Before the pharmaceutical industry discovered just how profitable disease could be, ancient traditions like Ayurvedic medicine understood the value of herbs and spices in helping to maintain optimal health. There was no ailment that couldn’t me helped by grinding up some kind of potent natural remedy.
Not only are herbs and spices incredibly powerful healers, but they are also the trick to making vegan meals taste amazing. Let’s be honest, bland vegetables and dry baked potatoes are nothing to write home about. Think of your vegetables as a blank canvas and go to work creating subtle, strong, pungent and spicy flavors by combining the right herbs and spices. Once your palette is accustomed, you will know which ones go together best.
Spice rack must-haves …
1. Ginger: Anti-inflammatory and great for digestion. Add fresh ginger to juices, teas, and pretty much any vegetable dish.
2. Cumin: Supports healthy blood sugar levels and is an anti-oxidant. It’s a great mild spice for curry dishes.
3. Cinnamon: An anti-oxidant and supports healthy blood sugar levels. Add to cooking and healthy sweet treats.
4. Turmeric: Contains curcumin, plus it boats anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant properties. Great in curries, rice and veggie dishes.
5. Rosemary: Is an anti-oxidant and has anti-cancer properties. Add to veggie pizzas and tomato-based vegetable dishes.
6. Thyme: Is a natural antibacterial, rich source of polyphenols and flavonoids and improves digestion. Great added to any vegetarian meal.
7. Cayenne: Destroys bacteria and enhances your immune system, improves blood flow, has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiseptic, diuretic, analgesic, expectorant, and diaphoretic properties. Add to soups, stir-fries, curries and rice veggie dishes.
8. Garlic: Helps to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, control triglycerides (fats) and thin the blood, reducing clotting in high-risk heart patients. It also supports general immune function, has a natural antibacterial and antifungal action, acts as an antiseptic, fights infection and contains chemicals that help to prevent cancer. Great in pretty much anything you cook!
Conventional herbs and spices are generally very highly sprayed, so always seek out and buy organic varieties.