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There’s nothing more comforting than winter spices to warm up your food and your soul during the cold winter months.
Winter Spices and Herbs
When cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, ginger, and cinnamon come together, they make a magical blend called winter spices. These organic winter jewels are loaded with surprising health benefits like antioxidants, diuretic, protective, and anti-inflammatory properties that will help you last through winter, all healthy and cozy.
What is a winter spice?
A winter spice is typically a warm spice like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger.
To help you stock up on your favorite spices, we have compiled a list of winter spices that provide excellent flavor, aroma, and health benefits.
Let’s begin with the world’s ancient spice, a common kitchen spice usually available in every household. Yes, you guessed it right. We are talking about cinnamon.
This great winter spice, also known as Cinnamomum Verum, originated 90% from Sri Lanka. Cinnamon is an antioxidant full of fiber, calcium, and iron.
From treating common cold and nausea to improving and boosting your brain strength, cinnamon is full of medicinal properties. The slightly bitter and sweet taste of cinnamon provides the perfect combination of flavors to many baked items.
Usually, this common spice is used in a powdered form but cinnamon sticks are also very popular to use in a hot cup of tea, cider, or even a cocktail.
The production of West Indies and Central America, allspice tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper combined. It originated in Jamaica and is also called the pimento tree.
Allspice is a perfect blend of aromas, taste, and healing properties. This aromatic spice contains odoriferous berries that are primarily used in the production of essential oils.
The sun-dried allspice is dark brown and is full of flavors that are added to enhance the taste in your meat items, ketchup, soup, Christmas dessert, and sauces.
Allspice is not only aromatic and full of flavor but has a significant role in treating arthritis and inflammation. The allspice essential oil, when combined with various other spices, can give therapeutic relief from bacterial and fungal infections.
Due to its aromatic properties, allspice holds great importance in the cosmetic and beauty industry. It is widely used in colognes, body sprays after shave products for men, and is an essential ingredient in toiletries.
3. Star Anise
Star anise is a star-shaped spice that is an excellent preservative and flavoring agent, also known as Illicium verum. It grows primarily in southwest China and Vietnam.
This dark brown and rusty shrub is also said to be the chef’s favorite because it is used as a secret ingredient to enhance the overall flavor of several dishes.
Folks all around the globe use star anise according to their preference in juices, syrups, and jellos. Star spice has a prominent effect in treating gastric problems. It is also widely used to treat influenza viruses A and B.
Besides the excellent flavour profile and medicinal shrub, star anise contributes significantly to perfume, soaps, ointment, and the cosmetic industry.
Sprinkled on a cocoa latte, hot chocolate, and marshmallows, no winter holidays are complete without nutmeg. It originated from Banda Island, Indonesia.
This magical spice is loaded with medicinal properties. This reddish-brown spice can help you fight body aches, insomnia, and indigestion during winters. It can also potentially maintain blood pressure and help protect your teeth and gums.
Nutmeg goes perfect with both sweet and savory items. This winter spice is primarily added to baked goods, holiday desserts, vegetables (potatoes), cheese fillings, and puddings.
Interesting fact: Nutmeg is widely used to prevent meat, fish, sausages, and vegetables from rotting.
Cloves, aka “perfume of food,” hails all the way from Indonesia. The other name for flower-shaped, dark brown spice is Syzygium aromaticum. Cloves contain a bundle of dietary fibers, iron, and calcium.
This aromatic spice is also known as a mouth freshener, as its minty and slightly sweet taste can help you get rid of bad breath and plaque. Cloves are a powerhouse of flavor; they are used in powdered form or as whole fruit.
This spice can be added to food items or beverages to give a hint of sweet, spicy, and minty flavor all at once.
The next time you experience it, simply take 5-6 whole cloves, roast them, wrap them in a cloth, and place them on the sore muscle for instant relief.
Ginger, the ‘head of herbal essence,’ is an underground stem full of nutritional substances known as Zingiber officinale. It is loaded with aroma, flavor, and medicinal use.
The rusty brown stem of ginger has a slightly bitter and sour taste, with a savory aroma. No Asian food, especially Indian cuisine, is complete without a hint of ginger in it. Ginger is added to bakery items, soup, confectioneries, and curry.
Ginger also works excellently with other ayurvedic herbs to regulate their functions effectively. Furthermore, it helps to promote healthy digestion.
The healing properties of ginger are efficiently utilized in the pharmaceutical industry while making medicine, while its aromatic properties are in the perfume industry.
During the upcoming winter season, if you experience morning sickness or digestive disorders, add small pieces of peeled ginger to your regular tea, and get instant relief.
7. Green Cardamom
Cardamom is perhaps one of the world’s most expensive and ancient spices. Folks globally call it the ‘heart of Asian food.’ Srilanka and southern India grow cardamom on a large scale annually. The other name of cardamom is Elettaria cardamomum.
The sweet, savory, and minty taste of green cardamom is added to almost every Indian food. Be it biryani, kheer, curry, or summer drink.
The pleasing aroma of this green jewel is to die for, which is why the perfume industry has always utilized it in making fresheners. The warm scent of cardamom is also used in aromatherapy.
Cardamom always comes to the rescue for individuals fighting digestion, hypertension, and blood clotting. It can also help maintain cholesterol levels and protect you from cancer.
8. Blend of Winter Spices
Nothing is better than a blend rich in aroma, flavor, and health-boosting properties that will keep you warm and cozy throughout winter. Winter spice blend is the unmatchable blend of 7 organic gems: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and turmeric.
The magical blend is said to do wonders. The flavor profile of every organic spice is unique. The soothing aroma of cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, when combined, gives an enriched scent which is what the fuss is about.
Sprinkle the magical blend on your favorite winter beverages and bakery item and see your favorite things becoming exceptionally mouth-watering.
You don’t have to go out of your way to find this enriched blend because these spices are primarily available in your kitchen.
Mulling Warming Spices
As the freezing temperatures start approaching, it's common for folks to stock up on mulling spice.
Locally known as a spice mixture, mulling spice is usually added to tea. You can add it to cold beverages like juice, wine, and cider.
If you are looking for ways to give pancakes, pudding, and waffles a spicy twist, simply simmer a small amount of mulling spice at low flame and add it to the topping. Sprinkling ground mulling spice on your favorite desserts like ice cream, cake, and custard is also an option.
Instead of buying it store-bought, you can also make mulling spice at home. Start by taking a muslin cloth or coffee filter and combining two cloves, two sticks of cinnamon, two berries of allspice, three pods of star anise, and lastly, orange zest. Join the corners of the cloth and heat on low flame.
Warm Spices for Pumpkin Pie
Lastly, we have the game-changer spice, pumpkin pie spice. Its unique flavor profile is due to the combination of pepper, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
If you have tried the popular pumpkin spice pie or latte around Halloween time, you will know what the fuss is about.
In fact, Starbucks typically introduces this flavor during the holiday season. This spice is the perfect addition to add in lattes and coffee. Chefs are also experimenting with using it with different baked items and confectioneries.
Warm Spice FAQs
They are called warm spices because they have the ability to warm up your bodies internal temperature.
Some of the classic winter spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cardamom.
Yes, cumin is considered a warming spice.
Some of the classic Christmas spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and star anise.
Check below for an easy recipe for winter spice blend.
- 3 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoons allspice
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Mix all of the spices together and store in an airtight container.
- Try adding in tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, and more.
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