If you're a fan of fall and the delicious desserts and treats that come with it, it's very likely you've already been introduced to cardamom, or at least its flavorful taste and fragrant smell.
Cardamom adds a delicious bonus to lots of popular fall go-tos, such as spice cakes, tarts, cider, eggnog, pumpkin spice lattes, etc. But did you know that it is actually a great source of health benefits too?
What Is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a popular spice that's found in Scandinavia, the Middle East and North America. It is grown in a pod form with seeds that are eventually crushed into spice form and sometimes mixed with other spices in order to enhance flavor and potency.
There are two main types of cardamom: green cardamom and black cardamom. Green and black cardamom come from the same plant family, green cardamom is simply harvested before it reaches full maturity (to create a sweeter flavor) while black cardamom is intensely dried and crushed later on (creating a more pungent flavor).
Which Cardamom Is Best?
When it comes to choosing which type of cardamom is best, it really depends on the flavor you are going for, but most commonly, green cardamom is the popular and most highly recommended choice. It's sweeter and adds great flavor to fall treats and dishes and also contains ripe benefits for you to reap.
Benefits Of Cardamom
Because of the amount of nutrients and antioxidants contained in cardamom, there are a number of things that cardamom can potentially do for you, here are some of the highest on the list:
- Weight Loss - Cardamom contains certain nutrients (such as melatonin) that help the body burn calories and also manage fat and weight more effectively, resulting in weight loss.
- Digestion - Cardamom contains specific antioxidants that have been shown to help digestive troubles, improve pancreatic health and smooth out the intestinal lining.
- Liver - Studies have shown the positive effects that cardamom can have on the liver, preventing enlargement and risk of fatty liver disease.
- Skin - There are studies that have been done on mice skin that have shown how cardamom extracts may potentially have the ability to reduce non-melanoma skin cancer.
- Nausea - Studies have shown how cardamom can have an effect on relieving nausea, particularly for post surgery patients using aromatherapy methods.
- Inflammation - Studies have shown how the antioxidants contained in cardamom can help sooth and reduce inflammation throughout the body, providing some relief.
- Acid Reflux - When it comes to issues with acid reflux, cardamom has been shown to have positive effects and to help reduce it.
- Teeth - Cardamom has shown to have impressive effects on oral health and can help combat and prevent the development of bacteria in the mouth that can otherwise lead to cavities or infection.
- Anxiety - There have been studies that have shown how cardamom has the potential to help reduce and even prevent the onset of anxiety, creating a calming effect. One particular study showed how it can help stress levels in rats that experience symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
- Diabetes - Hypertension (high blood pressure) can be a great contributor to diabetes and the risk for diabetes. Cardamom has show to be able to lower blood pressure and therefore, help people who struggle with or have the risk of developing diabetes and other conditions related to high blood pressure.
How Should I Use Cardamom?
Cardamom is most commonly used for cooking, especially during the fall season as a spice to help boost the flavor of dishes. When you have a healthful spice that can also help make things delicious, why wouldn't you want to add it into the mix of your seasonal cooking?
Cardamom in powder form is the easiest to use, as you can simply add a dash here and there to whatever you would like, or add it to the mix of other spices, some of its best pairings being with cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
If you would rather reap the benefits of cardamom through a delicious seasonal beverage that's already mixed to perfection for you, Organifi Gold, Pumpkin Spice is an excellent go-to.
We formulated this drink mixture specifically to highlight some of the greatest benefits of spices like cardamom, along with cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, etc. while also providing you with a flavorful concoction that can fill in for your pumpkin spice needs this fall season.
All you have to do to enjoy this delicious beverage is mix a scoop of powder with warmed or heated water or nut milk and you're good to go!
Recipes Using Cardamom
If you would like to explore using cardamom on your own in your own cooking, we have some delicious recipes for you to try to help get you going.
Turkish Cardamom Coffee
Recipe credit: beautyandthefoodie
- 5 tbsps ground coffee beans (medium to dark roast, unflavored)
- 5 ½ cups hot water
- 5 cardamom pods
- Coconut milk (creamer optional)
- Honey or maple syrup (sweetener optional)
In a coffee grinder, place whole coffee beans and 5 cardamom pods it and grind until coarsely ground.
Pour ground coffee and cardamom into the pitcher of the French press, with the lid and plunger off. Set aside.
Bring to a boil 5 ½ cups water in a teapot or saucepan. Once boiling, remove from heat and let cool for 30 seconds.
Pour ½ of the water into the french press pitcher with coffee grounds at the bottom. Wait 30 seconds and stir the water and coffee grounds a little with a spoon. Pour the rest of the hot water into the pitcher and place the lid with the plunger all the way up to the pitcher. Leave the plunger up and let the pitcher sit for 4 to 5 minutes.
Now hold the pitcher handle and press the plunger down firmly on the French press. Serve immediately. Can be served black, or with optional sweetener and cream.
The Ultimate Healthy Candied Pecans
Recipe credit: Amy's Healthy Baking
- 3 tbsp (45g) granulated stevia
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (15mL) water
- 1 cup (112g) pecan halves, left whole or chopped
- Cut a large sheet of foil and place it on the counter.
- In a small bowl, stir together the stevia, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Stir in the water until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Add the pecans to a small pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the cinnamon mixture. Stir constantly with a spatula until the pecans are completely coated.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared foil. Let the pecans cool completely to room temperature and ensure the coating has hardened and turned crunchy before breaking apart any clumps.
Sugar Free Cardamom Candied Walnuts
Recipe credit: A Clean Bake
- 2 tbsp butter or vegan butter (or sub with coconut oil)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp granulated monk fruit sweetener or granulated stevia
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- Melt butter in the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat.
- Stir in vanilla, sweetener, cinnamon, cardamom and salt until sweetener is melted.
- Remove pan from the heat and add the walnut pieces.
- Use a spatula to gently toss the walnuts until they are fully coated with the syrup. At first, not much syrup will adhere to the nuts, but keep working. The syrup thickens and adheres as it cools.
- Cool nuts completely before serving.
Ginger Cardamom Tea
Recipe credit: Taste of Home
- 2 cups water
- 4 tsp honey
- 1 tbsp minced, fresh gingerroot
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 6 individual tea bags
- 1-1/2 nut milk of choice
- In a small saucepan, combine water, honey, ginger and cardamom; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
- Pour over tea bags in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Steep 3-5 minutes according to taste. Strain tea back into saucepan, discarding ginger and tea bags. Stir in nut milk; heat through.
Iced Golden Milk Turmeric Latte
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 scoops Organifi Gold, Pumpkin Spice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well (or mix thoroughly). Pour over ice and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are cardamom pods the same as seeds?
A. Cardamom pods aren't seeds, but are more like the capsules that contain the seeds that are ground into the powder or spice.
Q. Can cardamom be eaten raw?
A. They can be, though the taste isn't nearly as good or potent when raw and not in spice form.
Q. Can cardamom go bad?
A. If stored in a cool, dark, dry space, cardamom can stay good for several years. However, most cardamom containers will have a "best by" date, which is usually an indicator of when the cardamom potency will likely start to go down. The sooner it's used, the more potent it will be, though is isn't unsafe to use it after the "best by" date.
Q. How is cardamom grown?
A. Cardamom is typically grown in tropical climates, where temperatures are cool or warm, not too hot or freezing. It's a plant, needing good, hardy soil and proper care to survive. It can be grown outdoors or inside green houses.
Q. Is cardamom safe when pregnant?
A. Cardamom could possibly be unsafe to consume medicinally while pregnant and could potentially cause risk for miscarriage. If you're pregnant (or have any medical concerns about cardamom and your personal health condition), you should always consult your doctor first before consuming it, especially in larger quantities.
Have you used cardamom before? Do you know any other delicious recipes that use it? Are you excited to try Organifi Pumpkin Spice Latte GOLD? Share your thoughts and recipes with us in the comments, we'd love to hear from you!
And remember, we're in this together.