Our Top 5 Spices – This Week’s List
What is your favorite spice or herb when cooking? Can we guess that it might be oregano! A survey conducted regarding the Swedes’ spice habits shows that oregano is the most eaten spice in Sweden. No shortage of oregano (we love oregano) but we just thought we would highlight five other spices that are also at the top of our list
First and foremost, we can state that Swedes in general are quite bad at seasoning. Not entirely surprising though perhaps? According to the survey conducted by the spice giant Santa Maria, we season on average 26 percent less than we think. A pity because almost all spices are crammed with antioxidants and especially polyphenols (which are strong antioxidants).
In addition, spices play a hugely important role when you start to introduce more plants into your daily meals. Thyme, turmeric and cinnamon can turn an ordinary eggplant into lasagne, a cauliflower into a steak and make a small date taste like cinnamon bun. And speaking of cinnamon, did you know that it has a positive effect on blood sugar! (read more below)
We love ginger. When we started introducing green smoothies into our lives, ginger and lemon were the best trick to make the greenest smoothie taste good. Among our best recipes with ginger you will find our mulled apple cider with cinnamon and ginger, ramen with mushrooms, ginger and miso and our fish tacos with garlic, ginger and coriander.
The yellow pigment found in turmeric, which is mostly also the source of its medicinal properties, is an antioxidant molecule called curcumin. Hundreds of research studies have shown potential health effects of curcuminoids – mainly anti-inflammatory effects and as an effective antioxidant. Unfortunately, curcumin is not very bioavailable, which means that the uptake of curcumin into the cells is low. But there are tricks you can use to make it easier to pick up!
Among other things, you can add fresh black pepper to soups, stews and other dishes. Piperine, a compound in black pepper, increases curcumin absorption. You can also add oil together with the turmeric to increase bioavailability and prevent degradation.
Best recipes to try with turmeric, our oven-roasted carrot hummus with turmeric, the gut flora lentil stew with coriander, turmeric and garlic or try a classic warm golden milk with cinnamon, ginger and turmeric. Currently we are on a craze for roasting cauliflower in the oven with a lot of butter, salt and turmeric. Insanely good!
A day without cinnamon is a lost day. In addition to cinnamon tasting and smelling divinely good, it is endowed with anti-inflammatory properties, reduces blood fats, increases insulin sensitivity and contributes to better cardiovascular health.
The most common cinnamon that you usually find in the store is so-called cassia cinnamon, but if you, like us, eat a lot of cinnamon regularly, it may be a good idea to invest in the cinnamon variety that goes by the name Ceylon cinnamon as cassia cinnamon can be liver toxic in excessive amounts.
We think that cinnamon is the number one treat spice and sprinkle it on everything that comes our way: granola, yogurt, raw food balls, cooking. Try our pink granola,
our semolina porridge with oats, cinnamon and fried apples or our raw cinnamon buns (if you have not tried these yet, get them on your must try list soon!).
Taking the elevator with us is not a good idea. It is not uncommon for us to squeeze in 2-3 raw garlic cloves for both lunch and dinner. A high intake of foods that contain the substance allium (found in garlic, yellow onions and leeks, among other things) has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Researchers in China studied 1,600 people, half of whom had colon scans and were healthy. It turned out that those who ate the most vegetables containing allium had a 79% reduced risk of colon cancer compared to those who ate the least. Another interesting thing was that the more you ate, the better the protection.
In in vitro studies where it has been investigated which vegetables contain the most anti-cancer substances, garlic wins by far. Epidemiological studies have shown that people who eat more garlic (1-2 slices a day) are not only less likely to develop colon cancer, but also stomach cancer.
Unfortunately, too little research is done on food and its impact on our health, and even here we need more research to be able to map all the connections. And regardless, garlic is good in most things – guacamole, lentil soup and hummus – but we have completely lost our judgment when it comes to our breath. For a real garlic trip, we advise you to try our galettes with garlic mushrooms or our gluten-free garlic bread.
Clove is an Indonesian spice that has been used in Asian medicine for thousands of years and deserves to be used for so much more than just poking into oranges during the holiday season. Try putting it in your mortar instead, and then in your smoothie, soup, chutney, coffee or tea.
Because cloves are quite strong flavor wise we usually blend it with other spices such as cinnamon and ginger. It is a star feature of our (soon) world-famous turmeric shot. The recipe for it can be found
here. Can also throw a shout out to this throwback- Witches brew which you can find here.