How to use seasonal spices in your daily life

seasonal spices

Winters are here and so is the spicy month, I call this a spicy month as in this season we use more spices on an average as compared to other months. Spices which give us warmth, flavor, taste, aroma are used in larger quantity in this month. They are even used as various home remedies along with seasoning and flavoring.

We can’t imagine life without spices and herbs. Spices had played a major role in the lifestyle of people all over the world. They are not just the added agent but also are flavoring agents, used in coloring too, act as preservatives, food additives and have medicinal uses too. Spice can be any part of the plant it can be a dried seed, fruit, leaves, root, bark, bulbs, stigmas, rhizomes, flower bud or flower of a plant. Spices are cultivated for their aromatic, pungent smell, for ritual purposes, flavoring, coloring, cosmetics, perfumery, and preservative uses and effect. Spices give visual appeal to the dish and also is useful in stimulating appetite on humans. Spices add a special effect to the daily diet, adds the kick to the dish and have innumerable beneficial effects on our health as they have medicinal properties. Spices have the power to turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary experience.

I use different spices in my daily life according to different seasons. Sharing with you spices, its medicinal value, and usage in daily life. Spices are your best home remedy medicine without any side effects. Let me take you to the world of these wonderful spices this winter season so you can fill your kitchen jars with these aromatic magical herbs which have medicinal as well as antioxidant value.

Winter spices

Winter is the time when we love to indulge in warm food and spices give that needed kick to the food. Spicy warmth helps combat winters easily.

Cinnamon/ Dalchini

A powerful spice from the kitchen pantry. It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, and is rich in antioxidants. Wow it comes with power-packed nutrients isn’t it, so don’t miss to grab it and use it. We can find Circulatory stimulant effects of cinnamon in Ayurvedic scriptures too.

Medicinal value – Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

Usage – A pinch in cakes & cookies adds up to an awesome flavor, a sprinkle on your cup of coffee, a bowl of oatmeal or even banana or apple slices.

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Clove/ Laung

The dried flower bud, with a pungent, sweet-bitter flavor and great aroma is found in kitchens all over the world. Clove oil had been used for ages for toothache.

Medicinal value – Helps in inflammation, as well as known to kill bacteria. One can keep cloves in the saree box too.

Usage – Eat it as it is, or use it in tempering for sweet as well as savory dishes. Keshari bhaat, biryani tastes best with cloves in it. It’s a versatile spice as you can add it to casserole one-pot dish or to your soothing tea, coffee or milk as well as a pinch in cakes and cookies too.

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Nutmeg/ Jaifal

A spice with woody, robust flavor, nutmeg naturally supports sleep and a smoother complexion

Usage – It’s a great accompaniment to all baking goodies, pies, and sweets. Just smell the aroma when you grate nutmeg and then add it to kheer, custard, puddings, rich veggies and is fantastic when added to tea or coffee too.

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Garlic

It helps combat Sickness and Improve Heart Health. If you often get cold and cough just add more garlic to your diet as garlic has the ability to fight infections.

Medicinal value – Garlic is filled with antiviral as well as anti-bacterial properties which makes it’s a great spice to help boost immunity.

Usage – Just add to any veggie, or ever dry roast and consume it with a pinch of salt. Garlic consumed early morning helps in cholesterol too.

Fenugreek/ Methi

Fenugreek seeds are a magic herb with impressive benefits. It is used as alternative medicine too.

Medicinal value – When consumed as a supplement it helps control Blood Sugar. It has a good amount of fiber and minerals, including iron and magnesium.

Usage – People often consume it raw or roasted, soaked and spouted, even soaked fenugreek seeds veggie is tasty and one can make methi laddoos too.

Monsoon spices

Asafoetida/ Hing

An herb with a very unique and pungent strong smell. But a hit especially in Indian curries and vegetables.

It’s a strong spice and only a pinch can work wonders to your dals and curries.

Medicinal value – Asafoetida has wonderful health benefits. It helps in infants and children with colic pain, helps to relieve digestion disorder.

Usage – Use a pinch of it in your tempering, especially when added to dals and curries it gives the added kick to the dish.

Black Pepper

The “king of spices”, black pepper is widely used in kitchen worldwide. Strong flavored,

Medicinal value – Black pepper has antibacterial value. It contains iron and is beneficial to our bodies.

Usage – powder can be added to tea or coffee, many curries and veggies taste great with pepper flavor. I like to use it in white sauce and omelet too.

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Turmeric 

A spice that can be said as a powerhouse too, as it contains curcumin, a Substance With Powerful Anti-Inflammatory Effects.

Medicinal value – Turmeric is used to add flavor to curries and veggies, it is also used as a coloring agent and even in cosmetics. Beneficial in the rainy season when kids are prone to infections.

Usage – I love adding turmeric powder to milk and smoothies. A pinch of turmeric in everything is always beneficial. One of the most delicious ways to enjoy it is by making a turmeric latte. So have u tried one lately.

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Ginger powder/ Saunth Powder

The beneficial root which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It has a strong aroma and a pungent flavor. Use it fresh or even dried powder it is loaded with benefits. The powder is extracted from the ginger root which is dried. Since it contains high levels of gingerol, it is a great natural remedy for headaches and body aches too.

Colour – off-white or slightly brownish powder.

Medicinal value – helps treat nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, and even body aches.

Usage – helps relieve common cold, so just add it to your curry’s, stews, gingerbread, and candies too. Add it to tea to enjoy a warm relaxing cup. It’s even used in various face packs too.

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Saffron/ Kesar

The most expensive and laborious spice of the world is even the most flavourful of all. It’s like a prized possession to enjoy the sweet fragrance of these threads.

Medicinal value – Known to improve memory and give warmth to the body. It is also known to have antioxidant as well as anti-depressant properties.

Usage – Tastes great when added to hot milk, kheers, and rice dishes too.

Summer spices

Summer spices help to cool you off. Summer season is associated with pitta or heat effect so we need to add cooling spices in our food to help cope with the heat.

Cardamom/ Elaichi

Cardamom is also called the queen of spices, Green colored and a sweet-smelling mildly pungent spice has been ruling Indian kitchens for long.

Colour – Dark to medium green

Medicinal value – soothe an upset stomach, improves digestion. It helps to increase gastric and digestive juices.

Usage – Add it to tea or coffee in summers, best flavoring in biryani or pulao, gives a lovely flavor to your sweets be it halva or any pudding.

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Coriander Seeds

A spice with earthy lemony flavor. It is from the parsley and celery family. We use coriander fresh leaves also in almost all dishes and for garnishing too. Coriander is fragrant and a good antioxidant.

Medicinal value – it improves digestion and lowers cholesterol and even help fight certain infection. It is also beneficial to our skin too.

Usage – It tastes best if seeds are roasted and grounded in pastel mortar and then added to curries or even bread and veggies.  Coriander can be used in the form of seeds, leaves as well as a powder too.

Cumin

A smoky and earthy spice that rules the Indian kitchen. It has a very soothing and flavorful smell. Used in a lot of Southwestern U.S. and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian. This spice has a soothing and cooling effect.

Medicinal value – Helps in Detoxification, also helps in stomach pain or even indigestion. Jeera water has numerous benefits for the body.

Usage – Used while tempering as well as jeera water is soothing for the stomach.

Saunf/ Fennel

Fennel is used widely as a Mouth freshener, it has culinary benefits as well as curative too. It helps calm inflammation caused due to heat in summers.

Medicinal value – peps up the flow of digestive and gastric juices. It even helps in regulating blood pressure.  Fennel water can be given to kids too in colic pain.

Usage – eat raw or roasted after meal for digestion, add a tsp in tea for added fragrance. /I even add fennel seeds to poha or even bhindi veggie as fennel is a wonderful flavoring spice.

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So, just spice up your kitchens and life and keep using these wonderful spices and herbs. They are the best home remedy to stay healthy and happy too. What better way to buy your seasonal stock of spices other than – https://spicebasket.in/

Spices as flavoring agents have essential oils in them. Spices have been an integral part of local dishes in South Asia and the Middle East for ages.  Today’s science also acknowledges the power of spices. Their phytochemical content which has medicinal and health applications is researched and used globally. Spices nowadays are also used in dyeing, chocolates and even personal care products.

One of my favorite dishes which consumes varied spices is Biryani, which blends all warm as well as cooling spices in perfect proportions.

Storage

As far as the storage of spices is concerned, they have a long shelf life. Dried herbs and ground spices stay fresh till 1-3 years and whole spices have a better life of more than 3-4 years even. All spices can easily be stored in the tight lid and dry glass jar or bottle and kept in dark dry cool cupboard away from heat or sunlight as it may cause moisture.

So all together it’s a spicy affair with your kitchen and food you cook.

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