If you leave your house in the fall, you are often bombarded with spiced everything: Pumpkin spiced lattes, spiced eggnog, holiday spiced cookies, spiced tea, five-spice salmon with ginger and brown rice (recipe below), spiced butternut squash soup… etcetera! Are you sensing a trend?!

There is, however, a method to the spice madness!

As the season changes and the weather drops, our immune system is introduced to new illnesses. Those of us with children who go back to germ factories in the fall know what fate awaits us—cold, flu, sinus, and mystery illnesses all rear their ugly heads in the fall. Enter in—spices!

Spices have incredible immune-boosting properties, warm our tummies, awaken our senses (homemade applesauce steaming on the stove with fresh grated cinnamon, anyone?), and add delicious flavor to (occasionally) bland fall foods (think potatoes and squash).

Below are my five favorite fall herbs and spices with ideas on how to use them. Get creative this fall and boost your immune system at the same time!

Cinnamon — This tasty spice helps balance blood sugar levels and cholesterol.

  • Buy whole, organic cinnamon and grate it over applesauce, hot tea, yogurt, oatmeal, or fruit.

Turmeric — This power spice (and one of the ingredients used in curry powder) is proven to protect almost every organ in the human body. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant used in many Indian dishes.

  • Enjoy on chicken, fish, potatoes, crock pot roasts, in chili (or other soup recipes), or scrambled eggs.

Oregano — This herb acts as the infection police in your body.

  • Use in vegetable stir-fry, soup, homemade pasta sauce, or salad.

Ginger — This root helps to curb the appetite, increases digestion, aids nutrient absorption, relieves cramps, reduces congestion, and calms and an upset stomach (wow!).

  • Grate it fresh into stir-fry, soup, salmon, tea, rice, or even sorbet (peel first).

Cilantro — This flavorful herb contains vitamin K and small amounts of folate, potassium, manganese and choline, as well as the antioxidants beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein. Cilantro is good for healthy skin and hair and it is found to have an antibacterial effect against Salmonella.

  • Use cilantro when canning fresh salsa this year to add in to Mexican dishes, and those with beans, eggs, cheese, and fish. Cilantro is also yummy with creamy vegetable dips and as a topping or garnish for soups and salads.

Living Wellness 5-Spice Salmon with Ginger and Brown Rice

Ingredients

·   2 lbs wild-caught salmon filet

·   1 Tbsp five-spice powder

·   3 Tbsp liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative–Bragg is a great brand)

·   2 tsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

·   1 Tbsp minced ginger root

·   ½ cup chopped cilantro

·   ½ cup chopped green onion

·   2 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions

1. Cut salmon into 4 fillets and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, rub five-spice powder onto salmon fillets (flesh side only).

3. Broil salmon on high for approximately 10 minutes, or until it flakes easily and is cooked through.

4. Mix liquid aminos, vinegar, ginger, cilantro, and green onion into cooked brown rice.

5. Serve salmon atop rice and alongside your favorite vegetable (broccoli pairs well).

*Five-spice is a popular ground spice mixture used in Asian cuisine. It’s generally a combination of the following: cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and peppercorns. It can be found in the spice aisle of most major supermarkets.

Per serving: 366 calories, 32 g Protein, 19 g Carbohydrates, 2 g Fiber, 17 g Total fat

Recipe Modified from Coborn’s By Nature Magazine, November 2014.

For more recipes, visit www.AshleyDarkenwald.com

Ashley Darkenwald

Author Ashley Darkenwald

Ashley Darkenwald is an inspirational speaker and the author of Living Wellness, the book encompassing her 10+ years as a fitness professional, club owner, and nutrition fanatic. Ashley enjoys homeschooling her two children, leading worship at the WHY church in Elk River, and playing sand volleyball in the summer. Ashley’s favorite speaking topic is FREEDOM through the practice of exceptional health.

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