Baking with Winter Spices - Holiday Recipes

Dec 16, 2016
Baking with Winter Spices - Holiday Recipes

Every season has its spices. In many ancient traditions “Earth’s medicine” has been used to counteract or enhance what’s happening in the environment. In the summer, we crave coolness and in the winter, heat. While we can do all we’d like to make that happen in the external world (with clothing and air conditioners/heaters) we can do the same for our insides with winter spices and herbs.

Winter spices are grounding, earthy and hot. When the cool winds stir, a hot cup of cider or hot toddy can heat us up and bring our bodies back down to earth. Not only do these spices change our state, they also add to our well-being. Spices are packed with nutrients and little phyto-chemicals that aid our health in many ways. They taste good and are good for you, so load ‘em up this holiday season.

Here’s a list of winter spices and what they can do for you this chilly time of year. Add them into your food routine for a zap of power and pizzazz.

Ginger

Ginger is often known as a “universal medicine” because of its amazing healing properties. It supports circulation through vasodilation, which gives you a feeling of warmth after you consume it. Because of its heating quality, ginger also helps with expectoration: getting mucous up and out of where it should be. We also love ginger as a stomach aid — eating it before a meal to speed up the digestive process or sucking on a frozen piece for motion sickness.

Ginger is a popular herb for baked goods, jams and candies. Many of us link the herb to gingerbread and gingersnaps at the holidays. But there’s so much more you can do with this zippy spice. Just check out these ginger-based recipes. Blueberry-FOG-Jam-(Fig,-Orange,-Ginger)-Imperial.jpgBlueberry FOG Jam

Flat Gingerbread Houses 

Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread Cake

Ginger Pear Preserves

Ginger Cookies

Gingersnaps

Sea Salt Crystallized Ginger Chocolate Wafers

Pumpkin Gingersnap Bread Pudding

Cinnamon Cinnamon is one of the most well-known and popular winter spices. Like ginger, it’s fantastic for building an internal fire. It enhances digestion, supports circulation and helps with expectoration. Cinnamon is great for clearing out your head and chest, and it also eliminates natural toxins from your GI tract. It’s antibacterial, too, which will help create a healthy balance of microbes inside and out. We’ve pulled literally every recipe that even mentions “cinnamon” in the title for you. Why? Because it’s obviously well-loved by all of us. Get your cinnamon on this winter season. Cinnamon-Pralines-imperial.jpgCinnamon Pralines

Deluxe Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Cinnamon French Toast Cupcake with Bacon Maple Cream Frosting

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pie

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips

Cinnamon Snap Cookies

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Banana

Stuffed French Toast

Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds

Cinnamon Peanut Brittle

Cinnamon Candied Walnuts

Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

Cinnamon Apple Buckle

Caramelized Cinnamon Almonds

Caramelized Apples and Cinnamon Glaze Crescent Doughnuts

Apple Spice Latkes with Cinnamon Yogurt Caramel Sauce

Frosted Cranberry Cinnamon Primrose Cocktail

Hot Stuff Cinnamon Lip Scrub

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Scones

Maple Cinnamon Icing

Pecan Orange Cinnamon Slab

Praline Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Casserole 

Sriracha Cinnamon Sugar Candied Nuts

Tie Dye Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Place Cards

Sweet Potato Casserole with Cinnamon Streusel Crunch

Tangerine Cinnamon Sugar Scrub

Cloves

These tiny winter spices pack a punch. Cloves are a known diaphoretic, which means they help induce sweating by opening up the blood vessels close to the skin. Why is that a good thing? In the winter months, your body brings its heat back to the core of your body. Ingesting cloves means that the heat gets better circulated back out to your fingers and toes. Cloves are also strongly antibacterial, and in many countries you’ll find its essential oil in oral products to keep teeth healthy and breath fresh.

Cloves are often an accent taste to other herbs. Because of its pungent punch, we like to pair it with tastes like ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. Here are just a few recipes where clove contributes. old fashioned spice cake.jpgOld Fashioned Spice Cake

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Eggnog

Biscoff Cookies

Capirotada Mexican Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Slow Cooker Spiced Pear Cider

Spiced Apple Walnut Loaf

Sugar and Spice Cookies

Nutmeg

This aromatic herb is great for improving digestion, aiding in sleep and killing pain. Mix a pinch or two with warm milk for a great night’s sleep or apply to a toothache to soothe the pain. Nutmeg works its wonders through antibacterial and nervine properties that kill bacteria and soothe the nervous system. Nutmeg has the power to overpower in dishes. Featured on its own, it takes on an altogether earthy and rich flavor. Add it to a creamy dish, and it becomes a synchronous backnote. We love nutmeg in the featured recipes below. nutmeg-log-cookies-imperial.jpgNutmeg Log Cookies

Cider Apple Butter

Chai Tea Challah Bread

Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Bars

Brown Butter Bourbon Spice Cookies

Impossible Buttermilk Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

Spiced Pear Walnut Coffeecake

Spiced Buttermilk Pound Cake

Slow Cooker Spiced Applesauce

Texas French Toast

Allspice

This spice is actually its own entity, not a mixture of many as its name may make you think. The herb is used similarly to cloves and nutmeg - for digestion and pains. The herb contains the chemical eugenol, which kills germs found in the mouth and which also aids with oral pains. Allspice is also a great expectorant, using its spice to move what may be stuck in your nasal passages. Allspice is commonly found alongside other tree-based herbs like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. We think it’s a great friend to the recipes below. hermit-cookies-imperial.jpgHermit Cookies Apple Spice Muffins Pumpkin Roll Coffee Can Pumpkin Bread Cardamom Cardamom is perhaps the most subtle of all the winter spices listed here. While it may not be as “spicy,” this spice works similarly to all those listed above. It awakens healthy digestion because it appears to contain chemicals that treat internal spasms and that increase peristalsis (or the movement of food through the intestines.) Cardamom is also a powerful mucus destroyer — opening the channels and encouraging a cleansing sweat for the whole body. Cardamom is a fresh and clean aromatic spice. It pairs well with other sweet herbs, like fennel, but also with pungent ones, like cloves. We like cardamom in the recipes below. Soft Cardamom Orange Cookies

Festive Cardamom Spiced Orange Nut Cake

White Chocolate Pistachio Tarts

Danish Braids

Candied Pretzel Sticks

‘Tis the season for spices, so get them while they’re good. These good-for-you herbs will add so much more than flavor to your life at the end of this year.