Even though I currently live in Austin where the only seasons we have are “brown” and “green”, I grew up in Alabama where we actually had four seasons with the proper names.
I honestly start to feel withdrawals when September rolls around and the weather is still a hundred degrees!
But whether or not you’re lucky enough to live in a place where autumn actually means something, as summer fades, you will still naturally begin to crave the vegetables and fruits native to your environment – all of which can be enhanced with spices!
This is a fantastic time to transition your palate from refreshing summery greens to grounding, well-spiced foods that you will want in the cooling months.
I love that spices have such rich histories, and that many of them have been used not just for the benefit of our taste buds, but for also for medicinal and healing purposes.
That’s why it’s important to add the following seven spices to not only vary your food, but to boost your health while you’re at it. Total win!
Here are seven wonderful spices that will enhance your daily autumnal eating experiences:
This is the spice that gives curry its yellow hue. An antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory due to the element curcumin, this power spice may even help with depression. Because it’s poorly absorbed in the bloodstream, taking an extract supplement is a good idea. However, just even getting used to tasting it will make it more enjoyable and satisfying!1 As if that wasn’t enough, turmeric also strengthens immunity and adds luster to your skin.
Ways to fit it into your meals: Besides eating Indian food, you can add it to a smoothie (see recipe below), or sprinkle it on your scrambled eggs (or tofu) in the morning with a little garlic powder.
For these ingredients, try and use organic as much as possible. Also try not to substitute actual milk for hemp or coconut milk. If you need, you can try almond milk as well.
- 1 cup hemp or coconut milk
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple or mango chunks
- 1 fresh banana
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (can be increased to 1 tsp)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon maca (optional)
Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Try to drink this smoothie in the morning before you have anything to eat. It’s a solid way to start your day and pack your body full of antioxidants.
Mmmmm, this favorite works with savory and sweet alike. Also an anti-inflammatory, it can reduce bad cholesterol, improves circulation, and regulates blood sugar levels2 which is great for diabetics and those experiencing severe energy crashes. It is also antimicrobial3, which means it inhibits growth of pathogenic microorganisms.
Get this into your life: Take any standard fruit salad from “blah” to “yay” by sprinkling this gem spice over it.
It promotes sleep, relieves coughs and colds, and reduces morning sickness. It is a great source of copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium. It is a pretty powerful spice, so it’s best to take in no more than just ¼ teaspoon.
Catch some zzz’s: Make a warm milky drink to help lull you to la-la land.
It improves digestion and soothes coughs, and is a very good source of vitamin K and dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, magnesium4, and calcium5.
The yum factor: Add crushed clove powder, walnuts and raisins to your oatmeal in the mornings!
This wonder spice has been used for oral and tooth disorders, resolving digestion issues, depression, and is full of antioxidants that protect from stress and aging6. It is also an alkalizing spice which helps reduce the effects of caffeine!
DIY: Homemade chai teas will never lead you astray. Try this as part of your new morning ritual.
This herb isn’t just awesome for roasting turkeys – it’s beneficial for headaches and eases menstruation. Rosemary also provides vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate7.
Get it on it: Sprinkle some dried rosemary and salt onto fresh potato wedges that you can bake in the oven.
Cumin seeds help with digestive disorders and reduces the risk of stomach and liver tumors, and also helps to cure indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, morning sickness, and the common cold8.
Dishes with an extra oomph thanks to cumin: 7 Ways to Use Cumin
Tell me, which of these, if any, are you game for trying? What are some of your favorite autumn spices?
Post any pictures of your spicy tonics and foods below, or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (be sure to tag @savorywellness), so I can see your success!
Photo by Trophy Geek on Flickr