Contributed by Trusha Patel, Founder of Spice Sanctuary Inc. www.spicesanctuary.com
Trusha’s Must Have 5 Spices!
SPECIAL PROMOTION: FROM NOW UNTIL OCTOBER 31ST, 2014, YOU CAN GET 15% OFF THE 5 SPICES MENTIONED IN THIS BLOG: True Cinnamon, Turmeric, Red Chili Ground, Nigella Seeds and either Indian Super Spice Blend or Moroccan Harmony Spice Blend when you use the code: WSS167 at checkout on our online store at www.store.spicesanctuary.com
Why is it that we never forget to add salt and/or pepper to every meal but feel that any other spices are best saved for specific recipes? Perhaps we think its like opening a bottle of wine in the evenings (which we wouldn’t think twice about) but opening that bottle of bubbly must warrant a special occasion?
Well, fear no more, as Canada’s Spice Queen, I am here to show you that it really can be easy to use all (yes I mean all!) the spices in your pantry everyday in ways that will transform the way you eat, cook and live!
Before I share some of my secret tips, is your spice cupboard ready for the makeover it deserves? Not all spices are created equal so do treat yourself and your food to the best quality you can find and you’ll notice a little goes a long way. I personally recommend a combination of whole spices, pre ground ones and some unique flavourful blends.
Remember, the Spice Queen’s rule of thumb: whole spices infuse flavour at the beginning of a dish; ground spices impart flavour during or towards the end of the cooking process and blends enhance flavour during cooking. Balancing your spices and flavours in a dish also means you should have a combination of hot, pungent, sweet and mild spices to hand.
Ok, now I am ready to share my tips on just a few of the spices I believe you should be using more of!
1) Cayenne (hot)
• Add a pinch to lemon water and drink first thing in the morning to get your metabolism going.
• I always sprinkle a little on tomatoes whether I am using them in salads, sandwiches or sauces.
• Yogurt – I know it sounds crazy but think of cayenne as your hotter alternative to pepper. A little salt, cayenne and cucumber in yogurt and you have yourself a versatile dip and cooling accompaniment!
2) Nigella Seeds (pungent)
• Sometimes known as kalonji or black cumin seeds, these are perfect add in with onions as you sauté them for any soup, curry or stir fry.
• Mix the seeds with olive oil, Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar and a touch of fresh garlic for a beautifully textured salad dressing.
• Again, make this the third spice you use after salt and pepper when roasting root vegetables.
3) Turmeric (mild)
• Since we’re so fond of using black pepper, turmeric is an excellent pairing for black pepper for medicinal benefits so always combine the two whenever you can.
• I use this in pasta sauces, smoothies and curries.
• You can gently mix it with melted butter and toss it into any steamed greens or cabbage or even rice and quinoa to liven it up!
4) True Cinnamon (sweet)
• True Cinnamon is sweeter and better for you so use it on any breakfast dish like oatmeal, smoothies, pancakes and also add to your evening tea, coffee or hot cocoa!
• It goes wonderfully with chickpeas and root vegetables so a great addition to soups, curries and stews.
•Sprinkle onto ice-cream, fruit salads or even mix into your nut butters or homemade preserves!
5) Indian Super Spice Blend (pungent)
• I’m using this signature Spice Sanctuary one but with any blend that you love whether it is Moroccan, Mexican or Mediterranean – it’s the same principle.
• Mix in with scrambled eggs or roasted veggies or make a quick BBQ rub with a little oil and brush onto your protein of choice.
• Use as a garnish to meat or seafood based soups and rice dishes and salads too!
See, it really is that easy and did you notice, none of my tips needed a recipe?!