Spicery Kitchen Blog

A Spice A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

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Written by Chris
Published on 2nd January 2018 at 13:56 • No comments yet, be the first!

**Spicery advisory**Take this information with a pinch of salt  #notaspice.

Herbs and spices have been used for centuries as natural healing remedies. This month's blog helps you incorporate them into your everyday meals!

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds can be a rich source of dietry fiber and might be useful in treating upset stomach. A tasty way to enjoy these benefits is with a simple Caraway Soda Bread!

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 4-6

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 375g plain flour plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g full fat natural yogurt (not Greek yogurt or set yogurt)
  • 100ml milk (any type is fine)
  • 1 Tsp salt

Spices

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C/Gas mark 4
  2. Mix the the flour with the bicarbonate of soda, yogurt, milk, salt and caraway seeds to form a rough dough (don’t worry about kneading)
  3. With floured hands, shape into a round and place on a lightly floured tray
  4. Cut a cross in the top then bake for 40 minutes, or until golden all over and hollow sounding when you tap the bottom

Nutmeg

nutmeg milk

A dash of nutmeg may be able to help with insomnia and high stress levels...try it in some warm milk sweetened with 1 tsp of honey before bedtime as a spicy treat!

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Sesame Seeds

Regularly eating sesame seeds may help lower blood pressure. Try adding 2 tbsps of sesame seeds to any vegetable stir fry for a quick fix!

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Turmeric Tuesday - Turmeric Face Mask

Turmeric has long been used in Indian culture as a staple in beauty treatments. Try a turmeric face mask for bright, glowing skin!

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 1

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • A few drops of milk or yogurt (use water if you have sensitive skin)

Spices

Method

  1. Place turmeric powder in a small mixing bowl
  2. Pour a few drops of milk/yogurt or water to make a thick paste for smooth application
  3. Test a small area on the hand for a few minutes before applying to your face
  4. Apply mask to face in a very, very thin layer using a brush to avoid staining hands. Leave on for no more than 5 minutes or until it begins to tingle (this happens because it's an anti-inflammatory spice!)
  5. Wash off well with soapy water and pat your face dry
NB Any curry aficionado will know that turmeric can stain skin and clothing! Be sure to use an old t-shirt or towel to avoid tinting good clothing. We recommend doing this mask at night time so that any skin stains can be washed off in the morning.

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Fennel Tomato Pasta

Fennel is believed by many to be beneficial for good, strong bones due to the presence of nutrients such as iron and calcium. Try adding Fennel to your meals with a simple Fennel Tomato Pasta.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 2

  • Heat rating: 3/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Small finely chopped onion
  • 2 Cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100ml Water
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • Pasta for 2

Spices

Method

  1. Fry fennel seeds in olive oil for 30 seconds
  2. Add chopped onions, chopped garlic and thinly sliced fresh red chilli and cook for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and beginning to brown
  3. Add chopped tomatoes, 100ml water and 1/2 tsp salt then simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is rich and thick
  4. Cook pasta for 2 people in plenty of boiling salted water then drain and stir into the sauce to coat

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Nutmeg

A dash of nutmeg in your morning coffee could add more to your life than just flavour...nutmeg is said to be able to help with arthritis pain, indigestion and improve cognitive function. Simply add a few gratings of nutmeg to your morning coffee!

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Za'atar

Za'atar is a Middle Eastern mix which usually consists of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. This combination may lead to a whole host of health benefits, like boosting brain power and energy levels and helping you get better sleep.

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 4

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: Contains Sesame

Ingredients

Spices

Method

  1. Mix sesame seeds, thyme, sumac and salt together to make the Za'atar
  2. Serve with pitta bread and a bowl of good olive oil

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Fenugreek Yemeni Hilbeh

Fenugreek, aka Methi, has traditionally been used as a hair potion to prevent early greying and to add shine. There have also been claims on its ability to fight signs of aging skin like wrinkles and fine lines. Enjoy this spice in a Yemeni Helbeh, great with rich tomato stews or with eggs and flatbread for a Yemeni-style breakfast!

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Serves: 4

  • Heat rating: 3/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 50ml Freshly boiled water from the kettle
  • 25g Bunch of coriander - roughly chopped
  • 1 Green Chilli - roughly chopped (seeds removed if you prefer less heat)
  • 1 Clove of garlic - roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A big pinch of salt

Spices

Method

  1. Soak Ground Fenugreek in freshly boiled water from the kettle for 45 minutes
  2. Blend the soaked Fenugreek (including all the soaking liquid) with the coriander, chilli, garlic, juice of the lemon and a big pinch of salt to a frothy green sauce

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Turmeric Tuesday - Turmeric Golden Sauce

For this week's Turmeric Tuesday, we focus on Turmeric 'Golden Sauce'. Used over roasted vegetables or served with falafel, turmeric golden sauce may be the ticket to treating common issues such as heartburn and bloating and it might also help to improve your memory!

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 4

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 60g Tahini
  • 100ml Freshly boiled water from the kettle
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • A pinch of salt

Spices

Method

  1. Whisk or blend the tahini with freshly boiled water, turmeric, the juice of the 1/2 lemon and salt to a smooth sauce.
  2. Serve with roasted vegetables or falafel

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Saffron Tea

Got a case of the winter blues? Saffron, aptly nicknamed the 'sunshine spice' contains mood-boosting properties. Grab a cuppa and shake off your winter gloom with some Saffron tea.

  • Total Time: 5 mintues
  • Serves: 1

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 250ml Boiling water

Spices

Method

  1. Soak Saffron strands in a splash of water for 5 minutes
  2. Top up with boiling water to make a cup of Saffron tea

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Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds

Fennel after meals may be able to help with cases of flatulence, bloating and cramps. It can also help freshen breath! You might want to keep some seeds handy for emergency relief...

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 1

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 1 Tsp demerara sugar

Spices

Method

  1. Lightly toast fennel seeds in a dry pan then mix with demerara sugar
  2. Eat a few pinches after a meal to aid digestion and freshen breath

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Star Anise Broth

According to Chinese medicine, Star Anise can act as a remedy for the flu. And what better way to warm the body and soul than with a Star Anise broth.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: 2

  • Heat rating: 4/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 500ml Beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 Roughly chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 Tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Rice noodles for 2
  • 250g Thinly sliced steak or tofu
  • Fresh coriander, mint, beansprouts and lime wedges to garnish (optional)

Spices

Method

  1. Simmer beef or vegetable stock with star anise, ginger, garlic, sugar and fish sauce in a covered pan for 30 minutes
  2. Soak rice noodles as per the packet instructions, strain and divide between 2 bowls
  3. Strain the broth then (discarding the star anise and ginger etc) add steak or tofu and red chillies
  4. Top the noodles with the broth then add fresh coriander, mint, beansprouts and lime wedges as you prefer

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Cinnamon Tea

cinnamon tea

Once highly prized by ancient Egyptians, cinnamon's sweet but spicy fragrance and flavour may be able to boost your concentration and aid memory!

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Serves: 1

  • Heat rating: 0/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 250ml Freshly boiled water
  • Honey to taste

Spices

Method

  1. Break up cinnamon quill and cover with freshly boiled water.
  2. Leave to infuse for 5 minutes then strain and add honey to taste if you prefer.

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Turmeric Tuesday - Turmeric Noodles

Since this spice boasts a long list of health benefits, we've dedicated Tuesdays to Turmeric. Turmeric is said to have antioxidant properties, which may help slow down the ageing process! Stirred in with noodles is a great way to add this spice to your day.

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Serves: 2

  • Heat rating: 1/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 1 Large thinly sliced onion
  • 2 Cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 200ml Water
  • Precooked noodles for 2
  • 250g Shredded chicken or tofu
  • Choice of coriander, beansprouts and/or peanuts to garnish (optional)

Spices

Method

  1. Fry thinly sliced onion and finely chopped garlic in oil for 10 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.
  2. Add turmeric, salt and water and simmer for 5 minutes then stir in precooked noodles for 2, shredded chicken or tofu and top with your choice of coriander, beansprouts, chilli flakes and peanuts.

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Moroccan Harira with Cumin

Moroccan Harira

Did you know that Cumin contains Calcium, necessary for strong bones and teeth as well as Vitamin A, which helps boost the immune system? Get a taste of these benefits with a bowl of delicious Moroccan Harira!

  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves: 4

  • Heat rating: 3/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 1 L water
  • 1 Finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tin of chickpeas
  • 1 Handful of green lentils
  • 1 Handful of couscous or rice
  • 250g Diced lamb (optional)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 Handful roughly chopped fresh coriander or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Spices

Method

  1. Simmer water with onion, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, green lentils, couscous or rice, diced lamb (optional), ground cumin, chilli powder and salt for 1 hour in a covered pan until the rice and lentils are tender and have thickened the soup.
  2. Stir in roughly chopped fresh coriander or parsley and the juice of 1 lemon to serve.

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Chilli Kale Crisps

Chilli Kale Crisps

Contrary to popular belief, some studies suggest that the spicy sensation from chillies may actually aid in digestion, rather than cause irritation. Either way, these Chilli Kale Crisps are a healthy treat that's difficult to resist!

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 2 

  • Heat rating: 3/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 100g Kale
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • A big pinch of salt

Spices

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
  2. Mix kale with oil, salt and chilli powder or flakes.
  3. Bake for 3 minutes or until beginning to brown and crisp around the edges.
  4. Serve as a snack.

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Ginger Salad Dressing

Ginger has an excellent reputation as an aid for good digestion and as a remedy for an upset stomach. It's even easy to add to salads with a simple Ginger Salad Dressing.

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 4 as a side

  • Heat rating: 2/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 2 Cloves of finely grated garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy or fish sauce
  • 400g Thinly sliced salad veg and herbs of your choice

Spices

  • 1 Tbsp finely grated Ginger

Method

  1. Make the dressing by mixing grated ginger with grated garlic, the juice of 1 lime, a pinch of sugar and soy or fish sauce.
  2. Stir into salad veg and herbs of your choice.

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Hungarian Paprika Lecso

Paprika contains carotenoids and flavonoids which may help protect collagen and therefore prevent wrinkles. Eat your way to younger looking skin with a Hungarian Paprika Lecso!

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 2

  • Heat rating: 1/5
  • Dietary: None

Ingredients

  • 1 Thinly sliced onion
  • 2 Thinly sliced peppers
  • 2 Cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Roughly chopped tomatoes
  • Big pinch of salt

Spices

Method

  1. Fry onion, peppers and garlic for 10 minutes or until soft and sticky.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, paprika and salt then cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the tomatoes have broken down to form a sauce.
  3. Can be served with a hearty bread.

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Turmeric Tuesday - Turmeric Latte

Turmeric has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a healing spice to treat colds or even depression. Today's Turmeric Tuesday features a Turmeric Latte - the perfect way to kick start your day!

  • Total Time:10 minutes
  • Serves: 1

  • Heat rating: 2/5
  • Dietary: Contains dairy

Ingredients

  • 250ml Milk
  • 2tbsp Honey

Spices

Method

  1. Warm the milk with the turmeric, a pinch of cracked black pepper and honey until the milk is just about to boil
  2. Remove from the heat and serve in your favourite mug

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