Thursday, December 5, 2013

Spiced Milk

whole and ground nutmeg
Photo Credit: Glamour Magazine

Cold weather calls for hot drinks with warm spices. Here's a simple recipe that'll help you relax and sleep better, too.

Ingredients
  • Milk of choice I used 2% Broguiere's Farm cow's milk
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cardamom In an earlier post, I shared how to use them fresh from whole pods
  • Ground nutmeg Just grate the whole "seed" over a microplane or fine grater
  • Sweetener of choice such as agave or honey I used this thick, raw honey
Directions
  1. Heat milk via desired method (stovetop, microwave, steamer/frother) I love using my Nespresso Aeroccino. Thanks for the gift, Esther!
  2. Sprinkle spices into heat resistant cup to taste
  3. Pour milk into cup, then stir
  4. Add sweetener of choice, then stir
  5. Enjoy!
In the words of Ina Garten, how easy is that?

Health Benefits 
Not only are these spices fragrant and flavorful, they have health benefits, too.
Cinnamon 
This common spice can help regulate blood sugar, prevent blood clots, relieve indigestion and, possibly, enhance cardiac health. It's also a natural anti-bacterial agent. It has warming properties.  
Cardamom 
This lesser-known spice is part of the ginger family. It can help lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and aid in digestion. 
Nutmeg 
It can can help regulate your GI tract, promote better sleep, and known as an aphrodisiac.
Source: US News, Livestrong (here & here), Glamour, Shape 

Tips to Use

Cinnamon
Aside from the obvious sweet applications, try sprinkling it into your tea or coffee. Add a stick to citrus spa water (see image below). Add to Middle Eastern or Indian-style dishes. Add to your homemade almond milk for a horchata-like taste.

Cardamom
Mix with other spices to make your own Chai tea. Try adding it into your baked goods for another dimension of flavor. I tried a great Cardamom Rose cupcake from Native Foods

Nutmeg
Commonly used in baking, you can also add it to savory dishes like mac & cheese (tip from Rachel Ray), saut√©ed spinach, or grilled chicken. Or, mix it into whipped cream.




Do you have any other suggestions for using these spices in your everyday cooking?

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