History of Cardamom

 

Cardamom is a spice that comes from the seed pods of various ginger plants. Native to India and popular throughout Asia, Cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice, famous for its aromatic and healing properties. It commonly used in food, medicine, and skincare.

Cooking with Cardamom

There are two main types of cardamom: green and black. Green, also called true cardamom, comes from an aromatic perennial herb plant. It is widely used in Indian cuisine, and is a popular spice used in baking sweets as well as flavoring coffee and tea. Black Cardamom has more of a smoky flavor, commonly used in meat dishes and soups. Both are found in popular sweet and savory dishes such as curry pastes and masalas.

Healing Powers

Cardamom also boasts natural healing abilities, prominently utilized in Indian and Chinese medicine. Its natural oil is packed with antioxidants and can be used as an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, and a digestion aid. Cardamom seeds are often chewed on for oral health, providing relief from mouth ulcers and combating bad breath.

Skin Solutions

Cardamom essential oil comes from steam distillation of the spice. It creates a rich, yellow oil with an invigorating, bittersweet smell. The sweet, spicy aroma invigorates the senses and calms anxiety. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used this fragrant oil in perfumes, incense, and mouth washes. It is also used as a massage oil due to its warming sensation and skin-soothing properties.

This luxurious essential oil can be found in HollyBeth Organics’ Body Polish, adding that hint of spice while promoting circulation and calming the muscles. It is the ultimate body scrub for relaxation and rejuvenation. The Ancient Egyptians would be jealous.

No wonder cardamom is so highly valued – this sumptuous spice can do it all!

pink peppercorn

peppercorn1Pink Peppercorn is my new favorite spice to cook with, it might even surpass my love for chiles. The color alone adds to any dish but what I love is that it goes with fruit, vegetables and meat. When I decided to research the origin and history of the lovely condiment, to my dismay I found that it is not pepper. It is from a plant that is a member of the rose family whose origin is the island of Renuion but now widely grown in Brazil. I made a delicious dip from it that you can use with chips or put on pork if you like spicy:

1 small red apple

1 avocado

¼ cup olive oil

Cilantro – I love this so I put more than needed

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno – if you like spicy

For Christmas, I am making salmon with mango and pink peppercorn. yum…

yogurt cheese & herb biscuits

Biscuits, just like grits, aren’t just for breakfast anymore. Biscuits as I always say are love message, biscuits are always made by hand with love like my Grandmother used to make. These are yogurt cheese biscuits with clipping from my yard; rosemary, lemon verbena, basil, lavender and mint. But you can literally take any herb in your yard and had to make savory biscuits. Just minutes to make!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tsps. baking soda
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or you can substitute with milk or sour cream)
  • ¼ cup olive
  • Herbs to your tasting from your yard about 1-2 tsps.
  • Grated emmental cheese about a tblsp.
  • Pinch of salt

Mix it all together and don’t let it sit long and it is better mixing with your hands.  I usually put a drop of olive oil on the top before sticking in the oven. Bake at 375 for about 11 minutes. Check to make sure the bottoms are golden and the tops a tad golden. yougurt biscuitsAnd voila! Delicious biscuits!

Geranium Leaves

Geranium leaves are some of my favorite aromas. Hence, cooking with geraniums is my thought of the day. Just chop up the leaves and add to cookie batter, pancakes, jams,  jellies or cakes.  Not only are you adding flavor and aroma to the cookies but your house will smell fabulous. Depending on the geranium species, you can add a lemony scent to your pound cake or a warm aroma to your sugar cookies. You can even take the leaves, chop them up and keep them throughout the winter. Think of geranium leaves as the new parsley flakes or herbes de Provence. I love the smell of the leaves and if I could I make an all geranium line of body products I probably would. Uses for geranium essential oil that is distilled from the leaves and flowers, date to Egyptian times, when they used the oil to treat cancer. During the Victorian era geranium leaves were used in finger bowls. And if you don’t want to put your leaves in finger bowls, make lemonade. Geranium is now even being given to patients with shingles. For skincare see our rose geranium face moisturizer and rose geranium toner and our face and neck elixir.

geranium