The Spice of Life

I’m terrible at moderation.

It’s why I have 11 cans of pumpkin in my cabinet.

And plan to buy more this weekend.

Seriously.

The whole idea of moderation gets completely thrown out the window if I think something is healthy.

Women need calcium?

Oh, I better eat 5 fortified chocolate chews then.

Running is good for cardiovascular health?

I’ll run three miles.

Plus five more.

Most adults require 8 hours of sleep?

I’ll ditch my friends so I can be in bed by 9 Pm.

On Saturday.

Local honey is good for allergies?

I’ll just eat it by the spoonful.

Cinnamon lowers blood sugar, is an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and a good source of iron, calcium, and fiber?

I’ll just add a scoop to my pot of coffee.

And a dash to my smoothie.

And a sprinkle stirred into peanut butter.

And a teaspoon swirled in my oatmeal.

And a tablespoon to my pumpkin pie dip.

And a heap to my spiced pumpkin bread.

Well, apparently you really can have too much of a good thing.

Too much calcium can leave deposits in your body.

Too much running is hard on your knees.

Rigidity with your sleep routine can ruin your social life.

Spoonfuls of honey can make you rip a belt loop trying to shimmy into your skinny jeans.

 And too much cinnamon can make your belly hurt for two weeks.

And make your blood sugar dip.

And cause liver problems.

And toxicity.

In fact, cinnamon can be so toxic, that it’s often used as an insecticide against bugs, snakes, and even rodents.

Cinnamon only appears to have risks when consumed in large quantities over long periods of time.

Or if you have a sensitive liver and eat cinnamon by the tablespoon at the first sign of falling leaves.

The good news is that if you happen to be a cinnamon lover such as myself, you can reduce the risk by enjoying ceylon cinnamon versus cassia cinnamon.

Cassia cinnamon is the kind found in most supermarkets but it contains a chemical called coumarin which is not healthy in large doses.

You can read more about cassia and ceylon cinnamon here.

For those of you better at practicing moderation, you’re going to need some spice blends to add to that stockpile of Libby’s  inhabiting an entire shelf in your  closet sized kitchen.

Of course, if you’re not good at moderation, you can make sure to use ceylon (true) cinnamon in place of  cassia cinnamon.

Fall baking would not be complete without three spice blends:

Chai Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Apple Pie Spice

A blend of warming spices makes up this chai spice mixture that is great for flavoring coffee, tea, smoothies, and baked goods.

CHAI SPICE

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon anise

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container.

An easy three ingredient blend that works in all of your favorite pumpkin recipes. Stir it into oatmeal for an extra sweet start to your day.

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE

1/4 cup cinnamon

2 tablespoons ground ginger

1/2 -1 teaspoon cloves

Combine spices in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container.

It wouldn’t be fall without the smell of baked apple pie wafting through the air. Try adding some to hot apple cider or sprinkled on popcorn with a drizzle of caramel.

APPLE PIE SPICE

1/4 cup cinnamon

2 tablespoons allspice

1 teaspoon ground clove

Add the spices to a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container.

I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or particularly educated foodie.

I just happen to have a lot of time to troll the internet in search of the potential causes of digestive distress.

So take this information with a grain of salt (in moderation, of course) and talk to your doctor before you take medical advice from a pumpkin hoarder.

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2 thoughts on “The Spice of Life

  1. Yum Yum, this is my favorite food time of year. Your favther-in-law has been canning like an old house wife these past few weeks. I long for the day I can see my kitchen counters again. But I am going to put together some of the spice bags you just wrote about. I will keep some at the cottage for those fall days where something comforting is needed. We have our fingers crossed for Johnny’s important phone call next tuesday. Hugs to you and the my grand dogs. Hope Sadie is getting better. You guys will be getting a wedding invite in the next few months, so we hope you can make it on march 16th. Love ya
    Mom C

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