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5 Spices to Warm You Up this Fall

By on September 23, 2015
Screen Shot 2015 09 23 at 9.31.00 AM 300x336 - 5 Spices to Warm You Up this Fall

The fall is the perfect time of year to bring out the crock pot and simmer all of our favourite recipes full of hearty, in-season vegetables. But did you know there are all kinds of herbs and spices that can be added to almost any dish for a boost of heat? You probably already have a few of these in your kitchen pantry, and they’re all great for not only extra flavour, but extra warmth.

There’s no better time to experiment with new flavours than the season for hot soups and stews. Here are 5 spices to add to your favourite recipes this fall and winter:

Cayenne pepper contains an  anti-inflammatory phytronutrient called capsaicin. Capsaicin is known to contain pain relief properties and provides a good dose of heat when added to your favourite dishes.

Black Pepper
Most of us have a bottle of black pepper sitting somewhere in our kitchen, but did you know it is rich in antioxidants and contains antiseptic properties? Not only does a shake of black pepper give our food a bit of a kick, but it’s also known to promote digestive health by stimulating stomach acid and reducing intestinal gas. Try grinding your own whole peppercorns for the highest nutritive quality and best flavour.

Ginger is one of my favourite additions to all kinds of dishes—from fresh green juices to lemon tea and saucy marinades. Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and has long been used to alleviate gastrointestinal distress, including gas and nausea. Ginger can be bought fresh or in a powder. Try grating fresh ginger for the freshest taste and greatest amount of nutrition and warmth.

Many dishes just aren’t the same without a clove or two of garlic, and it makes an even better addition to your meals during the fall and winter months. Not only is garlic excellent for our cardiovascular system, including lowering blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol, but it contains a sulfur compound called allicin which is highly antibacterial and has a history of being used to ward off infections like colds, flu and other viruses. This is good news for those of us wanting to prevent the seasonal sniffles.

Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices because it packs a bigger punch than just spice— cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and can help balance blood sugar levels. Cinnamon is one of the most popular spices in fall recipes like homemade breads and pies. Try adding some to your morning bowl of oats, or sprinkle in your smoothie for a warmer variation.

Apple Pie Smoothie 
You’ll need:
• 1 apple, washed, with peel
• 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tbsp nutmeg
• 1/2 tbsp ground flax (optional)
• 1 banana
• 1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
• 1/2 hot water

Blend and enjoy! 

Mateljan, G. (2007). The World's Healthiest Foods (1st ed., pp. 265, 702-707). Seattle, Washington

Meghan Livingstone is a holistic nutritionist.  For more tips and inspiration, visit meghanlivingstone.com

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