Moroccan Inspired Spice Mix
Sweet and hearty, this spice mix is a creation that was inspired by the Jamaican Jerk Chicken spice mix recipe. There are two spices that double in comparison to almost all the other spices (with the exception of paprika) that make this mix specifically Moroccan; Cumin and Turmeric. Both of these spices are very aromatic, earthy and slightly bitter. They are both also very health promoting.
Cinnamon is also in the mix, though it’s half the ratio to the cumin and turmeric. I find that the cinnamon, along with the sweet paprika give a lightness to the otherwise earthy tones of the other spices. I added one herb; thyme, to add brightness to the mix.
This mix truly brims with flavour.
What’s in this mix?
Cumin is a spice that’s ground from the seeds of a plant from the family of parsley. Cumin is a much loved spice in Arab cooking and is one that is used liberally in many dishes. I like cumin for its earthy notes and ethnic feel that it lends to food. Just a little cumin sauteed with onions and chickpeas or fried with red and green peppers brings so much depth of flavour and life to the food.
Cumin is not only flavourful but potent and health promoting. It is helpful in digestion because of the antioxidant levels, an immunity booster and even helpful at preventing cancer. Cumin seeds also contain vitamin A, vitamin B3 (Niacin), calcium, iron and manganese.
I talk here a little about why we love cinnamon so much in our home and a way we use it. Cinnamon is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are simply molecules that are found in food which delay or stop the aging process in our cells. This makes them critical for our health because it is on a cellular level that we find overall health. Antioxidants work to remove waste products from our cells protecting us form the harm that could be caused if these waste products grew.
Cinnamon is anti-inflamatory as well as anti-microbial.
Nutmeg is a strong spice with a very strong flavour. Nutmeg comes from tropical evergreen trees and is the seed of the fruit locally eaten. Cultivated in the West Indies and Indonesia, the process takes around six to eight weeks of drying the seed in the sun until it has shrunk and makes a rattle sound.
Nutmeg is also helpful in digestion and is a detoxifying agent. Like cumin, it is very high in the mineral manganese, which is essential to over health, but more specifically the nervous system and brain.
Paprika brings a sweetness to the mixture as well as colour. Though not typically used in Arab cuisine, I chose to add this spice because it adds a sweetness to the other deep flavours. There are different types of Paprika but this sweet paprika tastes like a red pepper and is made from ground peppers.
Paprika is filled with antioxidants as well as vitamin A, vitamin B6, Calcium and Iron.
Ginger is well known for its health giving properties. I use both ground and fresh ginger in the kitchen and have come to love its flavour. It is naturally very helpful with digestion and gut health.
The root of the plant, the ginger root, is what is used to make ginger powder. It has been used for thousands of years to heal illness and promote overall health. It is also high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory.
Garlic is another very healthy food. Rich in flavour, garlic is a plant of the onion family. It’s compound allicin is what gives it its powerful health promoting abilities. Allicin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It is powerful enough to fight even the most serious diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Garlic powder is ground from dehydrated garlic cloves. Its taste is sweet though without the strong spice taste of fresh raw garlic. Despite that, it is still full of flavour and a good addition to the mix.
Turmeric is similar to ginger in that it is a super food. Research continues to reveal the startling facts of this healing food. I am continually amazed at just how healing real food is and I know that it is by no accident at all. The Lord gave us a world completely ready with every nutrient and mineral we could need for health and life.
There’s no doubt there has been a lot of talk about the potent health benefits of this food; from curing and preventing certain cancers to curing depression. Turmeric has so many healing capabilities. There are two essential parts of Turmeric:
- Turmeric Oil
Curcuminoids are what make the rhizome the bright yellow orange colour we know and are antioxidants. Turmeric oil is found in a small percentage of the root and is what gives it the aroma it is known for.
Some of the health benefits that come with consuming Turmeric are:
- Healthy skin
- Less inflammation
- may treat and prevent cancer
- aids the liver in detoxifying the body
Turmeric is a powder that is bright and yellow, obtained from the rhizome (the stem below ground) of a plant from the same family as ginger. When consumed fresh, it has a good amount of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant needed for overall good health. It also has minerals like Manganese, Iron, Calcium, Zinc, Copper and Potassium.
Thyme works well in this mix because it adds a different flavour to the otherwise Eastern spices. It lifts the whole mix and ties it together nicely.
Thyme is a small plant of the mint family. Thyme may be a herb but it is actually very health giving. Thyme essential oil has been shown to effectively fight some of the worst bacterial infections like MRSA and is antiseptic in nature.
Thyme is high in vitamin C, vitamin A and minerals like iron and manganese. This herb is also really easy to grow once established and works well planted with other Mediterranean herbs and vegetables.
Moroccan Spice Mix Recipe
- 4 Tbs Cumin
- 2 Tbs Cinnamon
- 2 Tbs Nutmeg
- 4 Tbs Paprika
- 2 Tbs Ginger
- 2 Tbs Garlic powder
- 4 Tbs Turmeric
- 2 Tbs dried Thyme
- Combine all ingerients into a small glass jar
- Shake and mix well
- Use liberally with dishes (see one of the ways I use it here)
- Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year