You know those lovely cut-out Christmas biscuits, that are crisp as a cracker, and fill your mouth with the sweetness and spice that is just so right during the Festive season? The ones that, if you poke a hole in the top with a bamboo skewer before baking, can be thread with a ribbon and hung on the tree? Well, I make mine – or at least, I made mine – because I’ll have to experiment this year to Paleofy them – with a wonderful mix of spices. Warm enough to give comfort during the cold, and exotic enough to evoke the treasures of Three Kings, my spice mix is ground up early in the season, and finds its way into all kinds of things.
All Purpose Festive Spice Mix
The beauty of grinding the mix rather than buying it, or making it up with already ground spices, is that once you’ve sifted the powder from the coarse remains, you are left with the basis of an equally enticing Chai. I use both the Spice Mix and the Chai in the same way, in that I might use them as they are, or, I’ll add more of another ingredient to set off a particular dish. So I might add a teaspoon of Comfort Chai to cammomile, or to Earl Grey. I’ll sometimes brew it with licorice, or more fennel. If I’m using the Spice Mix in a pumpkin soup, I’ll grate in lots of nutmeg. If I’m cooking apples, I’ll add more cinnamon and star anise. If I’m baking biscuits or muffins, I’ll probably just use it as it is.
My Coffee and Spice Grinder is one of my most used kitchen appliances. I use it for grinding nuts to make flour, and I read once that if you don’t grind linseeds before consuming them, they’ll pass right through and you won’t actually absorb of any their nutrition. So that’s what I use for grinding the spices. You may be able to do this with a food processor, but I haven’t tried.
In the photo’s you’ll see I’ve used powdered cinnamon for the All Purpose Festice Spice Mix, and sticks of cinnamon for the Comfort Chai. If you prefer to grind the cinnamon sticks with the other ingredients, go right ahead! You’ll need a thin stick about 15 centimeters long for one tablespoon of powder.
So, you just pop the cardomom, the star anise, the cloves, and the cinnamon stick if you are using it, into the grinder, and keep pulsing until everything is well broken down. Then sift it through a fine mesh. You’ll be left with all the bits. Keep them. To the powder, add the allspice, the ginger, and the cinnamon. Mix it all together, and store it in a jar. To the leftover bits, add a tablespoon of roughly ground cinnamon stick, and three tablespoons of fennel seeds.
That’s it. All done. Two wonderful concoctions -an All Purpose Festive Spice Mix, and a Bonus Comfort Chai – to see you through the Dark and Festive Months.
Snuggle down, stay warm. Enjoy.
Spice it Up
Turn these recipes into a festive treat with a couple of teaspoons of All Purpose Festive Spice Mix.
Carob and Ginger Spice Cookies – AIP – Perfect for when you need an allergen-free treat.
Paleo Cut Out Cookies with Almond Flour and Honey – Roll them thin, cut them into stars or other Christmas shapes, give them as gifts, they’re lovely!
Real Simple Coconut Slice – Great for lunchboxes and outings!
Chestnut, Choc Chunk and Hazelnut Cookies – No chestnut flour on hand? Sub with ground almonds. We love these!
Let me know how you make and use your spice mixes. They contribute so much to the Festive Season, don’t you think? Thanks so much for your time, and for your comments – I really look forward to reading them. And thanks for Sharing the Paleomantic Love on your Social!
- 1 tablespoon cardomom pods
- 1 tablespoon star anise
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 1 cinnamon stick, 15 cm long
- 3 tablespoons of fennel seeds
- For the All Purpose Festive Spice Mix:
- Place the cardomom, star anise and cloves into a coffee and spice grinder and pulse until they are reduced to fine powder.
- Sift through a fine sieve. Keep the fragments.
- To the powder, add the ground ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Mix well and store in a jar.
- Add to your cooking and baking as you choose.
- For the Comfort Chai
- Break up the cinnamon stick. Put into the spice grinder and pulse to small coarse pieces.
- Add to the left over fragments from the sifted Spice Mix, along with the fennel seeds. Mix well and store in a jar.
- Brew on its own, or add to black or herbal tea as you choose.