When people first begin their own journey toward a more healthful diet and eating more plant-based foods, they often have a lot of questions about what to use instead of the typical ingredients that they have been accustomed to for many years. One example is salt. In American society, we use an abundance of salt which contributes to so many varied and complex health problems that in reality, are both preventable and controllable. Simply by switching up your daily routine, you can work toward prevention of disease in a small, albeit grandiose way.
Spices can turn a boring dish into an explosion of flavor; in fact, many spices are thought to provide health benefits. In America, cinnamon is commonly used in desserts, but this aromatic, sweet-tasting dried inner bark of a tree is one of humanity’s oldest spices. Adding spices to your food is one of the best ways to enhance the flavor without adding calories, sodium or fat. Not only that, in many cultures, it is believed that medicinal benefits of spices can help with ailments from boosting immunity to controlling blood sugar.
Lately, turmeric is the media rockstar, a bright yellow spice that contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties believed to help in the natural healing of a variety of auto-immune diseases such as arthritis. In this remarkably nutritious recipe, I’m combining the turmeric and cinnamon with cumin, raisins and chickpeas to create a savory dish that will warm your soul and introduce you to a combination of flavors that are popular in Indian and North African cuisine. I love hearing about people trying out new recipes and seeking out these new and maybe different combinations of ingredients; it shows there really are people in Berks County that have a passion for better health. Have you spiced things up in your kitchen lately? Write to me and share your plant-based recipe. You could win a box of farm fresh, USDA Certified Organic Vegetables. For details, visit: asilentcure.org/recipe-contest
Flavorful Summer Spice Stew
1 small vidalia onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 medium carrots (peeled and sliced into rounds)
3-4 springs of fresh kale, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne
2 tbsp. honey
2 cups of water
Sautee onions in water on medium heat until translucent, add carrots, honey, and spices, then add garlic last and turn down the heat. Add 2 cups of water, chickpeas, and raisins and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add kale during the last 5 minutes and serve with a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt.