Dhow’s premium green cardamom
Dhow X Soulsfood Nutrition
Thimpika Sachdej, a qualified & registered nutritionist, founded and currently runs Soulsfood Nutrition (@soulsfood_nutrition). A great solution for translating scientific evidence regarding health & nutrition into daily, achievable steps to practice at the comfort of your own home. Soulsfood mainly focuses on the benefits of whole foods and a plant based diet.
Premium Green Cardamom: A brilliant anti-inflammatory!
Cardamom is one of those spices that often gets overlooked unless they are blended into a paste or cooked in your meals. So, hopefully after this post, you will start to fall in love with the amazing cardamom pods and include them in your shopping list!
Firstly, there's 2 types...
Cardamom is a spice with a unique flavour and intensely aromatic fragrance. There are two main types of cardamom: the true or green cardamom and the black or brown cardamom. Both forms of cardamom are used as cooking spices in both savory and sweet dishes and medicine, especially in South East Asian cultures.
Black cardamom tends to be more smoky, while premium green cardamom like Dhow’s have a slightly sweeter taste. Because of their complex flavour profile, cardamom works well in a range of dishes from porridges to curries. You can find both types as whole pods and powder.
Why is Green Cardamom a Premium spice?
The green cardamom is in fact one of the most expensive spices, by weight, in the world. This is due to:
- It is forest grown. Natural forest ecosystems hold a lot more biodiversity, hence being better in quality.
- It is hand picked & sorted. Harvesting green cardamom is an extremely labour intensive process. Where each cardamom pod needs to be picked when it is just about fully ripe.
- It retains a lot more flavour!
- Timing is everything. Just as precise the harvesting needs to be, the timing needs to be right in drying the spice; it needs to be dried within 12 hours of harvest to achieve the best quality!
The health benefits...
In addition to its special flavour, cardamom, particularly green cardamom, has shown to have a myriad of health-promoting properties. One of the most researched and documented benefits of green cardamom is its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Green cardamom is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids (beneficial plant compounds) such as lutein, anthocyanin and quercetin. The presence of these compounds give it powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, meaning that they help your body fight against inflammation that occurs either naturally or due to external factors such as diet, exercise and environmental toxins.
Recent studies show that the benefits of green cardamom extends to inflammation-mediated diseases such as stomach ulcers, liver disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in women.
For instance, one of the studies demonstrated that supplementation with green cardamom significantly reduced the levels of inflammatory biomarkers in patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, their triglycerides (a type of fat) and total cholesterol also improved following a regular consumption of green cardamom - how powerful!
This traditional spice has also shown to increase antioxidant status in humans by 90%, which has a profound protective effect on our cells. This explains why it is an effective treatment for patients with stomach ulcers and obesity, as these chronic diseases are primarily driven by inflammation.
The key to achieving optimal benefits from green cardamom, like any other food, is consistency. It is important to regularly add this spice to your meals for the effects to really take place. Regardless of your current health status, green cardamom can and should find a place in your diet. In case you are not sure where to start, here is a delicious and warming spiced pear porridge recipe that features green cardamom along with other goodness!
Spiced pear porridge (serves 1)
½ cup rolled oats
1-2 cups water
½ green or brown pear
½ tbsp coconut sugar
½ tbsp chia seeds
5 Dhow’s green cardamom pods
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
¼ tsp ginger powder
Splash of milk (to serve)
Walnuts (to top)
- Add ½ cup water to a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Add in the oats and cook, stirring occasionally for the porridge not to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Add another ½ cup water and stir until the oats are creamy and have absorbed the liquid, about 5 minutes. Add a little more liquid (water or milk) if needed.
- In a separate pot, add in fresh chopped pear, coconut sugar, cardamom pods and other spices. Keep adding water as you stir.
- Simmer for 5-8 minutes, remove from the heat and cover for 2 minutes to let the pear soften and warm through.
- Remove the cardamom pods and transfer to your favourite serving bowl.
- Top with walnuts and chia seeds, or with any of your favourite toppings.