In this chapter we tackle food spices. Researchers tell us of the health benefits most spices added to our food have. “Herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cells,” Moreno says. “That’s because each one is rich in phytochemicals, which are healthful plant chemicals.”
1. What are food spices?
Food spices like cinnamon, are usually made from the seeds, berries, bark, or roots of a plant, they are used to add flavor to your food/ give it taste and color. They are mostly the (dry) seed part of the plant and are very different from herbs even if they serve an almost similar purpose. Herbs are also used for the same purpose but they are mostly the leafy part of the plant, we will go through them in our next chapter.
2. Examples of food spices?
- Berbere mix (Ethiopian)
- Injera mix
- Black Seed
- Black pepper
- Suya mix
- Masala mix (Pilau,beef)
3. What are the benefits of using spices in food?
Spices not only gives food flavor, color and texture, it also breaks it down and eases digestion, increases metabolism, kills bacteria, and helps with inflammation. Spicy food also stays longer before going bad.
4. How to use spices in food.
It is more beneficial to use spices as a combination unless there is an underlying condition that would suggest having one dominant spice over the rest. Buying the spices whole and grinding them is a better preference since they remain flavorful, fresh and nutritious all the while, do also remember to use spices in amounts reasonable for consumption.They can be used in smoothies, soups, stews, marinades and even pastries.
Above are just examples of food spices that you should have in your kitchen, there are a variety of available options locally/ Kenyan spices that could be added to the list, but these are the most common must haves. They are available in local supermarkets, most cereal shops in the shopping centers, estate stores and the sure bet is in Indian owned spice shops.