Experiment with these ancient spices used for generations to zing up breakfasts all over the world. It will be an unexpected delight.
If there’s anything I can do to avoid using salt in my cooking, I’ll do it. No question about that. Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, it’s the first item on my daily agenda. I love experimenting with new ways of preparing the same meal. It makes it more exciting. It’s like innovation in a pot. Besides, my personality won’t allow for repetition, therefore forcing me to create something new each time. My latest project is cooking with different spices. Spices I’ve discovered from all over the world for an optimum level of flavor. I have to admit, to my surprise I’ve been most successful.
Most underestimate the power of spice when cooking their favorite meals. There’s a whole world beyond just seasoning your foods with only salt and pepper. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not recommending to completely eliminate salt from your diet. A little salt is always required no matter what you prepare, but use it wisely. Did you know that according to the American Heart Association, an average person should only consume approximately 1500 milligrams of sodium per day in order to maintain optimal heart health? “That level is associated with a significant reduction in blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Having spent a small part of my childhood living in Israel, I’ve had the pleasure of trying some of their spices. I have grown to love them and I still use them practically daily. Visiting the market in Jerusalem, I was able to find shops dedicated to only spices and the aroma passing by was just breath-taking. You couldn’t help but to stop by and buy a little something. This is my main reason for starting off my list with this Israeli spice which is my all time favorite.
This citric spice is a blend of cumin, coriander, toasted sesame seeds, sumac and kosher salt. You will probably have a hard time finding this spice in your local super market, but don’t give up. You’ll need to go on a little scavenger hunt to find a specialty shop that sells this spice. You can try your local Mediterranean or Israeli shops. If you’re not successful, try buying them online.
Here are some simple suggestions on how to use this spice.
Sprinkle on top of your eggs, regardless of style or your favorite omelet.
No eggs, no problem. Top a low carb bagel with cream cheese and a slice of tomato, dust with this yummy spice and the taste is simply amazing.
Here are other suggestions on how to incorporate this spice in your foods.
It can be served in olive oil, with a side of pita, cut into slices for dipping. It’s the most amazing combination and will put those chips and dip to shame.
Shake some on your favorite salads or steamed vegetables and forget the cheese. The flavor of the spice will transform your meal and make it absolutely delightful.
This spice has absolutely no smell and you could hardly taste it in your food, but it’s very nutritious and healthy for you. It decorates your foods in a luscious yellow color bringing brightness to everything you sprinkle it in. The Chinese and Indian have been using this powerful spice for centuries to treat various conditions such as ringworm, eye infections, heartburn and ulcers just to name a few. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory spice that is now being used worldwide not only as medicine, but for cooking too.
Add a half a teaspoon of this spice into your breakfast smoothie and you’re ready to head out the door feeling good and confident with your breakfast choice.
A delicious breakfast smoothie can include ingredients’ such as oranges, carrots, peaches with a splash of turmeric is a great combination. There are a dozen of other ingredients you can use to make your daily smoothie. Combine it with this orange spice and you have yourself a delicious and healthy breakfast smoothie that can actually be enjoyed anytime of the day and night.
How about delicious cinnamon pumpkin pancakes with a dash of turmeric? Sound a little weird? They are far from weird, they are delicious. Or maybe ginger cranberry muffins and a dab of turmeric will produce some golden muffins your family will be sure to jump on. Don’t expect any left-overs after breakfast.
You can also incorporate turmeric into your stews and chicken dinners. I add it to practically every meal I can, including turmeric fries, cakes and soups.
Turn a bland dish into something extraordinary with this smoky pepper that ranges from mild to spicy depending on your preference. Paprika is used worldwide and can be found in many international cuisines and a popular spice commonly used in South America. Gorgeous in color, this spice is made up of ground Capsicum chili peppers, but don’t expect the same kick as your regular chili pepper. This spice is not spicy, but it adds a world of flavor and color to your food.
Livelighter.org recommends using this spice for a variety of health benefits including protecting us from cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack or a stroke. It’s also has an abundance of Vitamin C which our bodies cannot produce leaving us no choice but to always include it in our daily diet. Well there’s no need to worry because paprika is loaded with so much Vitamin C, it surpasses the amount contained in a tomato, 6-9 times the amount. Now that’s impressive.
I love avocado but eating it plain is no fun. Mash a ripe avocado; add a tbsp. of lemon juice and a tsp of paprika and you have yourself a spread that’s creamy and healthy for you. No more fatty cream cheeses. This nutritious avocado spread is smoky and so flavorful; you’ll want to include it with every meal, not just breakfast. Spread it over a slice of toast and its heavenly breakfast time.
If you want to really get creative and make something scrumptious, you need to try making a Shakshuka. It’s a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast dish that includes lots of paprika which helps to bring out its beautiful color. A savory breakfast served hot with a side of hot bread or pita.
There are endless meals you can create using these spices and others we haven’t mentioned yet. Look for our follow up post on more ancient spices and how to utilize them to create fantastic meals for your family.
We’ll be doing a series on cooking with ancient spices, so don’t miss out!
By: Ida L
Images: Ida L