Kids Discover Spices

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Spices were used as money in the ancient world and mainly royalty enjoyed them, sending sailors around the world to discover and bring back rare spices. Today, kids can discover the rich flavor, aroma, and color enhancing qualities of spices in their kitchen. A fun outing is a trip to the local Indian food store where whole spices are displayed and kids can experience the spices in their original state. Kids can add different spices to create dishes from different cultures, for example, add a curry powder mix and cumin for Indian, basil, parley, oregano, and thyme for Italian, or cilantro and chili powder for Mexican. Spices can be a tree bark, like cinnamon, a flower bud, like clove, a pod, like cardamom, a berry, like black peppercorn, or a root, like turmeric. Many spices are seeds, such as coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, nutmeg, poppy, and sesame. Kids can dry toast whole seeds in a pan on low heat, stirring frequently until light brown to bring out more flavor and aroma. Kids can grow herbs and chili peppers in their organic garden which are used as spices in dishes around the world. Whole organic seeds and spices can be found at the local health food store. Kids can use a small inexpensive electric grinder to make fresh ground spices. This grinder can also be used to grind nuts and coffee beans. Although spice mixes are available ground and ready made, whole, freshly ground and home mixed spices have the best flavors and aromas and most potency.

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