It’s funny how the senses can transport us to other places or times through smells, making us relive even moments of our childhood that we thought were forgotten. Christmas does not escape this magic, because one of the many wonders of this time are the delicious typical dishes, which have a characteristic flavor stamp that you can stamp on other recipes on your menu through Christmas spices .
You probably already know them and have used many of these, but their combination with certain ingredients results in that “Christmas flavor” that you like so much Find out how to use them.
Benefits of spices.
Having this type of product in your kitchen will give you many advantages 🤓 :
- Vary the flavor of your preparations using different spices that, due to their characteristics, enhance different qualities of the same food while avoiding monotony;
- Seasoning in a healthier way , banishing flavoring tablets or broths full of additives harmful to health;
- Reduce the risk of disease due to its high antioxidant power from its contribution of vitamins and minerals, which protects, prevents and reduces oxidative stress;
- Promote digestion , thanks to effects such as stimulation of gastric juices or gas reduction;
- They act as antimicrobial agents helping food to stay fresh for longer thanks to the control of microorganisms; and
- Moving to far away places through food just by reaching out and searching your pantry.
Although we consume spices in small amounts per dish, their continued consumption can improve your health. So make the most of this holiday season to enhance the flavor (and benefits) of your meals with these Christmas spices.
Is there anything more Christmas than this tuber? For me it is one of the most classic and, although it comes from the Asian continent, globalization has helped us to enjoy its exquisite flavor and properties in our culture.
It is characterized by a spicy flavor, and is so versatile that can be used in sweet and salty foods, in teas or others drinks , and even to flavor oils . Although you can use it to taste, I recommend that you use a reduced measure so as not to invade the flavor of the food.
Dare to incorporate it into your recipes, for that I leave you some Christmas ideas -and others not so much-:
In addition to its delicious flavor, ginger is a cooking spice with multiple health benefits:
- It is digestive;
- Helps improve infections stomach, intestinal and oral;
- It has anti-inflammatory components; and
- It can positively influence the work of the gallbladder and pancreas.
Sweet or common anise.
It is a very valuable spice that gives a characteristic flavor to your meals – but be careful, don’t confuse it with star anise – and it is used to make curries. It is usually associated with the preparation of sweets dishes such as cookies or cakes , but you can also take advantage of it to give unique to salty dishes such as sauces, soups or stews .
I recommend that you take advantage of some of the following ideas to include anise in your dishes this Christmas:
And don’t forget to take advantage of the health properties attributed to this spice that will help you better compensate for the excesses of this time:
- It favors the relief of gas, colic, and other intestinal ailments or those produced by menstrual pain; and
- Antiviral and bactericidal properties.
A must in my kitchen, and a classic at Christmas! Its smell and taste carry over to winter, to cups of hot milk, and to family enjoyment. It is common to find it in the branch or in powder.
In Europe we are used to seeing it in desserts, drinks and infusions , but in African and Asian gastronomy they use it to flavor more traditional preparations like pork, chicken, or lamb. If you are not one of those who uses a lot of cinnamon in your kitchen, I recommend that you start by adding a touch of this spice to your coffee or hot milk, to your morning porridge or to your favorite smoothie.
Also include it in more everyday preparations and give them a festive and special touch:
- Baked fruits with cinnamon, enhancing the flavor of the caramelised;
- Paleo version gingerbread cookies;
- Quinoa with milk and cinnamon, which could be your star dessert this Christmas 😉 .
Get more benefits of this aromatic spice:
- One of the ones with the best anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power;
- It favors the control of blood sugar levels, even talking about reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (1);
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
A world-class spice –although its origin is Asian– with a robust flavor and fragrance that add a unique touch to any dish. You can get it whole or powdered, and I recommend that you use it in moderation due to its strong flavor.
Cloves fits perfectly with sweet preparations, being used a lot in Christmas desserts, and in savory preparations such as meats , in fact I recommend you stick some in the onion that you are going to add to your stew or sauce bottom at the time of cooking.
Here are several ideas so that you can transfer the holidays to your most daily preparations:
- Tea or infusion of cloves and cinnamon;
- Vegetable broths;
- Chicken in sauce with cloves;
- Desserts like sponge cakes or the classic gingerbread cookies; and
- Tongue in roasted pepper sauce from my repertoire of recipes.
Among its benefits include:
- They improve the immune system due to its antioxidant content;
- They have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties helping to fight infections;
- They help to treat oral diseases thanks to their antibacterial properties, so they are recommended in cases of bad breath;
- They favor digestion by stimulating the production of gastric acids, that is why it is one of the spices that cannot be wrong in your recipes this Christmas.
Another synonym for the Christmas season whose sweet and aromatic flavor should be used sparingly. It is shaped like almonds, and although you can find it in powder, it is advisable to grate it at the time of use to take better advantage of its organoleptic properties.
Your application is associated both with pastries , as for example to prepare Christmas cookies, as well as dishes main savory as broths and oriental-style preparations.
Enjoy this Christmas spice as a family by making it present in your kitchen with these ideas:
In addition, take advantage of the properties that it contributes to health:
- They are antibacterial;
- Optimizes the digestive process;
- May improve triglyceride, cholesterol and blood glucose levels
- Helps protect our heart and prevents toxicity in our liver.