Spice It Up Friday Cardamom

It’s important to adjust our cooking and eating habits as the season turns, and this requirement is highlighted by Ayurvedic wisdom. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian tradition of whole-body medicine, which is still widely practiced today.

Cardamum

The seeds have a warm, highly aromatic flavor that add a unique, sweet, floral flavor to any food or drink. This spice is also widely used as a digestive aid and breath freshener is a sweet smelling breath as a result of the common chewing of the pods by men and women in India.

There are three types of cardamom: green, black and Madagascar. Most recipes usually call for green cardamom. Overall, it’s more expensive than average spices, but don’t worry because a little goes a very long way.

Cardamom can naturally help many common as well as serious health concerns, including:

1. Bad Breath 

Cardamom is a very effective remedy against a common problem known as halitosis or bad breath. Simply chewing on the seeds can help to eliminate any bad odors coming from your mouth. Some chewing gums even include it as an ingredient for this very reason.

Cardamom is a traditional remedy in Chinese and Ayurveda Medicine for the treatment of digestive issues like stomach aches, but there is also science to back this common usage. Studies have shown that cardamom ranks above other spices when it comes to assisting the various stages of digestion.

Cardamom can also provide relief for people struggle with breathing issues like asthma . One animal study indicated that it exhibits bronchodilatory effects, which means it’s a substance that dilates the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs.

Recipe

Brown butter cardamom cookies

Ingredients

1 Butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup powdered sugar

How To Make

Melt butter in 2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly and watching closely, 3-5 minutes or until butter just starts to turn golden brown. Butter will get foamy and bubble. Immediately remove from heat. Pour into bowl; refrigerate 30 minutes or until cooled.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Combine cooled browned butter and sugar in bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add egg yolk, vanilla and cardamom; continue beating until well mixed. Beat at low speed, gradually adding flour, until mixture is no longer crumbly and forms dough.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookies puff and start to turn light golden brown.

Cookies will have cracks slight in them.

Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool 1 minute. Roll cookies in powdered sugar while warm and again when completely cooled. Store between sheets of waxed paper in loosely covered container.

Recipe 2

Cardamom Milk

INGREDIENTS


4 cups milk
1 cinnamon stick
4 to 8 green cardamom pods* , to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons honey , to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Gently crush cardamom pods to expose seeds (a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin both work well). In a small saucepan, combine milk, cinnamon stick, cardamom, and honey (to taste). Gently warm over medium heat, just until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan.**

2. Remove from heat and let steep 10-30 minutes, depending on how strongly-flavored you like your milk.

3. Strain milk through a fine-mesh sieve and discard cardamom pods. Return to saucepan and gently rewarm, if desired. Serve with a cinnamon stick. Leftover milk can be stored in the refrigerator in a tightly-covered container and rewarmed as needed.

MICROWAVE ALTERNATIVE

1. Don’t feel like using the stove? Fill a mug with milk, add about 1/2 tablespoon honey, and a small pinch each of ground cardamom and cinnamon (adjusting both sweetness and spices to taste). Microwave on high for about 45 seconds, stirring halfway through, until warmed. Strain and enjoy.

RECIPE NOTES

Strained, infused milk is also delicious prepared in a milk frother or French Press according to your manufacturer’s directions.

*Cardamom can easily overpower a dish if used with too heavy a hand. When using ground in recipes like these, I tend to think of it in terms of “pinches” rather than teaspoonfuls. It’s better to be conservative and add additional to taste than to have to try to dull an overly-spiced recipe.

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