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Guest Post from Yaniv Cohen:: Let’s talk about spices

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You are going to love our guest contributor today…Yaniv aka The Spice Detective. Yaniv and I met through mutual friends in Mykonos about 10 years ago. He was working as partner in a big Miami/NY catering company, and obviously we had tons in common, food events, you get the picture. We hit it off like a house on fire. Over the years, he has continued to build his company. We have kept in touch, and a few years ago Yaniv starting sharing his healthy recipes and his healing spice philosophies. I was hooked. I loved the idea and the shift in focus he had. I was impressed. So that is why I wanted to have him share his knowledge with you in a post for Juice January, and lucky for me, he agreed. Thank you Yaniv! xx I have a feeling this will not be your last time on my blog sharing amazing, healing and delicious recipes.

Take it away Yaniv…

Let’s talk about spices…and health. Many of you might not be aware of the incredible power of spices…

So what are spices? A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish.

Have you ever wondered why steamy, humid hot climate regions typically have the spiciest cuisines? And why spices are more commonly used in warmer climates? Think about India, north Africa and Thailand  for instance. The answer is simple: spices have powerful antimicrobial properties which helps preserve food and meats in regions around of the globe that have more infectious diseases due to the climate conditions.

But spices are more than just antimicrobial powders. Spices contain anti-inflammatory agents. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, too. So for your next meal, sprinkle more spices on your vegetables, meats, fish, desserts and drinks.

If you need ideas, information, and recipes I invite you to get inspired by following me, The Spice Detective, on Instagram and join me on the spice trail.

Since there is so much to say about spices, and not nearly enough time to do so, I selected one of my favorites, turmeric, to share with you today.

Turmeric is a spice that’s no longer an enigma. From its amber color and its earthy aroma to its unique medicinal properties, it’s easy to see why this golden yellow powder rightly earned the title of the spice that heals. Known as the anti-inflammatory spice, turmeric is one of the most scientifically researched spices to date—with a history that goes back as far as thousands of years. Not only does it bring color and flavor to a bowl of white rice, but it actually acts as a one stop shop for your entire medicine cabinet.

Here is an easy yet delicious recipe  to combine my beloved cauliflower with my favorite spice, turmeric. Cauliflower is finally becoming more popular in American cuisine. It is healthy, delicious, versatile and beautiful. This recipe produces a gorgeous side dish that deserves to be a star on any dinner table. In addition, this is what I’d like to call easy, breezy, lemon squeezy! Simple to make, delicious to taste and healthy to no end!

 Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
 serves 2-4

 You will need:
– 6 qt (6 l) water
– 2 tbsp (30 g) turmeric
– 3 tbsp (45 g) salt, plus extra, to taste
– 1 whole cauliflower
– 4 tbsp (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
– Pepper, to taste
– Few thyme springs
– Tahini for serving (optional)
– Cilantro chutney (optional)

To prepare:
Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).

In a large pot, bring the water, turmeric and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat and carefully add the whole cauliflower. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender but not falling apart.

Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil over it, sprinkle the thyme and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top of the cauliflower is lightly charred. Remove from the oven and place on a serving plate. Serve drizzle tahini and cilantro chutney and serve.

For the Cilantro Chutney

You will need:
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 2 bunches cilantro
– 4 garlic cloves
– 1 jalapeno
– cumin, salt, and pepper to taste

To prepare:

Mix two bunches of cilantro, 4 garlic cloves and one jalapeno in a food proceed and work until finely chopped.

Place in a mixing bowl, add half a cup of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste along with a dash of cumin and mix well.

For Tahini

You will need:
– 1 cup tahini
– 1 cup water
– 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
– 3 garlic cloves, crushed
– salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

Mix one cup of raw tahini with one cup of water , 2 tablespoons of lemon juice salt and pepper to taste and 3 crushed garlic cloves in a mixing bowl. Whip thoroughly for 10 minutes until smooth tahini forms. If too thick, add little more water and whip again.

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Easy Asian Spicy Soup

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This soup recipe is an oldie but goodie. In cold weather, it’s just the thing that makes you feel warm inside. Plus, it’s super easy and impressive. I am all about Asian flavors these days, and this Asian spicy soup hits the spot. Let me know how you like it.

Tell me about some of your favorite soup choices this month in the comments. I would love to hear from you!

Asian Spicy Soup
(Chinese Hot and Sour Soup)
Serves 4

You will need:

– 1 tbsp oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 25g (0.8 ounce/ about 6-7  mushrooms) shitake mushrooms, sliced
– 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes *adjust to taste*
– 3 fresh tomatoes, roughly diced
– 2 cups of chopped kale ( I used the curly variety)
– 1 cup frozen corn kernels
– 4 cup low sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth also)
– A dash of soy sauce * adjust to taste; you may need more if you make your own broth*
– 1 tbsp sesame oil (you can add more if you prefer a stronger scent)
– 2 dashes of white ground pepper
– 3 tbsps cornstarch
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 2 eggs, beaten
– Spring onions, chopped for garnish *optional*

To prepare:

In a large pot (or a wok), heat up a tablespoon of cooking oil and then add mushrooms, garlic and chilli flakes. Saute over low heat until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add kale, tomatoes and sweet corn and stir to combine with the fragrant ingredients. Pour the broth into the vegetable mixture and let it simmer with a lid on over high heat until it starts to boil. Turn the flame over to the low and simmer for another 10 minutes after the broth reaches its boiling point. In the meantime, mix the cornstarch with cold water. Remove the lid. Over high heat and while the soup is bubbling vigorously, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine with the soup. The soup will thicken as it boils. Keep it boiling until it reaches your desired consistency. Then gradually pour the beaten eggs into the soup in a circular motion (rather streaming the egg in one spot). Allow the eggs to be fully cooked before you start stirring the soup. This is to ensure the eggs do not cloud the soup and they should appear ribbon-like. Stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce and white pepper. Serve immediately.

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