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Looking for a way to spice up your life? Well let’s get it on, in the kitchen. Yes I said the kitchen…this is where the spices are stored. Here is a quick look at the health benefits of a few of my favorite spices. Just a few reasons to eat at home, eat fresh and healthy. Food as medicine. But remember to always consult your physician before using these spice remedies.
Popular in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It will help fight a bad stomach bug, candida yeast infections. Some researchers claim that cinnamon is effective in improving memory and cognitive development. Sprinkle cinnamon in your oatmeal, in your coffee, on sweet potatoes fries, squash…really anything that sounds good!
For me the most common benefit of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredient is curcumin, which can have antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties as well. Use turmeric on cauliflower, in salad dressings, rice, and curry dishes. Another favorite way to consume it is through a glass of tea with honey and lemon. You can find many recipes online.
An ingredient in cayenne called Capsicum is responsible for its health benefits. Capsicum has been shown to increase circulation and contribute to weight loss. You can use cayenne to flavor beans, chili, tacos, and really anything you want to spice up with some heat.
This beautiful green herb has had its claim to health fame since the early days of the Romans. Parsley’s health benefits include anti-oxidant nutrients, high folic acid content, and Vitamin C. These benefits can help fight against arthritis, keep the heart healthy, and fights against bad breathe. Parsley can be used in marinades, added to soups and sauces, meats, fish…the list can go on!
The oil of this plant has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Recent studies suggest it is effective in killing MRSA bacteria strains. My most common use for thyme is in marinades, soups and in roasted beef, chicken or turkey.
Of course these are only a few of the many herbs and spices that provide health benefits. Add some spice to your life and some real health benefits!
Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 C bone broth
6 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 medium to large broccoli crowns, stems and all, rough chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
T fresh thyme
1/2 C half and half or heavy cream
1/2 C light sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
sourdough baguette, as an accompaniment
1. Heat olive oil in dutch oven and add onions and garlic, cooking until opaque.
2. Add bone broth, celery and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are soft.
3. Add broccoli and thyme, cooking until broccoli just blanched.
4. Add creams and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve with cheddar cheese garnish and sour dough baguette.
Craving a warm, smooth, broccoli cheddar potato soup? Try this version I created last night! It was a hit with the kids and was filling. The bone broth boosts the health benefits, and the smooth cream and cheese, add some comfort. It just tastes too good for the soul! Enjoy!