Years ago I was a dental hygienist. I traded in my dental tools and suction tips for a chef’s knife and a grocery cart. It was a good move.
A friend once asked me, which is easier: getting someone to floss her teeth or improve her diet? I still don’t have an answer.
More of the good stuff
But I am delighted with the growing interest in food, cooking, and nourishment. People are eating better by demanding more from their food. From protein to fiber, we want more of the good stuff and ask what will this food do for me?
Maximize your ROI
That’s good because by the time you are 50, you may require 25 percent fewer calories than when you were younger. But at the same time, your nutritional needs increase because you become less efficient at absorbing nutrients. So those nutrients have to work even harder to get the job done. The challenge for healthy adults is to make those calories count – to maximize the return on your investment.
Foods with benefits
As we see the rise in farmer’s markets and home gardens, and ancient whole grains such as farro, cornmeal and buckwheat reintroduced, we have opportunities to add foods with benefits to our plates. By exploring the foods of other cultures, we discover flavor diversity. Last week I sprinkled ras el hanout in some plain yogurt and spooned it over roasted carrots. Ras el hanout, a spice blend used in Moroccan and North African cooking. The blend may include from 10 to 100 spices , depending on the spice merchant. Use it as a rub on meat, poultry or fish, add to soups or braised meats, roasted vegetables, sprinkle it on popcorn, mix it into hummus, or just about any food you want to kick up the flavor. But ras el hanout isn’t the only game in town. Nearly any spice is worth a try. The plant chemicals in spices and herbs provide health benefits. So I’m thrilled to see my herbs coming to life after their winter hibernation. If you don’t have herbs in your yard, think about planting some this spring.
I think good food makes your life better and what we eat has tremendous impact on long-term health outcomes. It all starts with a willingness to feed yourself with high performance food. A well-stocked kitchen may be the best thing you can do to live even better because if it’s not in the kitchen it’s unlikely to end up on your plate. If you need help, sign up for my shopping list right here on my website.
Ras el hanout
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Ras el hanout
Ras el hanout translates to “top of the shop,” meaning this blend features the best spices the merchant has to offer. This prerogative explains why there is variety and so many spices can make up the blend.
- Category: spice blend
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 month.