I love fall and winter foods like pumpkin, winter squash, soups, stews, and chili. I also love all of the warm, healing spices that often accompany these foods. We know it’s tempting to indulge in sweet treats and pumpkin spiced lattes. But you don’t have to totally derail, nor do you have to feel deprived.
Sure, it’s sometimes nice to spend your days indoors, cuddled up by the fire, drinking your pumpkin spice latte or hot cocoa and watching movies with your family, but you also want to make sure you are staying healthy and fueling your body properly during the holiday season.
This can be done by incorporating healthy holiday spices that are used in many delicious, healthy recipes during this time of year.
One of my favorite healthy spices is ginger, and it’s used in many holiday recipes. Ginger is becoming more popular as we discover its many healing powers and medicinal properties.
Ginger can be used as the actual ginger root, which you can shave or grind yourself to add to smoothies or veggies, or stews, or you can get ground ginger to make it a little easier. Ginger essential oil is another fabulous option.
Ginger is often used for cooking and is often used in asian dishes. It’s a wonderful option to add to soup or chili for added flavor. I love making ginger tea, which is amazing for reducing nausea and promoting healthy digestion. Aside from supporting digestive function, ginger is also great for reducing pain and loss of appetite.
Clove is a great spice to use during the fall and holiday season. It is amazing when added to cider, pumpkin pie, and of course any variation of chili or soup.
This is a spice you probably use often in the fall when combined with other fall flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg, but perhaps you don’t realize all of the medicinal benefits.
Cloves can be found in many forms. You can find ground clove in the spice section of your grocery store, and I’m also a big fan of clove essential oil.
Clove is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, similar to cinnamon, so it helps with conditions like arthritis. Clove has wonderful antimicrobial properties, so it’s great for boosting the immune system and protecting against bad bugs and viruses.
It also works as a natural antiseptic and can even provide mild numbing. Many people use clove oil on a toothache and it’s wonderful for oral health.
Who doesn’t love cinnamon? It’s always been one of my favorite spices! Cinnamon is probably one of the more popular spices, often combined with sweet flavors for a nice treat. During the fall, it is frequently used to top lattes, season cookies like gingerbread or snickerdoodles, and is a frequent spice to use in baked goods with pumpkin, nutmeg, and other fall flavors.
It also happens to have wonderful health benefits, including protecting your heart and helping to prevent diabetes. Cinnamon has a lot of antioxidants, which is always important for general wellness, and can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Nutmeg is another delicious and beneficial fall spice. Like cinnamon, it is a popular spice often used in fall and holiday dishes, especially baked goods and coffee drinks. Nutmeg has been linked to various health benefits, including improved cognitive function, natural pain relief, and better digestion. Some people have also noted its ability to help with insomnia.
The holidays are the perfect season for making all your spiced baked goods, from pumpkin spice gluten-free cupcakes to paleo apple pie and snickerdoodle cookies. Nutmeg is wonderful next to other spices like cinnamon, cloves, and even cardamom.
How to Use Spices in Savory Dishes
While these spices are often used for baked goods, which tend to be on the sweeter side, you can definitely use nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger for your savory dishes as well. Try tasting the spice on its own to determine what type of dish it would go well with. Try adding a little nutmeg or cinnamon to your soup, stew or chili to warm you up on a chilly night, or try adding it to dishes like gluten-free spaghetti. Ginger is great in asian-inspired dishes like curry and ginger chicken. These spices also go great with many different vegetable dishes like roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or acorn squash.
Make Sweet and Spiced Morning Drinks
You can try making fall-inspired drinks for the morning or cold evenings by adding spices like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and clove. These spices are wonderful when added to your coffee or tea, chai latte, and even your spiced hot chocolate. You can also use nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices to make a spiced apple cider.
Healthy Holiday Recipes
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