Seasonings: Episode 6

I Followed My Heart And It Led Me Into The Fridge

– Author Unknown

Seasonings are essential to your pantry. Your pantry should include, Kosher or sea salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, turmeric, chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, fresh parsley, and fresh basil. Optional items are fresh cilantro, red pepper flakes, rosemary, sage and paprika and dill.

KOSHER SALT

There are some misconceptions about kosher Salt. Kosher foods are only eaten by people who follow Jewish laws, isn’t true. Another common misconception is that, kosher salt leads to hypertension.

There are several health benefits in Kosher salts. Its helps digestion, preserves blood vessels and cells, it doesn’t contain any additive iodine, the grains are coarser and larger, it shortens cooking time, and the vitamin K prevents muscle degeneration.

It’s ideal for drawing out moisture from meat, making it perfect to use during the koshering process. Kosher salt can be used for cooking almost everything.

Cheers!

Sea Salt

Evaporating seawater or saltwater lakes creates sea salt. Sea salt isn’t processed to remove minerals and the granules are large and coarse. Sea salt comes in a variety of colors, including pink, gray and green, which may indicate its source and mineral content.

Sea salt is know for its coarse, crunchy texture and stronger flavor. It is widely used in potato chips and other snacks because of its ALL natural nature.
Some health conscious people choose it because it contains minerals like magnesium.

The difference between it and table salt is the salt content and coarseness.

Cheers!

Black Pepper


Black pepper is derived from the Piperaceae family. It’s considered both a spice and a medicine. Piperine, causes the spiciness. It has a bitter, pungent and hot taste. A pinch of black pepper added to scrambled eggs is heaven. Next to garlic, it is my most favorite flavor enhancer.

Black pepper is known to offer a number of health benefits. It helps promote weight loss, improve digestion, relieve cold and cough, boost metabolism, and treat skin problems.

Try some freshly ground black pepper added to turmeric milk or turmeric tea.

Cheers!

Oregano

Oregano is widely used in Mediterranean cooking. It was originally native to the mountainsides of Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries. You’ll see it in dishes such as pasta sauces, pizza, bread, and even in marinades for chicken and other meats.

Oregano can be used for medicinal purposes as well. It has anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine properties.

Try making  some Oregano tea. You can infuse its healthy properties by soaking the dried leaves and using it as room freshener.

Cheers!

Thyme

Fresh thyme is a woody plant, with tiny leaves that must be stripped from the stem before using, To keep thyme fresh it should be wrapped in a damp paper towel and place it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for longer. Thyme can be dried and stored in airtight jars in the pantry.

Thyme is a good antioxidant. It has antibacterial properties and can help to treat athlete’s foot. It can help to ease all types of cough and stimulate digestion. Other uses are weight loss, and relieving sinus, asthma, and nasal congestion. It is said to reduce the risk of cancer, and heart and liver ailments.

Many people use thyme in baking, grilling, and poaching. It can be added to stocks, and doughs.

Cheers!

Turmeric

Turmeric is made from the ground roots of the plant. Its known for its bright yellow color. Turmeric is made of the ground roots of the plant. Turmeric products may come in the form of capsules, teas, powders, and extracts. It’s so beautiful! It can be used on the skin as a colorant. It gives the skin a lovely golden color.

Ayurvedic medicine, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions such as chronic pain and inflammation.

Ground turmeric is also a major ingredient in curry powder.

Try some Turmeric in milk or tea.

Cheers!

Chili Powder


Chili powder is a red-colored blend of powdered spices.  It contains cayenne pepper for heat, and it has spices such as cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika intended to boost the flavors expected in chili.

The heat level will be deferent depending on the brand of chili powder. Chili Powder can help boost energy production and increase antioxidant defense. Chili Powder can assist in red blood cell formation, improve cognitive functioning, maintain a healthy blood pressure, and support the digestive system.

Chili powder can be used in burgers or of coarse chili.

Cheers!

Cayenne



Cayenne is a shrub that originated in Central and South America and now grows in subtropical and tropical climates. Its hollow fruit grows into long pods that turn red, orange or yellow when they ripen.

It isn’t a blend of powders. It stands alone. Ground cayenne pepper is eight times hotter than chili powder. It will make your blazing hot!

Cayenne pepper helps with digestion, relieves migraine pain, prevents blood clots, relieves joint pain and supports weight loss. It has so many other health benefits, too numerous to list. Cayenne contains vitamin A, E, C, B6 , K, manganese, and potassium.

Fresh cayenne chili peppers can be used to make spicy drinks, sauce, chutney or can even be used for pickling. Try adding it to eggs, pasta or nuts for a spicy healthy kick.

Cheers!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is found in India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Egypt. It can be enjoyed in stick form, as a powder, pre-ground, or even in essential oils.

Cinnamon is good for the heart. “A study suggests if we eat foods that are high in fat, it causes our triglycerides to rise, which raises the risk of heart disease. “”The study was small, but it showed that people who consumed cinnamon along with a fatty meal had a 13-percent increase in blood antioxidant levels and a 30-percent reduction in triglycerides.”

Cinnamon is a spice used in dessert because it’s so delicious! It can be used as a topping for hot drinks like lattes and cappuccinos! I like to use it in desserts, and handmade soaps.

Cheers!

Cumin

Cumin is a major spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It can be used to flavour most meat dishes and is also good with some types of fish.

Whole cumin seeds are often added to lentil and pulse dishes. To bring out the best flavor of the seeds, they are usually toasted in a dry frying pan or with a little butter before adding to other ingredients.

Cumin is known for its digestive properties. It’s a very good source of iron, which is needed to transport oxygen to all the cells within the body. It is said to be a good general tonic, stimulant for the body and good for digestion.

Cheers!

Fresh Parsley


Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. Fresh parsley has a strong flavor that holds it’s own against heavy meats and strong spices.  I add chopped parsley to meat balls and ground chicken dishes.  I sprinkle it on everything, especially seafood.

I usually chop about 1/3 of the bunch and store it in a container in the fridge, so it’s ready to use. If there is anything left, chop it and freeze it.  It still will add great flavor when stirred into a dish.

Parsley possesses anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has an abundant array healthy properties, which help fight illness. Parsley contains vitamin A, C and K.

Are you inspired to pick up a bunch of fresh parsley on your next trip to the market? 

Cheers!

Fresh Basil


Basil is native to India, Asia and Africa, but is cultivated in hot, dry climates. Basil can be added to practically any dish. Use your imagination! Make a homemade spice blend that includes basil and add it to practically everything.

It calms the stomach! A 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help sooth indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness. How about Basil essential oils? A few drops of basil oil can often relieve ear infections. Adding 2 cups of strong Basil Leaf tea to a warm bath can reduce stress and facilitate relaxation.

It’s rich in vitamin and minerals. It contains A, C, K, folate, iron and calcium.

Try something new!

Cheers!

Fresh Cilantro

Cilantro comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum. In the US, the leaves of the plant are referred to as cilantro, Spanish translation. The seeds are referred to as coriander. Cilantro is also commonly referred to as Chinese parsley.

The health benefits are many. It’s known to lowers blood pressure, control blood sugar, act as a sun screen, and relieve stress and anxiety. It also, offers tremendous health benefits because of their high antioxidant capacities.

Cilantro is high in folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Cilantro can be added to salads and green smoothies. I love it in tacos or chili! It also is great with seafood and soups.

Cheers!

Red Pepper Flakes

Crushed red pepper are cultivated all over the world. Flakes are made from hot dried red peppers, normally from crushed cayenne. Used in cooking or as a condiment with various foods including to top pizza.

Make your own! if you have some small red, and dried chile peppers go for it! Some varieties of Chilis are very hot!  Make sure to use whole chiles with the stem removed. Be sure not to remove the seeds or veins.  Place the chiles in a small, clean, coffee mill, and pulse to your liking.

Chili peppers are very high in vitamin C. Vitamin B6, which is important to metabolism. Vitamin K1, which is essential for blood clotting, and Potassium, which is heart healthy.

Store the red pepper flakes in a spice jar or tin.  Pepper flakes retain their potency for a very long time.

Cheers!

Sage


Sage is an herb that has a sweet, yet savory flavor. It’s native to the Mediterranean region.

Sage has antioxidants, which is said to reverse the signs of ageing such as wrinkles, and fine lines. Its an excellent toner for oily Skin and hair loss. It contains vitamin C, which is good which helps maintain healthy skin, blood vessels and bone.

Garden sage will help aid digestion. So be generous and use the herb when cooking. Sage can be used to season foods such a chicken, stews and soups.  

Try some Sage tea it will reduce stress.

Cheers!

Rosemary

Rosemary is a perennial herb and a member of the mint family. It is incredibly fragrant. Its flowers may be white, pink, blue, or purple. This herb is native to the Mediterranean.

Have you ever thought of it as an essential oil? It contains many nutrients, good for hair growth, and memory function. Rosemary is a good source of vitamin A,  vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate. The herb is also a good source of several minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

When you think of rosemary what does it bring to mind? You may think of freshly baked bread? Baking is just one of the uses of rosemary. It is also used in a variety of other dishes, including soups and pasta.

Rosemary oil might be an excellent addition to your pantry and to your essential oils collection.

Cheers!

Paprika

Paprika is widely used in Indian, Spanish, Turkish and Moroccan cuisine. Paprika comes in various colors, ranging from bright red to brown.

It also varies in degrees of spiciness. Red paprika is said to be the mildest, while those that are tan or yellow are often the spiciest. There are different blends, some are of hot and sweet varieties.

Paprika is a good source b6, vitamin E, Vitamin K, riboflavin and niacin.

It works great as a garnish. It can also add color to your dishes.

Cheers!

Dill

Dill is commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Dill works well with potatoes. Hot and cold dishes. It also works well with grains such as barley, quinoa, wheat berries, couscous and bulgur.

Dill comes in dried form as well as fresh. Fresh dill is often added to seafood dishes, yogurt sauces, vinegars, potato salads, fresh-baked breads and soups. It can also be used as a garnish like parsley. In the Middle Eastern and North Africa, dill is commonly used in cuisine .

Dill contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, B12 and vitamin C.

Dill seed is often used in pickles, crackers and breads.

Cheers!