Spring cleaning your spices…

During Spring some of us take a look through the pantry and often skip over the abundant spice cabinet. Overwhelming, perhaps, but it’s worth checking the spices that you rarely use. Ask yourself when was the last time you used it? Take a look at the color. Has it faded? What does it smell like? Is it clumped together? If you answered yes to these questions, the spice could have seen better days.They do lose potency as they age.

Buying spices in bulk may seem like a good idea when you’re walking down the aisle at Costco or Metro but once you get home, how much of that (insert spice name here) do you really need? If you use a spice every day like I use cinnamon, then buying a larger bottle of it makes sense. However, if you are baking or making a certain soup only buy what you really need.

Most spices will keep 2-4 years depending on the type. Ensure that your spices are stored in a cool dark place in a glass jar.

What are the top three spices you can use to help combat inflammation and are a tasty addition to everything from smoothies and desserts to soups & roasted vegetables?

1) Cinnamon/Zimt: This earthy spice provides antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. Cinnamon can help with digestion and can spice up anything from a coffee or tea to curries, soups & stews. Have you tried dusting it on a cooked sweet potato or butternut squash? If not, give it a try!

2) Ginger/Ingwer: Ginger has long been praised as a spice you can use if you are nauseous. The beneficial properties list of this anti-inflammatory spice is long. It can help with digestion, has anti-bacterial properties and helps fight infections. Ginger tea, adding ginger to fermented vegetables, or adding some to your breakfast smoothie are all ways to incorporate this spice into your life.

3) Curcumin/Turmeric (Gelbwurz):  This bright yellow spice is full of antioxidants and fights inflammation at a molecular level in the body. Add it to your cauliflower rice or roasted vegetables with a bit of cooking fat. More on this super spice next month and how I’ve been using it in the kitchen.

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