Can you feel it? The chill coming in the air…even in Texas. Leaves are changing…brown is change. We are at the end of the year…thank God!! And the holidays are finally right around the corner.
One of my favorite things is smelling all the holiday scents whether it is baking for friends, making my home smell nice with different diffuser blends, or cooking for family. I like to incorporate a variety of different seasonal flavors and scents into my recipes to make each recipe memorable and extra flavorful.
Here are some of my favorite spices to add and the benefit that each can bring to your life:
Oh me…oh my!!! I LOVE cinnamon ANYTHING.
This popular holiday spice is such a classic for scent memory and taste. Cinnamon is historically known as an anti-inflammatory, blood sugar balancer, joint pain support, and can help in boosting your immune system. Cinnamon aids in lowering your fasting blood sugar, lowering bad cholesterol, and can also help in lowering stress that can contribute to chronic disease. Cinnamon packs a punch with four grams of fiber per one tablespoon. Did you consider fiber from an herb? Crazy, right? Cinnamon is most popularly used in season foods like apple pie, cinnamon rolls, ciders, and spiced soups.
…and it’s my FAVE! Did I mention that already?
Clove is in more than you think. It is a powerhouse with vitamins and body functions. Cloves helps improve blood circulation, aids in clearing respiratory passages, and helps to strengthen your immune system. Cloves has fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese, which will help in maintaining brain function, improving digestion, and helping with blood clotting. Some popular recipes that include cloves are seasonal hams, gingerbread, and hot cider.
Nutmeg is another one of the more popular seasonal spices. Nutmeg oil can help in relieving pain while adding Nutmeg powder can help soothe the stomach, help with insomnia, and provide stress relief. It can also help in lowering your cholesterol and regulating your blood pressure, improving blood circulation, and acting as an aphrodisiac. Nutmeg has also been shown to aid in fighting off bacteria in the mouth and helping in the prevention of tooth decay. I like to add Nutmeg to pumpkin pie, have it grated over a warm latte, or in stewed fruit mixes.
Ginger is another powerhouse that is great year-round but has a special place around the holidays. It is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, aiding in soothing a tempered stomach, and reducing bloating and constipation. Ginger can also help in reducing menstrual cramps, help in fighting bacterial infection and inflammation, and improving energy levels. Some popular ways to incorporate Ginger into the holidays are ginger tea, candied ginger, and ginger cake.
Peppermint is so versatile in how it can be used. You can add it to a lip balm, a throat spray, or in a diffuser blend and get benefit out of each one. Peppermint can help in relieving indigestion, tension headaches and migraines, and nausea. It can also aid in clearing out clogged sinuses, improve energy levels, and lessen menstrual cramps. I love to add peppermint to tea, cocoa, and peppermint cookies. It’s also considered in aromatherapy as a DRIVER. Any other oils you use if you add a drop of peppermint on top it will drive it into the body! A real powerhouse that peppermint!!!
Rosemary is a more savory spice that has great benefit year-round. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, can improve digestion, and memory and concentration. Rosemary can also help in blood circulation, protecting the brain in aging and recovery, and can assist in protecting against macular degeneration. Some memorable recipes that I love to use Rosemary in are roasted potatoes, focaccia bread, and roasted cauliflower. We see a lot of rosemary this time of the holiday season; twigs of décor, trees at the grocer, spices in our favorite dishes and the beautiful oils in diffuser blends. Mmmm…
Anise is filled with powerful vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, B-complex, calcium, iron, copper, and potassium. It has antifungal properties that aid in fighting off fungus in the mouth, throat, and intestines. It has mild sedative properties, so be careful how much you use. Anise has also been shown to reduce blood sugar, help in fighting stomach ulcers, and reducing the symptoms of menopause. You can find Anise in recipes like snickerdoodles, tea mixtures, and roasted chicken. Snickerdoodles…another favorite. How ‘bout you? Never met a snickerdoodle I didn’t like. I even like the name!
How do YOU how you like to incorporate these special spices and oils into your holiday cooking? Drop us a note and tell us your faves!!