Chill in the Air Means the Spice of Fall

October 19, 2010 at 7:29 am 2 comments

Do you love the richer, spicier flavors of fall foods this time of year?

Y’know that heady blend of flavors  like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.  Or, you can find a blend of these spices in a little package in the spice rack at your grocery store called “pumpkin pie spice.”

Not only are these spices delicious – they’re good for you.  In Indian cooking spices are used in pungent blends to maintain your health called ayurvedic.  Basically it means your food is medicine.

Believe me, tuck into my husband’s rich, chestnut brown Chicken Curry with curry powder, garam masala, garlic, tumeric, chili powder and other spices and it’ll clean you out – in a good way.  The more you can use spices in your cooking the better.  They increase your bodies’ heat and metabolism.  It’s far better for your body and your health than the bland flavors from my childhood.

So, enjoy the spice of life.

You don’t have to make a pumpkin pie or a fancy dish to enjoy the delicious, healthful benefits of fall spices.

Add a shake of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to a vanilla energy shake for a treat that’s a lot like Horchata – the yummy drink you’ll find at Mexican taco stands in the Southwest.  Add a dash of cinnamon and pinch of red pepper to add a little Mayan heat to your morning hot cocoa.

Go all the way and find a box of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea at your grocery store. Whole Foods is a good place to find it.  It has the flavors of Indian Chai spice and it’s as easy as a cup of basic Lipton tea.  Be sure to add a little milk and honey.  I used to enjoy the Starbucks version called Chai Latte.  It has those spicy flavors but I’ve since decided it’s way too sweet for my taste and it weighs in at a hefty 300 calories when made with 2 percent milk in the Venti size.

Trader Joes has canned pumpkin that’s actually organic.  You can use it for your favorite Pumpkin Pie, of course.  But try it in Pumpkin-Raisin-Walnut Quick Bread and Pumpkin Pancakes.  To make pumpkin pancakes just add half a can of TJs organic pumpkin to your pancake mix.  Then add 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Yummy good with pure maple syrup.

I’m going to dig up an amazing recipe from one of my oldest cookbooks for a yummy, spicy Apple Cake with a Caramel Pecan topping.  It’s not fancy – but the flavors are rich and it’s so worth a little extra work.

Enjoy the spice of life this fall.


Entry filed under: Adventurous Foodie, Culture Curiosity. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chrystina Tovani  |  October 20, 2010 at 1:50 am

    As soon as I started reading this, I was thinking about hot cocoa and wondering what pumpkin pie spice would be like in that.

    I know cinnamon is good in cocoa – but nutmeg and clove? I might try it.

    • 2. dmmfoodie  |  October 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      Hi Chrystina – that’s what’s great about being adventurous with your food. You get to try new things and discover if you like them or not. I know I like hot cocoa with cinnamon and the tiniest dash of red pepper. Don’t know if I’ve tried it with nutmeg and clove. Let me know what you think.

      I was at Whole Foods yesterday and bought a bar of dark chocolate to share with a friend. It had crystallized ginger in it. So there was the smooth, rich taste of the chocolate – but also the bright heat of a little ginger, too. Made me want to buy a second bar – but I restrained myself. On the other hand it might be totally yum to make a fudge-y, rich brownie and spike it with chopped crystallized ginger throughout.


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