The Rub on Spices

spicesFor thousands of years, spices have been sought after for their flavor, medicinal qualities, status, and novelty. And while spices no longer inspire the kind of exploration, trade, and wars they did in the 15th Century, researchers are now finding a different kind of value in these substances. Many spices and herbs, from cinnamon to oregano, cumin to turmeric, have high nutritional value and pack an antioxidant punch.

Indian Spiced Okra

Recipe by Non-Reactive Pan,

1 to 1 1/2 cups okra, stems and any tough parts removed, and cut into rounds
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder or paprika
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt to taste


Turmeric is a root-like rhizome related to ginger, similar in shape but with a rich deep orange-yellow hue. It is used both fresh and dried as a spice or coloring agent, although peak flavor occurs only with the fresh root. It has a slightly peppery flavor and mustardy smell, and is common in Indian and Asian cuisines. Fresh, it is prized for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. It is used to make tea, and is often grated and sautéed with onions and garlic as a base for many dishes, including rice, curries, and dressings.

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Nectarines

Adapted from

1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 nectarine, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro
Salt to taste
Greek yogurt, optional


Turmeric: The Vibrant Spice of life

The ginger-looking branch in our West Coast TakeHome cases this  week is not ginger, but fresh organic turmeric from Hawaii.  Turmeric grows wild in India and Southeast Asia and has  been integral to the taste, smell, and color of those lands for thousands of  years. It is literally woven into the fabric of Asian life.

Fresh Turmeric