Holiday Spices

5 Essential Spices

As you prepare for the holidays, remember to have certain key holiday spices readily available so that you can quickly prepare delicious recipes that are full of flavor. Many of the best dessert, beverage and side dish recipes include these holiday spices.

Fast fact: Did you know that spices don't just add flavor but also have many health benefits? Spices have been used for thousands of years for healing and health. Of course, it is important to use spices appropriately and in moderation.

The following five spices are the most frequently used in holiday recipes.

  • Cinnamon (ground and sticks) is a sweet spice that is often used in baking as well as in recipes for side dishes such as sweet potatoes. Cinnamon is readily available in grinders as well. Cinnamon is also thought to improve your memory and boost brain activity so if you need to remember a long list of holiday "things to do", add cinnamon to your coffee.
  • Nutmeg is popular in many countries. It is a key ingredient in many cookie recipes and is perfect in eggnog. Nutmeg contains compounds that are thought to have calming effects. So,consider adding it to drinks like eggnog to help reduce holiday stress.
  • Ginger is another must have spice for holiday cooking. Gingerbread cookies and many other desserts require ginger. Ginger also has many health benefits including helping fight inflammation to reduce arthritis pain and soothing upset stomachs. (This is just one more reason to keep it handy!)
  • Vanilla is always needed for baking and can also be used in certain seafood recipes for added flavor. When buying vanilla, look for pure vanilla extract (35 percent alcohol). Vanilla contains small amounts of minerals (e.g. calcium, magnesium and zinc) making it another example of a healthy spice.
  • Allspice is a frequently used spice in holiday baking. It was named "Allspice" back in the 1600s and was called "Allspice" because it was thought to combine the flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Allspice is another spice known for its anti inflammatory benefits. Include this spice in your holiday recipes since it may relieve sore muscles or the pain of arthritis.

As you can tell from just these five examples, spices can do more than just add flavor. Spices can improve your health and well being.

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