I come from two cultures that love spice, African American and Afro Colombian. There is never a dish coming out of my kitchen that isn’t full of loads of spicy yumminess. As a cook, I really enjoy coming up with different spice blends and adding variety to my dishes that are unique to me. Often when I travel I try to learn as much as I can about what’s in the foods I’m eating so I can recreate the dishes and add my own spin to them at home.
Cooking is art and spices are the pallet that bring food to life. Using the right combinations can bring out so many qualities in food that you’d miss if you left dishes bland. For example, sprinkling cinnamon on squash elevates the sweetness in the plant. Reversely, sprinkling cayenne on sweet potato balances out its sweetness. Spices can enhance or mute natural flavors in incredible ways.
“Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go.”– Erma Bombeck
I laughed when I came across this quote because I’ve spent a lot of time in Egypt and one thing they definitely have in abundance there are spices. The spice trade is alive and well in Egypt and on my last trip, I made sure to stock up! 😍 Here’s to the best $10 I ever spent.
Did you know that spices add more than just flavor to your food. They also have many health benefits. Here are some of the possible benefits of what I bought in Egypt.
👩🏾🍳 hibiscus = cardiovascular health
👩🏾🍳 cinnamon = supports weight loss
👩🏾🍳 paprika = supports digestion
👩🏾🍳 cumin = vitamin C
👩🏾🍳 mustard = respiratory health
👩🏾🍳 curry = inflammation
Most curries contain turmeric, cumin, allspice, cardamon, ginger, garlic and capsicum, which are all spices with strong antibacterial properties.
I particularly love using a lot of thermogenic spices to keep my weight in check, like cinnamon to keep my blood sugar from spiking and cumin to increase my metabolism.