Lively Up Your Shelf! Indian Spices

And India gave unto the world pepper, turmeric, coriander and cardamom.

Pepper is said to be a digestive aid. It comes in black and white and is used to flavour food both during and after cooking. Pepper was a hot commodity in the spice trade of ancient times.

Turmeric is known as an anti-inflammatory and gives curry spice its distinctive colour.

Coriander or cilantro has healing properties due to its high phytonutrient content. Supposedly the love or hate of cilantro has a genetic link.

Cardamom belongs to the same family as ginger. It offers digestive support and contains essential oils which contribute to its healing properties. Black cardamom is favoured for savoury dishes (eg curries) while the green is employed in sweet dishes (dessert, chai tea).



Rainbow Feast

With the Pride Parade taking place in Toronto today (the finale to Pride Week) and the announcement that gay marriage has been ruled legal by the US supreme court, there is much to be festive about in the LGBT community. And any festivity requires food!

Eat the colours of the rainbow” is a popular catch-phrase that helps make it easier for people to choose healthier foods. The pigment in some plant foods can indicate the phytonutrients contained within. Lycopene, good for heart health, gives red produce its hue. Anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties, is the pigment in blue and purple produce. Carotenoids are in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Beta carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A, and lutein are types of carotenoids and both good for eye health.

The rainbow is also the adopted symbol of LGBT pride.

So for good health fill your plate with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Whether it be food or people, variety is the spice of life.

tomatoes, strawberries, cherries, red pepper

Yellow and Orange
lemon, pumpkin, carrots, oranges

leafy greens, broccoli, avocado, kiwifruit

Purple and Blue
beets, blueberries, plums, eggplant


Around the World in 80 Bites – Bite 6

Bite 6Maple syrup

St. Jean Baptiste Day is the Fête Nationale du Quèbec, one of Canada’s ten provinces. It happens annually on June 24th with festivities and food to mark the occasion.

Quèbec posts

Cuisine in this province is noted for its use of maple syrup, a sweet tree sap originally used by the Indigenous population. Canada’s identity on the world stage is characterized by maple syrup too, even though the maple trees that produce this sweetener are native to eastern Canada only.

Maple syrup has earned a well-deserved spot on my Around the World list. It is versatile, vegan and is not cloying sweet like so many other sugars. My sweet tooth is happy with a couple of tablespoons of maple butter and as cliché as it sounds, I often buy a small box of maple sugar candies to take with me when I travel abroad.

Photo by Kimberley (c)2014
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

Maple syrup is perfectly at home in savoury dishes (e.g. baked beans, salad dressing, tempeh bacon, etc.) as it is with sweet (e.g. butter tarts, pancakes, pumpkin pie, etc.).

Pumpkin scones Photo by Kimberley (c)2014
Pumpkin scones
Photo by Kimberley (c)2014

Meatless Monday – The Sugar Bush

St. Jean Baptiste Day in Canada