Adding a Spicy Zing to Sweet Apple Cider

ginger-turmeric-ciderFor cold weather, a hot drink like our Ginger and Turmeric Hot Cider warms you up fast. Its combination of ginger and turmeric add cancer-preventive compounds to the cider’s phytochemicals for a naturally sweet drink that is at once spicy and soothing.

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry powder its yellow color. By itself, dried ground turmeric doesn’t taste very strong and has a slightly peppery, earthy quality. But its health-protective qualities that are similar to ginger’s. Both are roots that contain compounds found in research studies to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that protect cells against damage linked to cancer.

The color of turmeric comes from the phytochemical curcumin. The spice was used as a yellowing dye since 600 BCE, according to archeological finds in Assyria. It was less expensive than saffron, and has traditionally been used in India to color the rice served at weddings, a cosmetic, a skin tonic and as a folk remedy for stomach and liver ailments.

If you can find fresh turmeric root at an Asian or health food market, try it in this recipe; if not, just use ¼ teaspoon of dried turmeric for each serving of cider. A dash of ground turmeric can also be added to brown rice while it cooks to make the color more appealing, as well as stirred into lentil, green pea or tomato soup to enhance flavor. Hummus dip, salad dressing and stir-fries are other tasty places for turmeric.

Ginger gives a spicy zing to winter dishes. It not only adds a kick to cider, but minced fresh ginger is a key ingredient for Asian-style stir-fries and garlic sauces and tastes great in baked fruit recipes like apple crisp or fruit compote. Most grocery stores carry fresh ginger root – a little bit gives you a lot of flavor, much more than dried ground ginger.

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Healthy, Hearty Sweet Potato Bean Soup

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Photo by Heather Victoria Photography

Beans have always come in handy when animal proteins were scarce; now they can stand in for red meat when you’re trying to cut back to eating no more than 3 ounces of lean red meat per day, as AICR recommends for lower cancer risk.

For a warming and satisfying meal, look no further than our Health-e-Recipe for Sweet Potato Bean Soup. Almost a stew, This rich-tasting soup is based on a rich low-sodium chicken broth enhanced with tomato paste, a product high in the protective phytochemical lycopene.

Simmered with nutritious onions and celery, chopped sweet potato chunks add plenty of the cancer-preventive phytochemical beta-carotene (also present in other orange vegetables and fruits, like carrots). Continue reading


Study Sheds Light on Key to Cutting Sodium, Not Flavor

If you’re anything like the average American, you’re consuming way too much sodium.  You may have tried to kick the habit, but found that you just don’t like the taste of low sodium foods as much.

A recent study published in the journal Appetite may help. Researchers split about 150 participants into three groups to test how much they liked three soups over repeated tastings: a standard tomato soup, a low sodium Collection powder spices on spoons in wooden table surface top v
tomato soup, and a low sodium tomato soup seasoned with herbs and spices.

On the first day of the study, everyone tasted samples — about two tablespoons each — of all three soups. For the next three days, participants ate larger portions of their one assigned soup. On the last day, all three groups again sampled small portions of the three soups. Participants rated how much they liked each soup every day.

Results from the study suggest three strategies that can help you cut back on sodium without sacrificing flavor:

  • Find the blend that you like best.  Before beginning the study, researchers tested three different herb and spice blends to add to the low sodium soup: blends were based around basil, cumin and coriander, or oregano. No one blend was a clear favorite among participants overall, but individual participants had definite preferences. The lesson is to find the herb and spice blend that you prefer.

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