Healthy Winter Spices
As the days get shorter and colder, yes even on the sunshine island of Cyprus, nothing beats the fragrant smell of winter spices along with log fires!
Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, anise, all spice and cardamom have aromas that remind us of Christmas, mulled wine, mince pies, gingerbread and more.
These spices makeup the spice blends we know, and love using this time of year, namely Pumpkin Spice Blend and Gingerbread Spice Blend! They have many health benefits being full of antioxidants and anti-microbial properties helping keep our immune systems boosted.
Why not try the following ideas to enjoy Pumpkin and Gingerbread spice blends which are available from Spice&Easy.
6 Ways to Use Pumpkin Pie Spice
Add it to coffee: Mix pumpkin pie spice with your coffee grounds or sprinkle it on your Pumpkin Spice Latte (Just Like Starbucks!).
Mix it into whipped cream or Greek Yoghurt and then dollop over pies from pumpkin to apple and pecan.
Make sweet, spiced nuts: Perfect for afternoon snacks, parties, or gifts.
Try it in pasta: a dash of the pie spice is delicious added to Pasta with Brown Butter and Fried Sage.
Roast vegetables: Use pumpkin pie spice to season sweet vegetables like winter squash, sweet potatoes, and parsnips.
Stir it into pancake batter: Use about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of batter.
Few things can beat cosy winter nights with mulled wine, mulled juices, or a cup of Chai! Adding these winter spices evokes warm happy feelings of contentment and best of all, they can be used anytime of the year when you need a little cheerful warm up!
Pumpkin Cranberry Breakfast Cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1 ¼ cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 (heaping) teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (Spice&Easy)
6 tablespoons applesauce
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree (if using homemade, make sure it is thick like canned)
2 egg whites
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place all ingredients in bowl, stir together until combined.
Roll the cookies into golf ball sized balls with cooking oil sprayed hands.
Place on baking sheet(s) about 2 inches apart, giving them room to spread slightly.
Spray tops with cooking oil, flip over with a cooking oil sprayed spatula, so your cookies won't stick to the pan.
Bake about 8 minutes for moist cookies and 10-12 for dry cookies
A Healthy Take on Ginger Bread
3 cups whole-grain flour (I prefer spelt, though if you want to go gluten-free, this is a good opportunity to use buckwheat. Try half buckwheat and half oat.)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tsp Gingerbread Spice Blend (Spice&Easy)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup applesauce
¾ cup molasses
2 tablespoons white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, Gingerbread Spice Blend, and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine the maple syrup, applesauce, molasses, and white vinegar in a second medium bowl.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat. Add 1 cup hot water to the wet ingredients and stir.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while mixing but be careful to not over-mix. The mixture should be quite thin.
Transfer the batter to a loaf tin. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from centre of loaf
Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.