Cumin is one of the most popular spices in the world. Botanically, it’s part of the parsley family and originated from Western Asia. It has been cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean region for over 5000 years. Nowadays, India and Iran are the leading producers of Cumin worldwide. The tiny cumin seeds inside its fruits are used once dried for culinary purposes to flavor the dishes and their health benefits.
The flavor can be described as earthy, nutty, spicy and warm. It’s used in many regional dishes to bring a unique taste while providing great health benefits such as:
- Helping and easing digestion thanks to the presence of thymol, essential oils and sodium
- Improving your metabolism rate, stress/anxiety levels and your sleep. This is thanks to its rich source of iron, magnesium and melatonin, plus the tranquilizing effects of its essential oils.
- Boosting your energy, making you feel healthier and improving your skin cells, as it is full of antioxidants
- Aiding in curing infectiosn or wounds in the excretory system such as asthma or cold and relieving allergies, strings, acne or hemorrhoids, as it is a rich source of dietary fiber, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-mocrobial properties
- Being among the most powerful anticarcinogren plants, as cumin seeds can keep cancer cells from multiplying, thanks to its detoxifying and chemopreventive properties.
- Helping control your cholestorol levels and triglyceride thanks to its hypolipidemic properties and also assisting diabetes controlling their blood sugar levels as it is a hypoglycemic agent.
- Promoting better mental health and sharpening the memory by nourishing the brain cells, thanks to its many minerals and vitamins such as riboflavin, vitamin B6, zeaxanthin and niacin.
As Thanksgiving is coming, here are two lovely recipes for a delicious dinner:
Cumin-citrus Roasted carrots:
Ingredients: 2lb carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces; 3 tablespoons olive oil; 1 teaspoon ground cumin; ½ teaspoon salt; ¼ teaspoon ground pepper; 1 teaspoon grated orange peel; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Heat oven to 400 degrees F
In a large bowl, mix carrots, olive oil, Cumin, salt and pepper.
Spread in pan.
Roast 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until browned and tender.
Toss roasted carrots with grated orange peel and chives before serving.
Marinated turkey breast with Cumin, coriander and white wine:
Ingredients: 4 tbsp mint leaves; 4 tbsp parsley leaves; 4 tbsp coriander leaves; 1 garlic clove, peeled; 60ml lemon juice; 60ml olive oil; 125ml white wine; ½ tsp ground cumin; ½ tsp salt; ½ tsp black pepper; ½ small organic or free-range turkey breast (about 1kg).
Put all the ingredients except the turkey breast in a food processor to get a smooth marinade. Put the turkey in a non-metallic container and pour the marinade over it. Cover the container and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 220DegC. Roast the turkey on a tray without the marinade (keep the marinade for later) for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 200degC and cook for 15 minutes, then at 180degC until the turkey is done (maybe about 30 to 40 min).
To prepare the sauce, heat the turkey marinade in a small saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced by about half. Slice the turkey thinly and serve with the sauce while still warm.