New Ways to Use Autumn Spices

Break out the nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon to celebrate fall. Prepare some hearty fall foods using the stronger spices and seasonings common to this season. Great for meals, tea, and desserts, these spices are popular this time of year because they are warm and savory.


Over thousands of years, cinnamon has been valued for its medicinal properties. Cinnamon comes from the inner bark of a variety of evergreen trees.

Cinnamon is essential for everything from apples to squash to sweet potatoes to mulled cider or wine. This sweet and warming spice is the perfect companion to the harvest season. Cinnamon’s warmth is perfect for cozy autumn dishes and flavorful savory dishes alike.


In desserts, curries, mulled wine, and chai tea, nutmeg has a warm, slightly nutty flavor. During six to eight weeks, the nutmeg seeds are gradually dried in the sun to make nutmeg for seasoning. Nutmeg shrinks during this time, releasing its hard seed coat. When shaken, the kernels should rattle in their shells. It can be bought whole, ground up, or packaged when separated from the outer coat (the mace).


Many people are familiar with cloves as a spice used in cooking, but they have also been used for centuries to treat a variety of health problems. Various dishes from India usually contain cloves. It is not as popular in America cooking.


Popular belief holds that allspice is a blend of several fall spices. An ingredient of the Caribbean and Central American Pimenta dioica tree, it’s extracted from dried, unripe berries. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are all part of the flavor profile of allspice powder, whether it is ground or whole.


Gingerbread and shortbread are rich with the flavor of cardamom, which is a staple in Indian cuisine. A spice that pairs well with saffron, cinnamon, chocolate, and cloves, cardamom is an herb that is often used to flavor meals. It is sometimes possible to make medicine from the seeds and the oil from the seeds.


In addition to being slightly peppery, fresh ginger is also sweet. As well as providing delicious flavor, it also serves as a natural antihistamine and decongestant. The benefits of ginger include nausea relief, immune system boosters, and blood circulation enhancements.

The season of fall isn’t just about pumpkin spice. Reduce fat, sugar, and sodium in dishes by using spices and herbs that complement the season.


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