Spice Up Your Life!

Spices are a great way to enhance flavour in your food. I recently visited New York City and had the opportunity to go to the Chelsea Market. I was so thrilled to come across this amazing spice store in the market. I mean…. only in NYC would there be a store completely dedicated to spices!! Heaven really is a place on earth. This is a photo I took walking through the Spice store…. seriously could these spices be any more photogenic?!!

Spices NYC

Here are a four of my favourite spices and some of their nutritional benefits:

Ginger: Contains Gingerol, which is a relative of capsaicin found in chili peppers. This gives ginger it’s bite of spicy and may help boost your metabolism. Ginger in the past was used to treat many different gastrointestinal discomforts by soothing the digestive tract and aids in de-bloating your stomach. Ginger also plays a role in preventing motion sickness and nausea. Additionally, it may have a role as an anti-inflammatory. — Ginger is great to add to your stir frys and can even be added to smoothies.

Tumeric: Tumeric works as an antioxidant as it increases levels of GSH (glutathione). GSH is very important to liver function and keeping the body at equilibrium. Additionally, this antioxidant plays a role in wound healing and also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is well known to boost satiety (feelings of fullness) and mimic sweetness. Cinnamon also boasts high antioxidant activity therefore, may have a role in preventing different illnesses (e.g. certain cancers). — Try sprinkling cinnamon on apples, in oatmeal, and add it to baked good recipes.

Cayenne: Cayenne pepper is known for its heat production therefore, plays a great role in boosting metabolism. Cayenne is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects on the body, Vitamin A content, and preventing congestion/mucus build up in the body. Additionally, cayenne’s heat producing effects help to stimulate the release of buffering juices from the stomach lining to aid in the prevention of ulcer formation.

Blueberry Bliss Oven Baked Oatmeal

Blueberry Bliss Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients (serves 2):
3/4 cup oats
1 cup skim milk (or almond milk/milk of choice)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup crushed pecans
1/2 banana, sliced

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Mix oats, skim milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and frozen blueberries together in an oven-safe casserole dish.
3. Top with crushed pecans and banana.
4. Bake in oven for ~25-30 minutes until oats have absorbed milk/oatmeal consistency achieved.

Spicy Cauliflower Bites

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Ingredients:

1/2 large head of cauliflower
3 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp lime juice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. Put olive oil in a bowl with a lid and add cauliflower. Put the lid on and shake to coat the cauliflower.

3. Add seasonings/rest of ingredients.

4. Put on baking sheet lined with tin foil.

5. Bake at 400F for ~25 minutes, until browning.

6. Enjoy! We dipped our bites in dijon mustard and I also tried dipping it in plain greek yogurt (my favourite) to help tame the firey bite — was delicious!

Chicken Veggie Soup

chickenvegsoup

Ingredients:

1 carton Campbell’s chicken broth

Equal carton of water

6 uncooked chicken thighs (with skin and bones)

1 whole red onion and 1 whole yellow onion, outer skin peeled off

2 leeks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiled, simmer for 1 hour until chicken thighs are fully cooked and white.

3. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken thighs onto a plate.

4. Remove the skin and the bones from the chicken and set aside the chicken.

5. With an immersion hand blender carefully blend the soup mixture on the stove. (**watch for splattering of hot contents**)

6. Once blended, add the chicken pieces back into the mixture.

7. Optional: add in one more sliced leek, carrot, and celery if you like chunks in your soup.

8. Sprinkle seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, parsley and italian seasoning).

9. Gently cook for another 20 minutes until vegetables are fork tender.

10. YUMMM ENJOY 🙂