Herbs & spices bring foods to a heightened level of culinary pleasure unlike any other ingredients. It is these flavors that deliver culture to our kitchens and onto the dinner table. Consider an ingredient like tomato. With oregano, rosemary and basil, we visit Italy. With mint, thyme & parsley, we journey to the Middle East. With turmeric, coriander and garam masala, we reach India. With cilantro, cumin & chili, we’re now in Mexico.
I found this concept deeply important when I began to prepare raw foods. When you take a vegetarian diet and strip out the cooked grains, pasta, dairy, cooked beans & legumes, etc, you are left with simple fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds & sprouts. It is herbs and spices that allow us to retain the variety & culture of our past diets when we choose to journey on the raw path.
I am super grateful to have had the chance to experiment with a couple of Frank’s Finest Spice Blends. Creatively developed by the talented, classically trained chef, Frank Giglio, these special blends merge the best of culinary tradition with herbalism and superfood nutrition. In my kitchen, I’ve been playing with the Chai Spice Blend and Mediterranean Seasoning Salt.
The Chai Spice is absolutely perfect for this time of year. A blend of traditional, warm chai spices, like cardamom, ginger and cinnamon are brought to a new level with the herbs damania, passionflower and rose (instead of caffeinated tea leaves). I love using this in my fall breakfasts–chia pudding, banana smoothies, apple porridge and of course, creamy warm chai drinks. This summer, I was on a chai latte kick, brewing strong chai tea and blending it with sweetened cashew milk and ice. I only wish I had Frank’s Finest then, using it’s divine spiciness to really kick things up a notch. I know what I’ll be using next summer! Plus, if you’ve had the joy of experiencing my chai cheesecake (from Pure Pleasures), you will know that this spice would be the perfect substitute for my spice list.
The Mediterranean Seasoning Salt is such a lively blend. It is not overly salty like most conventional salt mixes, which is very refreshing. It’s also very rare to find a seasoning salt with Himalayan salt as the base, but with Frank’s high integrity products, he uses only the best. This blend is wonderfully herby, featuring rosemary, oregano and thyme with a few fabulous surprises mixed in–like lavender and dulse. The lavender is just lovely–I often use it in desserts, but realized I never had the chance to really enjoy the herb in a savory setting until now. The dulse plays its role along with kelp, adding beneficial minerals. This really peaks my interest because normally I avoid sea veggies like nobody’s business (I pray for developing the taste one day) but here, with fragrant herbs, the entire mix is beyond delicious. I’ve been enjoying this blend to bring simple salads to life. My favorite has been a massaged kale salad with lemon tahini dressing and a generous sprinkling of Mediterranean Seasoning Salt.
In the Frank’s Finest shop, you’ll also find Autumn Dessert Spice, Lemon Pepper, BBQ Spice, Spirulina Gomasio (very original) and Chili-Garlic Salt among other tempting blends. I have never seen such an array of creative flavor blends anywhere else. I highly recommend that you hop on over to his shop and spice up your kitchen with new found favorites.
Creamy Dessert Chai
I count on this to warm my mornings and evenings. It is perfectly creamy, rich and satisfying.
- 2 cups warm to hot water (whatever your raw foodie preference)
- 6 tablespoons raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon raw coconut butter
- 3 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 teaspoons Frank’s Finest Chai Spice Blend
- 1 teaspoon Frank’s Finest Tahitian Vanilla Powder
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until perfectly creamy and warm.
Now for the Frank’s Finest Giveaway!
Frank has generously offered a fabulous prize pack to one lucky reader–including his amazing Chili-Garlic Salt, BBQ Spice Blend, and Mediterranean Seasoning Salt. It’s simple to enter! Just follow the details below.
1. Sign up for the Frank’s Finest newsletter
2. Sign up for my Pure Luscious Lifestyle Newsletter
3. Leave a comment below this post with your name letting us know you did it!
That’s it! You’re entered!
For additional entries (up to 3 total entries):
1. Tweet this, including the link: I entered the #SpicyGiveaway from @FrankGiglio & @NataliaKW and you should too! http://bit.ly/qPMNcZ
Comment letting us know you did it, including your twitter handle.
2. Share this, including the link, on facebook: I entered the Spicy Giveaway from @ChefFrankyG & @NataliaKW and you should too! http://bit.ly/qPMNcZ
Comment letting us know you did it, including your facebook name.
The Fine Print:
Contest ends at 11:59pm PST on October 23, 2011. The winner will be announced on October 24th in my newsletter and here on this blog post. The prize will be shipped to addresses in the US & Canada. Thanks for playing!