The Best Winter Spices for Your Seasonal Dishes
Every season comes with its own menu of fruits, vegetables, dishes and desserts and, seasonal spices are no different. There are several culinary spices and herbs that not only warm up your body but also have some natural health benefits as well. Check out this list of warm, winter spices that you can add to a variety of cold-weather treats and meals this year.
A dried fruit of the ginger family, the aromatic, fragrant and pungent cardamom is one of the most valued spices in the world. This warming spice is great to use when you are feeling under the weather because it actually helps to heal your respiratory tract by opening up the passages. Try out this seasoning in a variety of ways.
- To strengthen a great curry dish.
- Add a dash into a hot cup of tea.
- Blend a pod of it in when making rice in your Crock-Pot® 3-Quart Manual Slow Cooker.
- Add it to baked squash, pumpkin soup or other winter harvest vegetables.
Added to almost every festive holiday dish, dessert and drink, there's no question that cinnamon is one of the most popular winter spices. However, you may be surprised at its health benefits. In addition to improving circulation, cinnamon is a strong digestive tonic as well as an antiseptic. This sweet seasoning is a savory addition to soups, chili, vegetables and meat dishes.
- The light and airy flavor of cinnamon makes it a great dried seasoning for lamb.
- Add a dash to your warm mug of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
- Use cinnamon when making cookies and breads.
- Spread the spice over a bowl of oatmeal to add a bit of flavor.
While garlic is a welcomed addition to meals at any time of the year, during the winter it's best because it improves circulation, has been known to prevent and treat the common cold and helps you become more resistant to infection. Sauteed or roasted, garlic brings flavor to any winter meal.
- It's the perfect seasoning for chicken, pork and beef.
- Makes a great addition to pastas, pizzas and Italian dishes.
- Dried, raw garlic can be used in dressings, salsas and butters.
Sharp and peppery, ginger also has a small hint of lemon flavor which makes it a robust addition to a variety of dishes. When combined with mustard, it pairs wonderfully with fish. Ginger is a natural antioxidant known to soothe the digestive system and eliminate nausea.
- Use ground ginger for baking.
- Grate ginger to make tea.
- Add it to stir-fries, curries and marinades in the raw form.