Do you want to spice up your life while making meals that help you look and feel younger? If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to add anti-aging nutrients to your food. I also take supplements to ensure that I’m getting all the health benefits I possibly can from herbs, spices, and exotic plants.
Recently, I decided to create an easy way to help you up the anti-aging ante on your own favorite recipes. I’ve been researching spice mixes—with great success, so much so that I’m considering developing a line of FoodTrients Spice Mixes that you can add to veggies, mac & cheese, eggs, grains, poultry, red meat, seafood, and even desserts.
Where to begin? I started by identifying all the spices in my kitchen cabinet that are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories: turmeric, mustard, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. These spices not only fit the anti-aging bill, they taste good and are detoxifying and cancer-preventing. They also taste good sprinkled on vegetables, mac & cheese, and scrambled eggs. I next pondered what other spices I could add to make this mix even healthier and came up with dried onion powder, mushroom powder, wheatgrass powder, and paprika. I’m still working out the ratios, but this is a promising mix.
My next challenge was to figure out which spices work best when mixed with grains, such as rice (brown or white), quinoa, farro, or barley. The answer: turmeric, garlic, onion powder, and lemon zest. To add cancer-preventing power, I remembered my trick of boiling soba noodles in green tea. Why not add green tea powder to the mix?
For poultry, I realized that a spice mix combining goji berries, white pepper, and lemon peel would taste delicious, and for red meat, I selected chili powder, ginger, garlic, black pepper, and possibly ground flax seeds, which would boost the good fats. And since black cherries complement red meat really well, I’m researching a good source for dried, ground cherries. Seafood would taste great with a sprinkling of ground moringa leaves, piment d’Espelette (a fancy French type of paprika), and dill, don’t you think?
Finally, I experimented with combining spices for brownies, cakes, cookies, bars, puddings, and sauces. This mix would not contain sugar, because I want people to still be able to add just a teaspoon or two to their recipes. Instead, it would bring flavor and antioxidant power to desserts without adding calories or carbs. The winning mix? A concoction of cocoa powder, cinnamon, brown cardamom, nutmeg, and instant coffee. All these spices are wonderful for the brain and for reducing inflammation. I tested my new FoodTrients Dessert Spice Mix in the following recipe. It worked beautifully.
Turkey with Molé Sauce
Because so many of my FoodTrients fans love crock-pot cooking, I devised this easy recipe that can be made in a slow cooker or on a stove top. Traditional Mexican molé sauces may contain hundreds of ingredients. I’ve kept this one simple. My new FoodTrients Dessert Spice Mix adds antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. I spoon the turkey and sauce into corn tortillas that have been warmed on the griddle.
Health benefits: Turkey contains the FoodTrient selenium, which detoxifies organs and helps skin stay elastic. The tryptophan content in turkey builds healthy neurotransmitters in the brain. Tryptophan is also found in dark chocolate, along with the FoodTrients catechins and flavonoids, which reduce the risk of heart disease. Almond milk provides the FoodTrients omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart and circulation system, and zinc, which increases your resistance to infection. Chile peppers are rich in the FoodTrients zinc and vitamin C, another boost to the immune system.
Variations: You can use chicken instead of turkey or make the molé spicier by adding hotter chiles or more varieties of hot peppers. This dish can be served over rice (preferably brown rice, for added nutrients) instead of with corn tortillas.
1¼ lbs. turkey cutlets or turkey tenders (skinless and boneless)
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup almond milk
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
¼ cup chopped jalapeño peppers
1 Tbs. raisins
2 tsp. FoodTrients Dessert Spice Mix (recipe follows)
2 tsp. raw or brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water
1 banana, mashed
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1. Place all ingredients except cornstarch mixture, banana, and chocolate into a crock pot or enamel-covered cast-iron pot with a lid (such as Le Creuset). Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add cornstarch mixture and cook another 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the mashed banana and the chocolate chips. Let sit 2–3 minutes, or until all the chocolate has melted. Stir well.
4. Spoon into grilled corn tortillas or ladle over rice.
FoodTrients Dessert Spice Mix
1 tsp. ground cardamom (brown, not green)
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. instant coffee (decaf is fine)
8 tsp. cocoa powder (unsweetened)
Place ingredients in a jar. Add lid and shake until well combined. Store in a cool cupboard.
Yields 8–10 servings