When making dishes I love spices, as Isabella says ‘You always put too much spice in!’. What can I say everything is a learning process. I was first properly exposed to hot hot spice when in Central America with the different types of salsa e.g salsa verde (made with tomatillos, salsa roja (made with cooked tomatoes), salsa negra (made with dry chilli) and the killer salsa ‘Habenero Salsa’ (made with habenero chilli). These salsas were a staple which were part of breakfast, lunch and dinner and I believe I had just become accustomed to the taste. Italians do make a nice alternative though to the Salsa verde of Mexico with parsley, vinegar, capers, garlic, onion, anchovies and olive oil.
As I just had a knee operation, I panicked thinking I was just going to become fat through lack of exercise, so had to do a bit research reguarding some good fat burning spices that I could add to dishes, here are my top 5:
Everyone knows the distinct smell of ginger. It provides that warm feeling inside that helps you relax, helps reduce joint inflammation but it also has thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism. The faster your metabolism the more fat your burn. Simple.
- Make a carrot and ginger soup, two main ingredients nice starter for the cold winter nights.
- Drink fresh ginger and lemon tea with a bit of honey.
- Grated ginger and garlic into curries as a base.
Mustard seeds are one of my favourite spices, I love toasting the seeds, smelling mustard in the air and seeing the seeds starting to pop. I also love how the yellow of ‘Colmans Mustard’ is synonymous with traditional a British Sunday roast dinner and British families in general, when it originates from Asia. It’s another one that boosts your metabolism, which will in turn see you burn that fat.
- Add to a vinaigrette to drizzle over your salads.
- Add to a dry rub for meat
- Make your own mustard!
The colour that you can never get out of your finger nails! Turmeric reduces the formation of fat tissues, can help detoxify the liver and curcumin in turmeric can fasten to capsaicin receptors and increase thermogenesis rates. This aids fat burning.
- Add to rice when boiling with cloves to give it that authentic look
- Add it to a morning smoothie
- Add it to a vibrant Vietnamese curry
The smell of cinnamon tingles my nose with the mix of sweet and spicy. Research suggests that it is aids blood sugar regulation, speeds up your metabolism, decreases your cholesterol and increases glucose metabolism.
- Sprinkle on a cappuccino
- Mix into smoothies e.g banana
- Add to rice dishes and curries
CAYENNE IS HOT HOT HOT! Capsaicin the active component in chilli peppers that gives it the heat it speeds up your metabolism, shrinks fat tissue and lowers blood fat levels. “Studies on cayenne pepper also indicate that it aids in the increase of lipid oxidation. Lipid oxidation is when fat is burned for energy – a highly desirable action for weight loss.”
- Add heat to dishes
- Mix in detox teas
- Add to desserts e.g dark chocolate mousse