14 April 2020

Spices for Spring

Spices for Spring

Spring is the time when we start moving away from comfort food – hearty stews, soups and pies – and feel the need for something lighter, brighter and possibly healthier. Here we’ve highlighted a few herbs and spices that do just that. They’re full of immune boosting antioxidants and also lift dishes with their colours, flavours and textures: a stimulus for all the senses.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric powder is bright yellow with a distinct earthy aroma and a pleasing, sharp, bitter, spicy and lingering depth of flavour and is an essential ingredient for Indian and South East Asian cuisine. It is also well known for its health benefits, and is often served as a drink with the addition of a little black pepper (see our SWELL range for inspiration).

Turmeric Spiced Burgers; Reproduced by kind permission of www.includingcake.com 


These burgers are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse! Jo used almond flour as the key ingredient to bind them which is in itself a potent anti-inflammatory, so along with onion and garlic these little burgers really should help kick sore muscles into touch. Jo added a little garam masala and salt to boost the flavour, but you really want to focus on the turmeric as much as possible. Serve on a bed of spinach for even more anti-inflammatory fighting properties (and a break from all that yellow!)

2. Lemongrass

A great way to add a lemony freshness to your dishes and create that authentic South East Asian flavour, Lemongrass is a traditional ingredient in Thai curries, soups and sauces. We’ve used it here to flavour some basmati rice to go with a spicy prawn curry.

Not only is it a fabulous ingredient but it can also be used to make a refreshing herbal infusion.


3. Nigella Seeds 

Also known as Black Cumin or Kalonji, Nigella Seeds belong to the buttercup family of flowering plants. The black seeds have a nutty and slightly smoky, peppery flavour, together with a crunchy texture and are often used to decorate bread or pastries, as well as in curries.

Sabrina Ghayour uses Nigella Seeds to add extra crunch to her Butternut, Feta and Chilli rolls – a delicious vegetarian main course from her cookbook Bazaar.


4. Blue Poppy Seeds

A rich source of minerals and antioxidants, Blue Poppy Seeds are used mainly in baking and confectionery. They give extra crunch and colour on top of baked bread, extra sweetness in baking and are also delicious in salad dressings and sprinkled on potatoes.

Why not have a go at these tasty homemade bread rolls? Feel free to top with whatever seeds you have in the cupboard.