Spicing Up Paleo Dishes with Herbs and Spices
Part of the Paleo Cookbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Paleo herbs and spices take meals from ordinary to extraordinary. Spices can warm up or cool a Paleo dish or even add health benefits. Many Paleo recipes include some of these wonderful spices and herbs:
Chili powder: Chili powder adds heat to food and is delicious when added to ground meat.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is great for reducing blood sugar and cholesterol, and it adds a sweet and savory flavor (plus a great smell) to food. You can add it to anything, from Paleo treats to sweet potatoes to root vegetables for a noticeable improvement.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg has a warm, nutty taste that’s great with soups, chicken, and eggs and is delicious paired with cinnamon on a sweet potato for a Paleo-approved post-workout fuel.
Cumin: This spice is related to parsley. You can use ground cumin in a citrus-based marinade for meats and in chilies and stews. Try toasting it and adding some olive oil to serve over roasted vegetables.
Rosemary and thyme: Grouped together, these herbs are called bouquet garni, which is popular in soups and stews. It’s also great with chicken, eggs, and lamb and in fresh marinara sauce, which you can pour over squash or zucchini noodles.
Celtic sea salt and ground pepper: These are a must-have pair in almost any kind of dish. This healthy salt can provide your body with minerals processed salt doesn’t. The pepper adds that extra zip. Celtic sea salt is also filled with minerals and totally unrefined, so it fits well with the Paleo lifestyle.
Garam masala: Peppercorns, cumin, cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves are some of the spices that are often used in this Indian spice blend. It adds so much flavor to chicken, stews, soups, meatloaf, and lamb.
If you don’t want your spices to taste like dirt, buy them as fresh as possible. Buying the whole spice (versus a ground version) tends to be fresher and less expensive. You can use an inexpensive coffee grinder to grind them up. For larger spices such as cinnamon, use a grater.
Buying in bulk is another way to ensure you are getting the freshest possible spices; purchasing in bulk at an Asian or Indian market means less turnover so they tend to be fresher. Penzey’s is an excellent source for online spice shopping.