Middle-Eastern Spices for a Better Night’s Sleep

Middle-Eastern Spices for a Better Night’s Sleep

American writer Daniel Gilbert once uttered: “The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it.” While Middle-Eastern spices are most commonly associated with culinary creations, some have also been proven to be very beneficial when it comes to combatting sleeping problems. This is great news for the 33% of Canadians that do not sleep enough according to a recent report released by Statistics Canada.  Instead of turning to a consumer market inundated with remedies claiming to cure insomnia, an increasing number of people are seeking more natural alternatives to these chemically-laden pharmaceuticals. These alternatives may already be in your kitchen or pantry in the form of common herbs and spices, such as the following, that can help you wave goodbye to the long sleepless nights you have become accustomed to.

Cumin seed tea alleviates insomnia

Apart from being used worldwide in culinary dishes, cumin seeds also boast a number of very beneficial medicinal properties. Cumin has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to induce sleep and has also made its way into countless westernized households to help bring on slumber.  There are two common ways in which cumin is consumed in order to obtain a good night’s rest. It can either be mixed with a mashed banana or brewed into a fragrant tea. To make cumin seed tea simply roast 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds over low heat for about half a minute. Add one cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes before straining it. Drink the tea about an hour before bedtime.

Nutmeg is a natural sedative

We know that sleep is essential and the crew over at BedTester agrees, stating that “Sleep is an important part of life, arguably one of the most important parts”.  Sleep plays a pivotal role in our lives and without enough of it, our health and well-being can deteriorate greatly.  Luckily nutmeg has proven to be a very effective remedy for insomnia. Not only does nutmeg contain high levels of myristicin which inhibits the secretion of stress-inducing hormones, but it is also a powerful sedative. Add a sprinkle of nutmeg together with a squeeze of honey to a glass of warm milk or mix it in with a teaspoon or jam and consume an hour before bedtime.  Remember to only use a pinch of nutmeg at a time, however, as an overdose can lead to hallucinations and other psychiatric concerns.

Saffron ensures a good night’s rest

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and with good reason -it takes nearly 250,000 stigmas to produce just one pound of the spice. The lavish spice is known to have many healing properties including alleviating insomnia.  The best way to use saffron as a sleep remedy is to add a pinch, together with your favorite sweetener, to a glass of warm milk or tea, an consume it just before bedtime. Not only will you soon find yourself drifting off to dreamland, but you are also less likely to wake up during the course of the night.

Cinnamon does more than prevent cardiac disease

Cinnamon has long been praised for sporting numerous health benefits including aiding in weight loss, the prevention of cardiac disease, and combatting insomnia. Although cinnamon does not trigger the release of sleep-related hormones like other spices do, it does prepare your body for a good, uninterrupted night’s sleep by easing your anxiety and preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes from occurring. You can mix a few pinches of cinnamon and a small dollop of honey into a warm cup of milk or, alternatively, brew a tea with a few cinnamon sticks and a sweetener of your choice.

Although mass-produced pills and potions will always have a place in our modern-day lives, it is good to know that we have options. By experimenting with the various herbs and spices in your kitchen you may soon find yourself sleeping better than ever before.

Ten exceptional smoker recipes to get your smoker out

Ten exceptional smoker recipes to get your smoker out

If you have not yet bought a smoker, it is probably because you have not found a reason to yet. While it is easy to procure a smoker, it can be challenging to figure out what to do with it, once you have it home. There are a lot of meals you can enjoy with it, but only if you have the top 10 smoker grill recipes for outdoor pleasure handed to you. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a family recipe passed down to them, which is why this article is here for you. Find below ten exceptional smoker recipes that will have you getting out your smoker and probably calling in a couple of friends over:

1. Chicken Wings
The good old chicken wings come first. Although chicken wings are not traditionally prepared with a smoker, you will be surprised at how good the end results are. You can use pecan wood or hickory for best results. Add in as many flavors as you want, to better the taste, including brown sugar, smoky paprika, and garlic based rub.

2. Bacon Explosion
Bacon also had to be on this list, because who doesn’t love bacon? This is an easy-to-prepare recipe that will take your picnic or BBQ to the next level. This smoker recipe has bacon and sausage weaved together, to come up with such an explosion of pleasure.

3. Smoked Mac and Cheese
Did you know you can smoke side dishes? With smoker meat on the table, it would be great to have a creamy, cheesy and full of flavor side dish to complete the meal, and smoker Mac and Cheese is just the thing you need. It works best even for a BBQ for vegetarians.

4. Smoked Turkey
How about a Thanksgiving BBQ with a traditionally smoked turkey? Before hitting the smoker with your turkey, marinate it with flavors for extra juiciness and tenderness. Make sure you season it properly for the perfect taste. Then on the smoker, ensure you baste the turkey with a butter-based solution, taking the smoker slow and low, to get all the parts right.

5. Buttery Smoked Corn on the Cob
How about another vegetarian-friendly recipe? Smoked corn on the cob is just the perfect thing to get started on. If you are one who particularly enjoys grilled corn, then a smoked one will elevate your palate even more. This can also work great to go alongside smoked meat for meat lovers.

6. Smoked salmon
Nothing beats a good smoked salmon for all the fish lovers. This is one of the easy smoking recipes to try out as a topping for your salad, a high-protein snack or a morning bagel.

7. BBQ Smoked Ham
If it is your first time trying out your smoker, you can start with a BBQ smoked ham, which is more or less fail proof. You can add pineapple on top for the extra juice and flavor. The best bit is that it is easy to male and you can hardly mess up this BBQ Smoked Ham.

8. Smoked deviled eggs
Say you don’t like meat, but can you resist some well-smoked eggs? Yes, eggs can also be smoked, and the best part is that you don’t have to wait forever before they are cooked and ready to serve.

9. Smoked brisket
There are several ways to smoke the brisket and get by the stall period that happens after some time into the smoking. You can pause 4 hours into the smoking, dip the brisket in some beer for a couple of minutes, then put it in the oven for four more hours. The flavor, in the end, is definitely worth the wait.

10. Smoked Lobster Tail
I bet you have never tried this one. You need to be melted butter to help with the process, but the lobster tail is high in flavor and the result is scrumptious, to say the least.