DO YOU KNOW ANNATTO?
Cheeky earth-red seeds ripen
Bird-beaked in form, colour dangerous.
Why discover you now?
With so much prickly pain outside this primal pod.
Are you ready to share your secrets?
This Summer I became obsessed with Annatto seeds as I recalled a certain soup. Late Summer corn. Recipe by my best friend Myra Kornfeld in her first cookbook, “The Voluptuous Vegan”
It was sooooo VOLUPTUOUS.
Roasted corn with a sexy sofrito infused with the hue of this prehistoric-looking spice.
I made it again and again, the colours, flavours, and scent memories of friends gathered.
After I moved from New York and then Seattle, those feasts with best friends over the border became like rubies, precious and rare. Until one trip to the spice market where I rediscovered this jewel. Oh the happiness. Infusing oils, sauces, soups and ecstatic spice blends. I cannot even tell you how these beauties will make you feel.
When I step into my kitchen knowing they are there, I feel like a traveller, never lonely, free to go off on some adventure or another deep into my world of colours, aromas, and wild imaginings.
While playing with my new spice friends in a whole new way I created this tangy spice masala and I’m using it like crazy on my Late Summer corn on the cob with plenty ghee. Definitely a blend for adding to veggies like cauliflower and potatoes, as well as to various types of white fish. Its citrusy, slightly sweet and a little bit of spicy.
ANNATTO LEMON ZEST RUB
2 TBSP Annatto seeds
Zest of 2 medium lemons
3 TBSP Coriander seeds
1 TBSP Whole Black pepper
1 tsp salt
Toast the coriander and black pepper and grind to a rough consistency. Grind the annatto seeds until roughly powdered. Zest lemon skins. Add salt and meld all together.
Use as an aromatic rub directly on corn, tofu, poultry, fish, root veggies.I hope you enjoy making this rub, so easy and fresh and a really really great way to enjoy the Summers corn bounty!
NOTE: Annatto lends a deep crimson colour to dishes either as an infused oil, rub or marinade traditionally for meat and fish but is definitely a gorgeous rub. The seed’s rich pigment infuses oils and vinegars with its golden-red hue imparting not only colour but a subtle citrus flavour to foods. Kitchens around the world use annatto to add its yellow-red colour to foods. The peppery, citrusy and earthy flavour of annatto, best ground raw or infused whole into oils, enhances and pairs well with most spices especially coriander, lemon/orange zest, black pepper, cumin, ginger, and cocoa.
As an Ayurvedic spice benefit, annatto assists liver and kidney function and strengthens bone tissue.
MYTH, MAGIC, & SACRED MEDICINE
I love that this stunningly vibrant seed was originally used as a ceremonial pigment and that nearly all Mayan scriptures were written in its red-staining ink. The Mayans and Aztecs considered this juice sacred and revered it as a symbol for blood in their rituals. These early civilizations went on to use annatto in foods ranging from spicy stews to powerful ritual chocolate drinks. Due to its rich hue, annatto was also valued as a pigment for war paint and is still used for colour in cosmetics (mostly lipstick), food and fabric dye.
Known as an aphrodisiac for women, annatto is imbued with the fire element and provokes desire. Mmmmm I must say just cooking with this amazing spice makes me feel totally luscious. So satisfying. With all this and its many health benefits, I implore you my darlings to go find some and try it.
Love and Fragrant Blessings,
Glynnis, Your Spice Mistress xox
This full moon. Promising to pull from the depths our everything.
A spice blend, committed and complex, imbued with the black gold of Nigella Sativa.
Do you know this spice? It excavates to the depths anything holding back the treasure of good health.
And with the colour of a moonless night it works in the shadows to heal.
Intriguing with the common name of black cumin.
There is nothing common about this aromatic spice medicine.
Illuminated by the power of the full flower moon, it shines along with the others.
Cardamom, sesame, cayenne and paprika. Turmeric, walnuts, hemp nut, white pepper and salt.
A masala to celebrate the Scorpio May Moon.
To adorn and empower your food with lunar magic
elevating the vibration of your creative expression.
Sprinkle lavishly. You will see.
FULL FLOWER MOON MASALA RECIPE
1 cup Sesame seeds
1/2 cup ground Nigella Sativa seeds (or 3/4 cup whole seeds)
1 TBSP Cardamom seeds (not the pods)
1 tsp ground Paprika
1 tsp ground Turmeric
1 tsp whole White Pepper
1/2 tsp ground Cayenne
1/4 cup Hemp nuts/seeds
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp Himalayan salt
Toast the sesame seeds and ‘crack’ them in a mortar and pestle to maintain the texture. Do not grind to a powder or paste. I like ’em chunky style! Toast the other whole seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds individually being careful not to burn them. You will know they are ready when the aromatic molecules have been released (you will smell it!). Grind spices and nuts and add to the sesame seeds. Add the powdered spices and salt. Meld together and keep in an airtight glass jar or tin. Sprinkle lavishly until the next full moon.
Delicious over roasted veggies, salads, sandwiches and of course the ever-popular avocado toast with a splash of olive oil and balsamic. YUM!
NIGELLA SATIVA BLACK SEED BENEFITS: (from published bio-research)
- Analgesic (Pain-Killing)
- Liver Protection
And these are just to name a few. Try this peppery rich spice and let me know what you create!
May your Full Moon creativity blossom and manifest from the full deep dark, your wildest dreams.
With Love and Fragrant Blessings,
The Spice Mistress
ps. In my AromaDosha Blueprint online learning experience you will learn about these spice medicines and how to bring them and the aromatic plant essences into your daily nourishment. You get to customize your own Ayurvedic Blueprint and understand your relationship to these healing treasures for a transformative self-care practice you will love. (Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. ALL IN!)
HAPPY SPICY NEW YEAR GORGEOUS SOUL!
A most auspicious sprinkling of sweet blessings in this 2017 year!
I could not resist sharing this particular Spice Deck Card on day one of the new year. I suspect you may have a Sankalpa (sacred intention) to further raise your consciousness around what you put into your amazing body temple this year.
CINNAMON! Definitely cinnamon. Not only do I put this enchanting spice in most of my warm beverages but the other day the lid of my cinnamon shaker plopped off into my Chai along with about 4 heaping TBSP’s of cinnamon. Whoops. Oh don’t think I did not skim off the top and proceed to enjoy an intensely cinnamon-laden chai. Usually I wouldn’t have so much at one time but it was DELICIOUS and I had not even added any honey yet. Sweet enough!
I call Cinnamon the SWEET STABILIZER because it has clinical data to show this healing spice as a stabilizer of blood sugar. In a 2003 article published in the journal Diabetes Care, a 40 day study shows improvement in Type 2 Diabetes subjects fasting blood sugar levels, as well as their lipid (blood fat) levels with up to 6g cassia daily (4g is about 1 tsp). In other studies authors concluded that cinnamon is effective at improving glucose control. There is as always controversy in scientific circles around the nature of these studies regarding the type of cinnamon used and the dosage.
From an Ayurvedic perspective though it seems clear.
Cinnamon is often used in ayurvedic herbal preparations to enhance the bio-availability of other herbs. With sweet, pungent and astringent tastes it pacifies Kapha, clearing congestion from the lungs and channels of the body. For Vata it is warming and sweet, assisting digestion and boosting the immune system. Cinnamon is also used in Ayurveda to regulate blood sugar. A daily dose of 1 tsp along with other conscious eating routines contributes to the overall health of the 7 tissue layers of the body producing a vibrant OJAS or immunity.
1 tsp daily? Not hard to do. Add cinnamon to your breakfast oats, afternoon pick-me-up tonic, and evening meal.
As a restorative aphrodisiac and a spice known to “activate the light of intuition” I’m all in!
Oh yay to these gorgeous spices. Take a read of the cinnamon card below and bring the “sensual intrigue of this lingering scent to places where all manner of fragrant dreams reside”.
Fragrant New Year Blessings,
Glynn (Spice Mistress) and Mel (Cinnamon Girl!)
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peelers wife. Smell me…”
My favourite excerpt from Michael Ondaatje’s poem The Cinnamon Peelers Wife speaks of the lingering sensual essence of cinnamon. I love this poem, it is so full of subtle sensuality and the desire to be the one love marked by your lovers scent.
Cinnamon triggers so many scent memories.
There is no hiding from the bold sweet sensuality of this alluring smell. It is in perfumes that call to the exotic desires of our imagination. It teases us in baked goods, chai’s, and sweets with its irresistible mischief.
Cinnamon, the spice that created legends, stretched borders and moved explorers to risk their lives at sea. It is the middle note in my teenage memory from the popular perfume Cinnabar (remember that?). Estee Lauder described it as a fragrance that fulfills every woman’s yearning for the exotic and mysterious. I remember feeling that way about it entirely.
Can you conjure up this aromatic spice without awakening a delectable memory? Close your eyes. Breathe. There it is.
And not only is it good medicine for a dampened spirit and stirring fervent desires but cinnamon has been revered as an Ayurvedic remedy for the sugar blues and other ailments of body, mind, and spirit.
CINNAMON TEA. 1 tsp cinnamon + 2 cinnamon sticks in 12 oz. hot water. No sweetener.
Here’s why you want some of that good aromatic medicine every day: