As the weather heats up, our body craves one thing: water. But sometimes water isn’t as refreshing as it could be because of its lack of taste. It’s important to drink water, especially in the summer when we are dehydrated more often. Doctors recommend 8 glasses of water a day and it may be hard to discipline yourself to do so. For a healthier, cleaner, and more hydrated you, spice up your water with herb infused ice cubes sure to make your water tastier.
What you will need:
-One ice cube tray (you can find these at your local dollar store or grocery store)
-Your favorite Hanna’s Gourmet herbs and spices, such as Mint Leaves
Not only will these ice cubes dress up your water and make those 8 glasses easer to drink, but these spices and herbs have health benefits that we discussed in our top 10 spices blog post. Cinnamon, for example, is great for controlling blood sugar and also perfect in apple rum drinks. A few mint-infused ice cubes in a mojito is sure to impress your guests and when they melt, they release one of the most important ingredients!
If you decide to do herbs, instead of spices, lay the clean herbs out on your cutting board and chop them finely. This will “bruise” the herb, which helps release the essential oils.
What you will need to do:
-Place your desired amount of spices or chopped herbs into the ice cube tray
-Fill each cube in the tray with filtered water until it reaches the top
-Carefully place in freezer for approximately 2 hours (depends on your freezer and its
-Serve in water to stay hydrated or in alcoholic drinks for a festive flare! Pair with fruit infused
ice cubes to not only get your required 8 glasses of water but your fruit serving, too.
-Make sure to serve in clear glasses or mason jars to showcase the pretty herbs and spices, enjoy!
some of our favorite combinations:
- cucumbers and basil
- fig and rosemary
- lime and mint
- lemon and honey
Hummus has been all the rage recently and it is great people are hopping on the chickpea wagon because it’s a healthy alternative. When snacking, a serving of pretzels, carrots, or crackers with some hummus is a better choice than cheese dip or just those carbohydrates alone. Instead of using butter or mayo on sandwiches, hummus is just as delicious and spreadable!
Chickpeas are a starch packed with protein, guaranteed to hold you over longer in between meals. To spice up a typical a hummus recipe, our gourmet products will do just the thing. Here’s a yummy recipe to make your own hummus, which can help save money. With the right spices and a $1 can of chickpeas, an easy and smart snack is only minutes away from enjoying without a hefty grocery bill!
Hot and Healthy Hummus Recipe:
- 3/4 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt
- 1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pinch paprika
Puree all ingredients in a food processor and enjoy! If you don’t have a food processor, you can mix it together manually but will just have to make sure the chickpeas are mushed to create a creamy consistency.
Top Ten Must-Have Spices
In our blog post last week, we stressed the importance of cleaning out and organizing your spice drawer to make sure your kitchen is equipped with the top 10 spices everyone should have. Due to their versatility in cooking and other home uses, the following spices are an absolute necessity:
1. Saigon Cinnamon Ground- We all know cinnamon as a great spice for baking, especially when making an apple pie. However, cinnamon is perfect for specialty drinks like lattes or fruit smoothies and even is used in chili. It also lowers cholesterol, which we mentioned in a past blog post in greater detail. Full of surprises, cinnamon can also be combined with honey for an acne-fighting face mask or help grow hair with a simple cinnamon mask recipe.
2. Paprika - Any type of savory food goes great with paprika—poultry, seafood, meat, eggs—you name it! Paprika is great in salads like egg salad or potato salad. Be aware when purchasing this spice that it comes in different concentrations and can range from mild to hot so that you have the perfect amount of spice added. Our Paprika, 140 ASTA, is principally used as an ingredient in a wide variety of dishes throughout the world. Paprika is mostly used to season and color rice, stews, and soups. In Spain, Germany, Hungary, and Turkey, Paprika is used in the preparation of sausages as an ingredient that is mixed with meats and other spices.
3. Nutmeg Ground- This spice is great for desserts but don’t be fooled, nutmeg is perfect on sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and even broccoli! When combined with lemon juice, nutmeg is an easy way to enhance a fruit’s flavor or complete fruit salad. Aside from the traditional pairing with egg nog, nutmeg is perfect with cider, hot cocoa, or coffee. When it comes to health benefits, this spice can help bad breath, detox liver and kidney, relieve pain or indigestion, and stimulate the brain by helping eliminate stress and fatigue.
4. Garlic Granulated- We all know garlic keeps away the vampires, but it can keep away athlete’s foot, cold sores, acne, and even cure a cold! When it comes to working in the kitchen, this spice is mostly used for seasoning meats, pasta dishes, and bread. Bon appétit! Our Garlic Granulated comes from California which has a reputation for its excellent mellow flavor.
5. Black Pepper Fine- About everyone has a pepper shaker on their table because it complements just about any savory food. However, it can also be used to make a warming massage oil and helps clear the lungs of congestion. Black pepper can also enhance digestion and metabolism so keep on shakin’! Pepper accounts for a quarter of the world’s spice trade.
6. Oregano- Chicken, rolls, burgers, beans—they’re all better with some oregano! Want to make homemade pesto? Oregano is known as a staple in Italian Cuisine. Our Greek oregano has a high reputation. Together with Basil, also used often in Italian dishes, they make a great pair. This spice is filled with healthy minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! Oregano is also one tough spice known to fight off bacteria because it possesses thymol and carvacol, two natural healthy oils.
7. Italian Seasoning- This is a go-to blend for pasta dishes and meat marinades. Italian seasoning can also act as a salad dressing when paired with oils or used to enhance rolls. Other than linguine and fettuccini, pizza is another great Italian dish perfect with this seasoning. Any cheesy slice of pizza can be turned up a notch with a pinch of this spice. This seasoning is so versatile in cooking and is especially important in la familia italiana.
8. Cinnamon Sticks- Cinnamon in the natural form of a stick is perfect for curries, tea, wine, and you can even make a cinnamon essence for baking from it! Bad breath? Chew on some cinnamon sticks and freshen your mouth right up! Other than the health benefits mentioned previously for cinnamon, it can help control blood sugar, reduce weigh, relieve arthritis pain, and help with the common cold symptoms!
9. Vanilla Pure Extract- You’ve seen on our blog and Instagram how our vanilla extract enhances a coffee drink or smoothie. It’s also a must-have for baking and for keeping things fresh and smelling lovely. Vanilla is best used for baking, flavoring rice pudding and making ice cream. With vanilla extract, you can eliminate odor in your fridge, deodorize your microwave, neutralize the smell of paint, and of course, sweeten the smell of your home. This necessity can also repel bugs and relieve minor burns!
10. Crushed Red Pepper- Usually next to parmesan and oregano shakers at a restaurant, crushed red pepper is thought just to spice up Italian food but it is great for seasoning meat before hitting the grill, speeds up metabolism, and is full of antioxidants. This spice is known for causing the Capasicin Effect, which is when some of the pain-signaling neurotransmitters in the brain are eliminated. In non-medical terms, crushed red pepper can work as a painkiller, not just a tasty complement to olive oil and bread! If you are a serious heat lover, use on pizza, spaghetti sauce, tacos and other dishes.
Thanks for reading!
Just because the weather is heating up, doesn’t mean you have to give up your morning cup of Jo! An iced coffee is great with our Vanilla Pure Extract for that fresh café flavor and you can impress your guests by topping it off with whipped cream and our Fine Chocolate Paradise Krunch.
No barista training needed for this delectable summer drink:
1. Fill entire glass with ice cubes or coffee iced cubes
2. Fill half of glass with your choice of coffee.
3. Pour 1% milk into glass until desired color/strength is reached (creamer can be used as well for a richer drink).
*Depending on how you and your guests like their coffee, you can adjust these measurements but make sure you leave enough room for the following steps*
4. Put a splash of our Vanilla Pure Extract and stir 3 ingredients together.
5. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle on our Fine Chocolate Paradise Krunch or Saigon Cinnamon Ground or both!
6. Enjoy your coffee in the morning for a pick-me-up or after dinner as a chilled dessert!
It’s Never Too Late for Some Spring Cleaning…
As soon as the flowers bloom and the allergens zoom their way through the wind, we all tend to grab our cleaning supplies. It has become almost an unwritten rule in our society to clean out our homes in the spring. Maybe the increase in allergens and dust motivates us to do so but it is always refreshing to kick start our living environments.
When it comes to spring cleaning, the kitchen is often neglected but why? It’s the heart of most homes, the place of traditions and after work conversations, the starting place of great meals.
We clean out our closets but why not our spice drawers? The spices we have in our kitchen are the unspoken necessities. When following through with a recipe, we tend to pay little attention to spices because they are small in size. Most recipes call for a teaspoon of this or a dash of that but if they are so small why do we continue to use them? Because the right spice can make all the difference when trying to impress your in-laws with a home-cooked meal.
Most of your spring cleaning is probably already finished so give your spices a little bit of attention, open up that drawer or cabinet, and make sure you have the top 10 necessary spices for your kitchen. If not, click the spice your kitchen is missing and purchase our quality product
- Saigon Cinnamon Ground
- Nutmeg Ground
- Garlic Granulated
- Black Pepper Fine
- Italian Seasoning
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Vanilla Extract Pure
- Cayenne Pepper or Crushed Red Pepper
Explore these spices’ versatility and find out why these are the top 10 in our blog post next week!
The weather is changing. People are getting sinus infections, runny noses, feeling tired or simply just feeling down. Here is a short guide of Herbs that Heal!
Hanna's Gourmet Spices are the freshest and best quality on the market, so its no wonder that people love to use our products in there homemade remedies.
Enjoy this little guide to help with your Symptoms!
Check out this post of ways to use Spices in you recipes that are healthy!
Read what prepared foods has to say on Pine Nuts, Star Anise and other spices.
Here, you can read recipes that will make a delicious meal for cooking & baking. Stay tuned!