Cardamom – the Love Spice

food health love Jan 30, 2017

Apparently cardamom is an aphrodisiac and frankly, it doesn't surprise me, similar to cinnamon and related to ginger and turmeric, it has many health benefits but it also adds a certain zing to dishes, particularly when combined with something sweet and zesty. I feel cardamom really opens my heart and my mind... a bit like switching the light on. 

 

Health benefits include lowering cholesterol, reducing bowel inflammation, treating urinary disorders and has even been known to counteract bowel cancer. But it's also believed to contain anti-depressant properties. If it can make us feel good, it inevitably will also make us happier.

 

In this blog post I'm sharing two recipes using cardamom, but feel free to just sprinkle a little on your next breakfast, into a banana smoothie or stir it into your curry. 

 

People often ask me how I use cardamom. In the past when I used to cook food, I would just remove some seeds from a pod and cook it with the other ingredients. But for raw food I use it powdered. I simply throw a handful of pods into my blender and blend it on high until it turns into a powder. The pod shells don't break down completely, so I sieve it through sieve to remove the rough bits. The smell that fills the kitchen is enough to make you fall in love!

 

 

Cardamom Bliss Bites

 

Ingredients

100g (1 cup) almond pulp (leftover from making almond milk or use ground almonds)
200g (2 cups) Brazil nuts
200g (2 cups) pitted dates
200g (1.5 cups) sunflower seeds
100g (1 cup) golden berries (dried physalis)
2 tablespoons hemp powder
1/2-1 teaspoon cardamom powder
pinch of sea salt


Directions

Place all ingredients but with only 1/2 teaspoon cardamom into a food processor and process into a sticky dough.
Taste the mix and if required add more cardamom.
Roll into balls approximately 2.5cm/1" in diameter and place onto a tray.
Place the tray into the fridge and let the balls set.
Once hardened, they can be put into a jar or container and kept in the fridge for up to two weeks. 
Note: The strength of the cardamom can vary depending on how fresh it is and what type of cardamom. This is why I suggest you start by adding 1/2 teaspoon and then add more cardamom to taste. 

 

 

Cardamom Love Smoothie Bowl

 

Ingredients

1 ripe pear, corded and cut into pieces to fit your blender
2 small or 1 large blood orange, peeled and cut into pieces to fit your blender
80ml (1/3 cup) almond milk
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon freshly ground linseeds


Directions 

Place the pear, half the orange, almond milk, cardamom and sea salt into a blender.
Blend at high speed until smooth.
Add the chia seeds and mix into the smoothie. 
Leave for 10 minutes for the chia seed to swell. Stir occasionally.
Filet the other half of the orange and place onto the smoothie.
Sprinkle the ground linseeds on top.
Decorate with an almond or two.
Note: To filet the orange, use a sharp knife and slice the segments lengthwise along the skin and scoop out the flesh, remove any pips. 
If you can't get hold of blood oranges, ordinary oranges will also be lovely.

If it's not sweet enough for you, add a teaspoon of maca powder, lucuma powder or coconut sugar. 

 

For making almond milk see my blog post on Turmeric Crackers here >>

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