Mace: Warm and a potent spice



Mace is a spice that is closely related to nutmeg and is derived from the same tree. It is a red, lacy covering that surrounds the nutmeg seed and is often used as a flavoring in both sweet and savory dishes.

Mace has a long and interesting history. It was used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming and was also used in traditional Chinese medicine. In medieval Europe, it was used as a flavoring for meat dishes and was even considered a luxury item. Mace was also traded extensively by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, who controlled much of the nutmeg trade.

The flavor profile of mace is similar to that of nutmeg, but it is slightly sweeter and more delicate. It has a warm and aromatic flavor with hints of cinnamon and clove. Mace is often used in baking, particularly in sweet dishes like cakes, pies, and custards. It can also be used to flavor savory dishes like soups, stews, and curries.

In terms of appearance, mace is a reddish-orange color and has a lacy texture. It is often sold in whole pieces or in ground form, and can be found in many specialty food stores and online retailers.

Mace has a number of historical and cultural uses. In addition to its use in cooking, it has been used for its medicinal properties as well. Some traditional medicine practitioners believe that mace can help with digestive issues and can also act as a natural sedative. While there is limited scientific research on the health benefits of mace, it is known to contain a number of antioxidants and other nutrients that may be beneficial for overall health.

Here are two simple recipes that feature mace:

  1. Spiced Nuts


  • 2 cups mixed nuts (such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together honey, melted butter, cinnamon, mace, ginger, and salt.
  3. Add nuts to the bowl and toss until coated in the spice mixture.
  4. Spread nuts out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.
  6. Let nuts cool completely before serving.
  7. Apple and Mace Sauce


2. Spiced Apple dip


  • 4 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine diced apples, water, brown sugar, mace, and cinnamon.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until apples are soft and sauce is thickened.
  3. Use an immersion blender or transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Serve warm or chilled as a topping for oatmeal, yogurt, or pancakes.

In conclusion, mace is a versatile and flavorful spice that has a long and interesting history. Its warm and aromatic flavor makes it a popular choice for both sweet and savory dishes, and its cultural and medicinal uses make it a valuable addition to any spice cabinet.



More protein on my plate!

As more and more people adopt a plant-based diet, there is a growing interest in finding ways to incorporate more plant-based protein into their meals. While many people assume that a plant-based diet lacks protein, there are actually plenty of sources of protein in the plant kingdom, from beans and legumes to nuts and seeds. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best ways to add more plant-based protein to your diet and share two easy recipes for high-protein snacks.

One of the best ways to add more plant-based protein to your diet is to incorporate beans and legumes into your meals. These are a great source of protein, as well as fiber and other important nutrients. Some good options include chickpeas, lentils, black beans, and kidney beans. You can add these to soups, stews, salads, or make them into burgers or falafel.

Another excellent source of plant-based protein is nuts and seeds. These are not only high in protein, but they also contain healthy fats and other important nutrients. Some good options include almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. You can add these to your meals as a topping for salads or oatmeal, or make them into a spread like almond butter or tahini.

Soy products are also a great source of plant-based protein. Some good options include tofu, tempeh, and edamame. These can be added to stir-fries, salads, or made into burgers or veggie meatballs.

Another great way to add more plant-based protein to your diet is to use protein powders. These can be added to smoothies or used in baking to increase the protein content of your meals. Some good options include pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein.

Here are two easy recipes for high-protein snacks:

  1. Roasted Chickpeas


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas and pat them dry with a towel.
  3. In a bowl, mix together olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
  4. Add chickpeas to the bowl and toss until coated in the spice mixture.
  5. Spread chickpeas out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crispy.
  7. Serve as a snack or add to salads for extra crunch.
  1. Peanut Butter Energy Balls


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds


  1. In a large bowl, mix together rolled oats, peanut butter, and honey.
  2. Add in chocolate chips and chia seeds and mix until combined.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to form mixture into small balls.
  4. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve as a snack or pack them in your lunch for an easy and portable protein boost.

Try out these two easy recipes for high-protein snacks and enjoy the benefits of a balanced and nutritious diet.

Fiber is not only for the gut!

Fiber is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in maintaining good health. It is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by the human body, but instead passes through the digestive system relatively intact. While most people are aware that fiber is important for digestive health, its benefits extend far beyond that.

One of the most significant health benefits of fiber is its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease. A number of studies have found that a high-fiber diet can lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease. For example, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who consumed more than 25 grams of fiber per day had a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who consumed less than 14 grams per day.

Fiber may also help to reduce the risk of dementia, a condition that affects millions of people around the world. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that a high-fiber diet was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The study followed more than 1,600 people for eight years and found that those who consumed the most fiber had a 50 percent lower risk of developing dementia than those who consumed the least.

One of the key ways in which fiber promotes good health is by promoting the growth of good gut flora in the colon. When fiber passes through the digestive system, it is fermented by bacteria in the colon, which produces short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These SCFAs are important for maintaining the health of the colon and promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Studies have found that a high-fiber diet can increase the production of SCFAs in the colon, which can have a number of health benefits.

In addition to promoting good gut flora, fiber is also important for maintaining regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. This is because fiber absorbs water in the digestive system, which helps to soften the stool and make it easier to pass. A diet that is high in fiber can also help to prevent other digestive problems, such as hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

There are two main types of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive system, while insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system relatively intact. Both types of fiber are important for good health, but they have slightly different benefits.

Soluble fiber is particularly important for reducing cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. This is because soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in the digestive system and prevents it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Some good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, apples, pears, and beans.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is important for promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. It can also help to reduce the risk of colon cancer by keeping the colon healthy and preventing the growth of cancerous cells. Some good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

It can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, dementia, and other chronic diseases, while also promoting good gut flora and regular bowel movements. The recommended daily intake of fiber varies depending on age and gender, but most adults should aim to consume at least 25 grams per day.

Some simple ways to increase your fiber intake include adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet, and snacking on nuts and seeds. It’s also important to drink plenty of water when consuming a high-fiber diet, as this can help to prevent digestive problems.

Adzuki Beans

I remember eating Chinese Moon cake and loving it very much. I used to wonder what’s the tasty sweet fillings and then I came across Adzuki beans..they remind me of mung beans except that they are red in color.


Adzuki beans, also known as red beans, are a type of legume that has been a staple food in East Asian countries for thousands of years. These small, reddish-brown beans have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and are a great source of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Let’s take a closer look at the history, geographical distribution, and culinary uses of Adzuki beans.

History and Geographical Distribution

Adzuki beans have been cultivated in China, Japan, and Korea for over 2000 years, and they have played an important role in the traditional diets of these countries. The beans were first introduced to Japan during the Yayoi period (300 BC – 300 AD) and have since become a popular ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Adzuki beans are also widely consumed in China and Korea, where they are used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes.


Adzuki beans are small, oval-shaped beans that are usually red or brown in color. They have a sweet and nutty flavor and a slightly firm texture. Adzuki beans are packed with nutrients and are a great source of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium.


Adzuki beans are a versatile ingredient and are used in a wide range of dishes in East Asian cuisine. Here are some of the most popular dishes featuring Adzuki beans:

  1. Red Bean Paste: Red bean paste, also known as anko, is a popular filling for Japanese desserts such as mochi and dorayaki. The paste is made by cooking Adzuki beans with sugar and then mashing them into a smooth paste.
  2. Adzuki Bean Soup: Adzuki bean soup is a popular dish in China and Korea. The soup is made by cooking Adzuki beans with water and sometimes with other ingredients such as sweet potatoes, lotus seeds, and jujubes. The soup can be sweet or savory and is often served as a dessert.
  3. Sweet Rice Cake: Sweet rice cake, also known as nian gao, is a Chinese dessert made from glutinous rice flour and Adzuki bean paste. The cake is steamed and then cut into slices and served.
  4. Adzuki Bean Porridge: Adzuki bean porridge is a simple and healthy breakfast dish that is popular in Korea. The porridge is made by cooking Adzuki beans with water or milk and then adding rice or other grains.
  5. Adzuki Bean Salad: Adzuki bean salad is a refreshing and nutritious dish that is often served as a side dish in Japan. The salad is made by combining Adzuki beans with vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, and radish, and then dressing the salad with sesame oil and soy sauce.

Easy Way to Cook with Adzuki Beans

Adzuki beans are a great ingredient to add to your diet, and they are easy to cook with. Here is a simple recipe for Adzuki bean soup:


  • 1 cup Adzuki beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 piece of ginger ( 1 inch long, peeled and shredded)
  • 1/2 cup sugar


  1. Rinse the Adzuki beans and soak them in water for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the beans and put them in a pot with 6 cups of water and ginger.
  3. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour or until the beans are soft.
  4. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves.
  5. Serve the soup hot or cold.

Bay Leaf: Warm, Woodsy leaf that goes a long way

Bay Leaves
Dried Bay Leaves







Bay leaves are an aromatic herb that has been used in cooking for centuries. Historically, they were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a symbol of victory and honor, as well as in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. Today, they’re a popular ingredient in many dishes around the world.

Bay leaves have a distinctive flavor profile that is slightly bitter and earthy, with a subtle hint of sweetness. They’re often used in stews, soups, and sauces, where their flavor can develop over time, infusing the dish with their subtle aroma.

In terms of appearance, bay leaves are dark green, glossy leaves that can be up to three inches in length. They have a smooth texture and a slightly pointed tip. Fresh bay leaves are more pungent than dried leaves, but both are widely used in cooking.

One popular vegetarian recipe that uses bay leaves is lentil soup. Here’s a recipe to try:

Bay Leaf Dal


  • 1 cup yellow split peas (or red lentils)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Rinse the yellow split peas or red lentils and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds, and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it’s soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the rinsed lentils or split peas, bay leaves, turmeric powder, and water, and stir to combine.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the soup is thickened.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and season the dal with salt to taste before serving.