Spicy Tuesday – Cumin
This is the season for warm comforting soups and with hearty sides. This makes us think of easy and delicious white bean dip and handmade pita chips. The dip is a gorgeous orange color, from the spices we used, cumin, turmeric and cayenne.
Our Spice of the Week is CUMIN, and for us this smoky aroma conjures up foods from South of our Border and India. But did you know cooks around the world use Cumin in their foods? Originally cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean, its early use is even captured in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. It was brought to the Americas by the Spanish.
Cumin is an herb that many associate with Mexican and Spanish foods, but it is also widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking. It is a great source of Iron. It can also help stimulate digestion. Cumin itself has detoxifying properties and accelerates secretion of detoxifying and anti-carcinogenic enzymes from the glands. When we do our cooking demos at Cancer Wellness, we highlight that cumin is particularly good for cancer of colon.
Do you have a cold? It can help boost your immune system. Try a cup of water boiled with cumin seeds, ginger, basil leaves and honey for relief.
Cumin goes great with Indian spices like curry, garam masala and turmeric. In Spanish and Mexican cuisine it pairs well with peppers and smoked paprika. Eastern European countries use it too – when Chef Nancy cooked in Hungary, she frequently used it in mushroom soup, in stews and with meat dishes.
Whip up a batch of this white bean dip and serve it with soup tonight. Any leftovers, make great snacks for the rest of the week, or spread it on a pita, stuff it with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and a little cheese. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
White Bean Dip
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Cans Cannellini (white kidney beans) drained and well rinsed
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 TB Freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Chopped Parsley or Cilantro for Garnish
Step One Place the garlic cloves in the processor and finely chop. Add the beans, oil, salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, lemon juice and cayenne to the food processor and process until smooth.
Step Two Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley and olive oil. Serve with a whole wheat toasted baguette, pita chips or pockets or fresh veggies.
Handmade Pita Chips
6 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Curry Powder (or Garam Masala)
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Ancho or Chipotle Pepper Powder
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Step One Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut each pita in half horizontally, then into 8 triangles.
Step Two ln a large bowl toss the remaining ingredients together with the pita chips – Make sure all chips are well coated. Bake in oven until crisp (approximately 10 minutes). Turn pita chips at the 4 – 5 minute mark. *Watch carefully as they tend to burn.