Spice Spotlight: Sumac
By: Noor H. Salem, contributing columnist
If you are acquainted to using salt and pepper to spice your food, I advise you add a little plot twist to your cooking. Spices, as I’ve previously discussed, can carry remarkable health benefits, such as anti-inflammation, preventing cancer, and even aid with digestion. I enjoy adding ginger, rosemary, fenugreek, allspice, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, red pepper, and one of my latest favorites, sumac, to many of my entrees. There are dozens of spices available, and by knowing how to pair them, you can give your food a mouth-watering taste, full of wonderful health benefits, too. Frankly, ginger has been my favorite spice for some time now, and as obviously seen in my book, Sunnah Superfoods, I add it to eggs, smoothies, chicken, and even pastas. It carries a myriad of health benefits, from preventing cancer to heart health benefits. I grew up with siblings who loved sumac spice, and only recently did I find myself adding it to dishes beyond just salad. It gives an exclusive taste, and a pretty, subtle, dark red color, too.
Sumac spice is bursting with vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Sumac carries anti-fungal benefits, and is extremely high in antioxidants. If you are not a fan of fish, and worry about getting an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids, try adding sumac to your diet.
The sumac spice berries bush is extremely beautiful; and fortunately, it makes more than just a beautiful wallpaper or wall frame. Besides adding a very unique flavor to your meals, sumac carries remarkable health benefits. There’s a plant known as the poison sumac, which is related to poison ivy and poison oak, not sumac! However, this small plant found in wet areas, should not be a concern to you–unless you plan to hike the nearest forest for your sumac.
Sumac adds a huge flavor punch to eggs, vegetables, salads, and even your meat or chicken. It carries a tangy flavor that I’d say is a bit between vinegar and lemon, I love replacing it for lemon juice in my salads, and even marinate my chicken with it.
Next week I’m going to share my brother’s unique, yet scrumptious, omelet recipe; yes, it’s loaded with sumac spice.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, Sunnah Superfoods, a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.