The Holiday season is fully upon us. Famous as a time for overeating, most of the main dishes in the meals are high potassium foods. How we make them – what ingredients are added to the main dishes determine just how healthy they are. If we add tons of lard or butter, the saturated fats may take away whatever advantage we have from the high potassium content. One of the frequently added ingredients is spice. Christmas is a wonderful time for spice. The aroma of the season instantly evokes images of sugarplums and gingerbread. The fragrance of pine needles and the bouquet of cooking food with its spices add so much to the season.
The spices defining the aroma of the season – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg are at best medium potassium foods. However, so little of a spice is used that the potassium content really doesn’t matter. It’s the change in flavor that matters. By making the main ingredients high potassium foods, you will have done all that is necessary for the health benefits of high potassium foods. It is best to just add the spices that contribute to a festive taste. But if you want to go all out, you can use some of the high potassium spices and still have dishes in the spirit of the season.
We previously listed a table with the potassium content of the most used spices, including the Christmas spices. The highest potassium spices were turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, dried dill weed (leaf), and cumin seed – all having more than a 100 mg in a tablespoon.
Some delicious Holiday dishes can be made with these spices. Turmeric does not have to be used only in curries. Turmeric is great on steamed cauliflower or green beans. It can be mixed into mayonnaise with dried onion, and cayenne pepper to make a great dip. Cut cauliflower florets in half and saute with a teaspoon of turmeric for 5 minutes and then toss with olive oil, and add pepper to taste.
A pinch of cayenne pepper can be added to hot cocoa or to chocolate to give a Mexican flair. When put in the dip mentioned, it adds a sharp bite. You can build a whole new flavor to beans or other lentils by adding cayenne.
Lobster is a popular New Years dish. A lobster bisque with sherry and smoked paprika can be found at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/405 for a nice paprika Holiday dish.
Cumin seed and garlic are two of the more popular spices year round. Even during the Holiday season, breakfast is an important meal. For great tasting huevos rancheros, try the recipe at http://www.food.com/recipe/fantastic-huevos-rancheros-with-cumin-lime-cream-374902 made with cumin, paprika and lime.
Of course, spice cookies are popular this time of year. But so little spice is found in any single cookie, that it will not help your potassium. If you are trying to boost your potassium with cookies, try adding pecans, macadamias or walnuts.