Your Introduction to the Ancient Spice, Cumin.
- What is Cumin? It’s possible some of you are unfamiliar with “cumin” as a spice; but you’d probably recognize it. Cumin is the major seasoning in taco spice!
- What is an Ancient Spice? I call cumin an ancient spice because it’s been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Several ancient spices like cumin, turmeric, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, garlic, and cayenne have medicinal and health benefits – some known, and some undiscovered. This is part of the reason they were passed down.
Cumin is generally sold as “cumin seed” or as “ground cumin.” I would recommend you try buying the seed. Don’t make the mistake I did and think you should put it in whole. Cumin seed is meant to be toasted and then it’s meant to be ground.
I remember the first time I learned seeds could and should be toasted for the full flavor. I was at a conference in Napa Valley put on by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America. A chef at the front of the room was toasting cumin and I could smell it from my seat 100 feet away. It was memorable. I went home and looked at the cumin seed in my spice cabinet with a new interest.
How to Toast Cumin…
These seeds are great. Buy them whole, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat. When they start to put off a really wonderful cumin smell, take them off the heat and grind them up in a spice grinder. Tada! Fresh Toasted Cumin – soooo much more flavorful than buying the cumin the jar that’s already been ground.
The cumin will be great for the guacamole breakfast you’ll be eating in few seconds/hours/days/months. (Come on! You gotta’ try it!)
Here’s the delicious breakfast I sat down to eat this morning:
Pictured Above: Baby Swiss Chard and Spinach with sliced Strawberries, Green Onions, Drizzled Olive Oil and Raspberry Blush Vinegar. 2 Scrambled Eggs with 1 Tbsp Mexican Cheese Blend, 1/4 C Fresh Guacamole, 1 Large Apple (30g carb), 1 C 1% Milk (12g carb). Nutrition Information: 46g carbohydrate, 578 calories.
The first time I made guacamole for Peter (my roommate), he refused to call it guacamole. He called it “avocado salad” because he claims it has too many tomatoes and other things to be “real guacamole.”
However, this morning he walks into the kitchen and asks, “What are you making? Guacamole?”
And I said, “Ah HA! You DO acknowledge this is guacamole!”
He just shook his head, smiled at me, and left for work.
Recipe: Fresh Guacamole with Toasted Cumin
- 1 soft avocado, cubed
- 1/2 C cherry tomatoes, cut
- 1/4 C chopped red onion
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp fresh ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Juice of 1 Lime (~2 Tbsp)
- Cut Avocado in half and twist it apart. Lodge knife into the pit and remove. Score (crosswise cutting) the avocado in the skin and scoop into a bowl with a spoon.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, red onion, lime juice, and salt.
- Mix with spoon until ingredients well integrated.
- Serve immediately. If wanting to save guacamole leftovers for later, place into a zip lock bag with zero air and seal. This will keep it from going brown.
A Note to the Diabetics: Guacamole is considered a vegetable and a healthy fat. This is not a food that will impact your blood glucose. Chips (8-10 tortilla chips = 15g carb) are commonly served with traditional guacamole. I would argue that guacamole is not dependent on a chip to get from the bowl to your mouth successfully. Try them with scrambled eggs. You might like it. :)