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The Scoop on Fall Spices

Posted by Terra's Kitchen on Wed, Oct 18, '17

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When it comes to fall spices, pumpkin spice has risen in popularity to become an autumn staple. The launch of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at our favorite coffee shops signals the arrival of fall. You don’t have to stick with only pumpkin spice to get a taste of fall though. Fall spices are not only delicious additions to all kinds of recipes, they have amazing health benefits as well. Here are some easy ways to enhance your fall recipes with spices.

Nutmeg

If you’re looking for a natural way to elevate your mood, look no further than nutmeg! It is made from shelled, dried seeds from the plant Myristica fragrans and has also been shown to help soothe digestive issues. You can add fresh nutmeg to recipes by cracking open the shells and grating it with a microplane or you can use powdered nutmeg.  Nutmeg is known as a sweet spice which makes it a logical addition to baking, oatmeal, smoothies and more.

Recipe: Apple Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:
1 cup of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 Ripe Banana
¼ cup of Rolled Oats
1 tbsp of Raw Almonds
¼ tsp Cinnamon
pinch of Nutmeg
Brown sugar for added sweetness (optional)
Water for desired thickness

What to do:
Place all contents into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth consistency.

 

Cinnamon

Cinnamon comes is a spice that comes from the inner bark of tree branches from the Cinnamomum species. This popular spice has been used to regulate blood sugar and is known for its anti-diabetic effects. It works by lowering your fasting blood glucose which helps to avoid blood sugar spikes. Even smelling this spice can increase brain activity so it's a great add to your morning coffee. Cinnamon is a delicious addition to everything from fall baking, to smoothies, to oatmeal, and even your morning coffee.

Recipe: Sweet and Vicious Hot Chocolate

serves 4

What you need:
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons grated piloncillo (unrefined Mexican sugar found in the ethnic section of the grocery store/can substitute brown sugar)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼-1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
5 ounces (130 g) high-quality extra dark chocolate (over 70%), chopped
2 pinches of flake sea salt

What to do:
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, piloncillo, cinnamon and pepper until warmed through and the sugar has dissolved.
2. Whisk in the chocolate and cook, whisking constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is steaming hot and beginning to thicken (about 3 minutes).

To Serve: Serve warm. Divide chocolate between 4 cups and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over each.

Pro Tip: No chipotle chili powder? Cut a jalapeno in half and add both halves to the warm milk to steep for 15 minutes. Strain and add chocolate.

 

Ginger

Ginger root that can be enjoyed fresh, powdered and even as a juice. Like cinnamon, Ginger is a great addition to your fall baking recipes like these Ginger Oatmeal Cookies from blogger Rachl Mansfield. It has been shown to ease digestion and reduce inflammation. If you are experiencing nausea, ginger can help soothe your stomach.

Of all the ways to use ginger, we love using it to add a unique twist to recipes like our Vietnamese Bahn Mi Bowl and our Asian Turkey Burgers with Sesame Slaw. When the weather starts to turn though, we like to use ginger in soups, especially ones that can be made in the slow-cooker like this Gingered Carrot Soup from our meal kit menu.

 Recipe: Slow-Cooker Gingered Carrot Soup

Serves 3

What you need:

Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
Kosher Salt or Flake Sea Salt
Olive Oil

Carrots
Cilantro
Ginger
Goat Cheese
Minced Garlic
Pepitas
Sliced Yellow Onion
Vegetable Stock

What to do:

  1. Prepare Soup in Slow Cooker: Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, stock, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW setting 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Puree Soup: Puree the soup, in batches, in a blender or food processor until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare Toppings: Crumble goat cheese and chop cilantro.

    To Serve: Divide soup among serving bowls. Top with goat cheese, cilantro, and pepitas.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric has gained popularity in recent years as a potent ingredient with many health benefits. It is most commonly used in curries, but is also a great addition to juices, soups and even turmeric lattes. Curcumin, the main substance in turmeric gives this spice its signature bright yellow color. Turmeric can help fight inflammation and pain by decreasing the C-reactive protein.

You can find turmeric on our meal kit menu in our Indian Cauliflower, Kale and Potato Stew, Curried Chicken Salad Flatbreads and Curry Turkey Burgers with Mango Chutney. Or add it to your latte with this Turmeric Chai Almond Milk from blogger Katie from Twist of Lemons.