By Fit3 Head Coach Tina Van Horn
The cool autumn air has me in the mood to spend a little more time in the kitchen, which makes my family really happy! They are getting bored with our summer dinner rotation of chicken breast, grilled burgers, sandwiches and eggs. Now that soccer season is done, we even got to sit together at the dinner table just last night. The aroma of roasted Italian garlic potatoes is still lingering in my kitchen this morning. Good thing we have leftovers!
I’m not terribly adventurous in the kitchen, but you wouldn’t know it by the inventory of spices in the cupboard. Even though I have a pretty good variety of seasonings, there are a few staples that I buy in bulk and that I rely on for about 80% of my recipes. Spices add great flavor to your food, mix up your taste buds, but also have health benefits.
My Top 3 Spices:
- Cinnamon: I add a dash to anything sweet: oatmeal, yogurt, Reliv shakes, pancakes, sweet potatoes and fruit. But don’t be afraid to add a little cinnamon to your meat such as pork loin, chicken breast or even meatballs. One of the many health benefits of this multipurpose spice is that it helps regulate blood sugar. Throw a teaspoon of cinnamon in your Reliv shake with ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar – Hello Snickerdoodle shake!
- Cumin: Something about the aroma of cumin makes my mouth water. Cultures all over the world incorporate cumin into their cuisine, and it’s often mixed with other spices for curry and taco seasoning. Try adding it to any of your favorite savory recipes like chili, stews, meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. This multitasker has been used by ancient cultures for centuries to improve digestive health.
- Italian Seasoning: This staple is a combination of spices (basil, oregano, marjoram, parsley and thyme). When a recipe calls for one of the individual spices, it’s easier to grab the big container of Italian Seasoning than digging around the cabinet for each individual spice. Stir some into plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for a protein-packed veggie dip. Sprinkle it on a baked potato or eggs for an instant flavor boost. This blend also perfectly complements any tomato-based soup or recipe and it really enhances the flavor of beef. The antioxidant benefits of this blend may help explain why our Italian friends are so healthy!
There are many health benefits hiding in the spice rack, so go ahead and try some new flavors!