Bazaar Spices | Stop and Smell Me (Issue 10)

Happy New Year!

We hope that you had an enjoyable holiday season! Winter is upon us and it is during this time of year that we are spending more time indoors. While inside, we have some time to try out recipes that we have been putting off making and when we venture outdoors, we attempt to do what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones from catching a cold or the flu. 

In this issue of our newsletter we share with you a little about Fenugreek and Turmeric. Two spices that will help your immune system fight back those winter germs. In addition, Fenugreek  has some other amazing properties that many new mothers can appreciate. We will also cover a brief history lesson on soup and give you a flavorful idea for your next batch. Lastly, we talk a little about popcorn, those tiny kernels that are such nutritional  powerhouses that one study claims has "'more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables..." 

We hope you enjoy this issue and thanks for reading.

Moms: Get More Milk with Fenugreek

When I had my twin boys in August 2013, I had no idea what it would take to provide them with the nourishment they needed to grow and be healthy. After talking with other moms, including my own, I got some answers. Breast milk is considered by many to be the most nutritious food for babies. With twins, I was going to need a little help to produce anything close to what they needed. So, I turned to an ancient tradition often recommended to lactating mothers by midwives throughout the world. Fenugreek.

Fenugreek seeds are cultivated in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other parts of the world. The seeds and leaves are often used to flavor Indian dishes, and they also helps lactating moms produce more milk. Fenugreek seeds are hard yellow pebbles. They are pretty inexpensive and you can't find them in many places throughout DC, other than Bazaar Spices. So. I tried them. Read the article about Fenugreek to find out what happened next.

Speedy Spice Facts: Turmeric, the Golden Spice  

Turmeric may not be a heavy metal, but its value is worth its weight in gold. Cucuma longa is a south asian herb related to ginger that can make you look and feel shiny and new. This yellow powder has a wide range of uses beyond your basic curry recipe including beauty treatments, medicine and crafts. Why?

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It gives turmeric its yellow color. As a medicine, it is beneficial as an anti-inflammatory agent. Inflammation is a major precursor to a wide range diseases including arthritis, eczema and Alzheimers. The effects of turmeric are still being analyzed in modern medical trials, with several encouraging outcomes. But, it has been used for centuries in India as a component of Ayurvedic medicine. As a coloring, it has been used around the world to dye clothes a vibrant yellow and to color food such as rice. It has also been used as a disinfectant for the body. Read more about this wonderful "golden" spice.

Mmmm, Mmmm, Soup!

Winter is upon us, and in addition to sweaters, hats and gloves, many of us look to cook up a pot of homemade soup to ward off the winter chill and stay warm on cold nights. 

Soups have been around since the dawn of time and an interesting soup tidbit for those history buffs is "that for years travelers and seaman would carry "Portable soup"  which was a kind of dehydrated food used in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a precursor of the later meat extract and bouillon cubes. It was made by boiling soup down to a thick paste and then reduced repeatedly until it took on the consistency of jelly. Once it was sufficiently gelatinous to hold its form, it was placed on pieces of flannel or unglazed earthenware dishes and rotated regularly to dry it further." (Reference: Wikipedia) Fascinating, huh?

The possibilities for soups are endless, however, one of our favorites this winter is a French Lentil Soup with Smoked Spanish Paprika. It is hearty and smoky, with a just a little bit of a bite to it.

Fun, Healthy, and Fast: What's Not to Like about Popcorn   

Ahhhh popcorn! Its name is synonymous with movies, carnivals and butter. However, these little grains are one of nature's little healthfood powerhouses. Sure, commercial popcorn is loaded down with artificial flavorings, salt, and hydrogenated oils, but in its raw natural form, popcorn is loaded with with antioxidants, proteins, and fiber. Who knew!  

According to a 2012 article in the Guardian, popcorn has "more antioxidants than fruit and vegetables." The gourmet varieties of popcorn, such as the ones we sell at Bazaar Spices, take all of the health benefits up a notch and add more variety and complexity to the flavor. The next time you are craving a snack, come check out our selection at Bazaar Spices, and try making some homemade popcorn. It is simple, only takes about five to ten minutes, some oil, and a pot (no popcorn maker necessary). Here are four easy steps to make your own homemade gourmet popcorn.

Heat Up Your Valentine's Day!

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 6:30pm at Bazaar Spices at Union Market, Elana Jenkins of Funkiedo, whose mission is to “make the world more beautiful one soul at a time,” will take you on a journey around spice and herbal aphrodisiacs and guide you through how to incorporate them into your Valentine’s Day Date Night! This discussion about aphrodisiacs will be a total sensory experience.  Attendees will taste hor d'oeuvres and indulge in products that feature spice and herbal aphrodisiacs such as Ginger, Vanilla, Sassafras, Rosemary, Nutmeg, Garlic, Maca, and more.  A great date night event! Attendees are encouraged to bring a guest and get a jumpstart on their Valentine's Day activities by learning simple tips and techniques to turn up the heat in their relationships. Cost is $20 per person. Make it a special Valentine's Day!

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