9 ways to cook with spices

Add flavour to your food by incorporating spices into your cooking. Here are nine easy ways to add a little spice

9 ways to cook with spices

Source: Best Health Magazine, December 2011

Kick up your roast meats a notch: Combine a teaspoon (5 mL) each of cinnamon and ginger with a pinch of nutmeg, cloves and black pepper. Rub onto chicken breasts, pork tenderloin or lamb chops, then roast as usual.

Make chocolate even better! Add a large pinch of cinnamon and a few chili flakes to your hot chocolate mug to make a Mayan version. Or toss a little cardamom and cinnamon into the batter for brownies or chocolate cake.

Simple way to enhance a side: Add a few cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick and a clove or two to the pot when making rice, quinoa or couscous.

Delicious dish: Sauté a chopped large onion in oil until soft. Add a teaspoon each of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cardamom, and stir for two minutes. Add a large can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), and a can of diced tomatoes. Simmer until chickpeas are tender.

Tasty twist: Add a pinch of cloves or nutmeg to ground beef, lamb or turkey when making burgers or meatballs. Also try these spices in a split pea and ham soup, or chili.

At breakfast or brunch: Sprinkle cinnamon on hot oatmeal or seven-grain cereal. Drizzle whole-wheat toast with a little honey and top with cinnamon. Or blend a dash into your morning smoothie.

Popeye would love this: Sauté onion until tender, sprinkle with nutmeg and add a few large handfuls of baby spinach leaves. Stir until wilted.

Chai from scratch: In a large saucepan, combine two cups (500 mL) water with a generous pinch each of cinnamon, cloves and ginger, plus a few cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Add 2/3 cup (150 mL) low-fat milk, two black tea bags and a dollop of honey, and heat until steaming (but not boiling). Makes two mugs.

New take on turkey or chicken stuffing: To your favourite recipe, add chopped roasted walnuts, diced apple and a large pinch each of cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg.

This article was originally titled "Savour the season" in the December 2011 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!