CARDAMOM

Spices

I am using this spice every day in my morning coffee and it is time to get to know it better.

The flavour of the spice can’t be described without trying it. It is incredible for culinary and as well known for its medical properties. It is not so widespread and popular in Europe as pepper or coriander, for example, but still available in the market. There are two options to buy it ground or whole pods, both are sold in shops.

I have discovered it when I was in Lebanon and I brought whole bag of it back home from the market without any knowledge how to use it. I have been attracted by smell. I have started to read about it and try new recipes and that was one of my greatest discoveries after Lebanon trip, not counting pomegranate zataar, about which I will write later 🙂

Note (for my Latvian friends): You can buy it in Riga in Stockmann or order online from manasgarsas.lv.

HEALTH BENEFITS

This exotic spice contains many chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties. It is antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.

Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. *Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

Additionally, it is also an excellent source of iron and manganese. 100g of spice contain 13.97 mg or 175% of daily required levels of iron. Iron required for red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, a potent free-radical fighter.

Cardamom is rich in many vital vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health.

CULINARY USES

It is good for sweet dishes as desserts, but also can be used for flavored savory dishes.

I prefer to drink coffee with cardamom especially in the morning. Coffee has quite low acidity level around PH 5.0 and cardamom helps to balance it. It helps to lower acidity, what is important if you like to start your day with cup of coffee on an empty stomach, and very good for your digestive system.

Note: The human body needs to be at about 7.4 for optimal health. Foods that are between 7.30 and 7.45 are the ones that will make most people feel the best in the long run, once the body becomes acclimated to digesting them.

Put cardamom in french press or a cup together with ground coffee and brew for few minutes. Count approximately one cardamom pod for one cup of coffee or 1/8 tsp of ground spice.

Another dishes I do advise to use cardamom is a black rice porridge and baked fruits in red wine.

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