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.