enduring reputation as an aphrodisiac. It is not only appetizing in sweet foods, but enhances the flavor of meats and green leafy vegetables.
Recipe Suggestion: Saute’ onions and diced apple with collard greens or swiss chard in olive oil or ghee, and then sprinkle a little grated nutmeg on top to enhance all the flavors.
May the warmth in the spices and the love in your heart keep you comforted through the chilly months!