Spice Up Your Holidays

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With culinary spices that is! The smell of holiday spices in the air signals the Yuletide season is here. These aromatic spices not only add flavor to enhance food, but also contain beneficial nutrients to boost your immune system. It’s no surprise that Mother Nature has been using spices for thousands of years for healing and health.

A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that many spices contain, ounce for ounce, dramatically higher antioxidant capacity than fruits & vegetables. Antioxidants help counteract the effect of free radicals, aid in the prevention of many diseases and contributes to optimal physical health.

Four of my favorite holiday spices are:

1) Cinnamon, a sweet spice that infuses warmth and energy throughout your body. Research suggests that cinnamon is effective in regulating blood sugar levels. With one of the richest food sources of antioxidants, powerful antibacterial powers and anti-inflammatory properties, be sure to sprinkle this on your foods to build your immune system during the cold and flu season.

2) Ginger is an anti-inflammatory root most well known for its ability to reduce feelings of nausea. It is a powerful detoxifier that can ease gastro distress and improve digestion.

3) Cloves have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties known for its high antioxidants. Cloves may reduce pain from injuries, arthritis, as well as asthma and bronchitis.

4) Nutmeg has many medicinal benefits ranging from calming anxiety, reducing joint pain and supports the digestive system.

Add these spices to your holiday dessert table “guilt-free” with my Pumpkin Spice Truffle recipe, high in protein, healthy fats and fiber without added sugar. They are sure to excite your taste buds, curb your cravings and elevate your mood. Let me know how you like them.

Warmest Holiday Wishes,

Susan

Pumpkin Spice Truffles

Ingredients:

o       1 cup raw nuts or seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower)

o       ½ cup meejool dates, putted (approx. 7)

o       ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

o       1 tsp. chia seeds

o       ½ tsp. cinnamon

o       ¼ tsp. nutmeg

o       ¼ tsp. cloves

o       ¼ tsp. ground ginger

o       1 tbs.  dried gogi berries (optional)

Directions:

1.     In a food processor blend nuts, seeds, spices & dates until it forms a sticky ball.

2.     Add gogi berries and quickly process in to date mixture.

3.     Roll dough in small balls.

4.     Roll balls in coconut.

5.     Refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat.

Susan Chasensusan-chasen is a Certified Nutrition & Health Coach. She is the founder of The Organic Teaching Kitchen where she offers nutrition coaching, “hands-on-cooking” classes and nutrition workshops to adults, teens & kids.

Susan brings wellness into school classrooms and small businesses too. Girls Scout events and Baking and Cooking Birthday Parties are fun for all ages at The Organic Teaching Kitchen.

Contact Susan to ask a health question or a complimentary health consultation. The Organic Teaching Kitchen is located at 18 Old Post Road South. Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Check out her monthly event workshop schedule at http://www.theorganicteachingkitchen.com or contact her at [email protected]

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