Friday, March 16, 2018

5 Excellent Cumin Substitutes for your Culinary Needs

A great meal is determined by the kind of ingredients you use and also the spices. Different spices are available for making some of the best world cuisines and one spice that a lot of chefs have recognized over the time is the cumin spice. The spice is widely used by the Mexicans, Africans and even in the Indian land.What makes the spice unique is the taste that it gives to your food. It has a nutty flavor, and some people also described the spice to having some citric taste which is bitter to some users still. The spice is used in making the best curry spices, and you can also use it in the place of chili. Use cumin in the form of oils, whole or even grounded. If you cannot access this spice in your area, the following are five other best substitutes to use.

1. Caraway Seeds

What makes caraway seed to be the best cumin substitute spice is due to their similarities in appearance and taste. The caraway seeds are extracted from the parsley plants and are used for spicing the bread and other pastries and the liqueur. Note that although this spice is suitable for use on behalf of cumin spice, one is required to use half of it to ensure that it gives that taste of cumin spice.

2. Chilli Powder

As we read earlier, some people recommend the use of cumin spice for those who need some hot taste in their food. And the best alternative to use in place of this spice is the chili powder. One important thing to keep in mind though when using chili powder is the amount of content to use. Too much chili may spoil the dish and give it an over spiced taste, Therefore, be careful when adding the spice and do it moderately.

3. Coriander

Coriander is another spice that is classified in the family of the parsley. It is widely used for making stews, rice, and any other sweet dish.The spice is known to give the same flavor and taste as cumin seed. Use it fresh or even when grounded as the taste and the texture of the two are the same. However, to get the best taste of the spice, use one teaspoon of coriander to compensate 3/8 of cumin spice.

4. Turmeric

Although turmeric cannot be classified as the closest substitute of cumin seeds, the spice can also be used for providing the best taste and spicing of the food. It is equipped with a sweet aroma and an earthy flavor just like cumin. It can also be used in a variety of culinary dishes which include pastries and bread.

5. Curry Powder

Cumin is used for making Indian dishes, but for those who can't get the spice, they prefer to use curry powder since it gives the same tastes to the Indian dishes. Curry powder is also much easier to access from different outlets which are convenient for so many people.

Cumin spices are versatile since they can be used for making a wide variety of dishes. But, if you cannot access the spice in your local shop or market, use the above spices since they give the same taste and flavor to your food. Know the right measurement of the substitute spices and how to add them to your culinary.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How to Select the Right Wine Cooler

Wine lovers sometimes get to that point where they turn their love for wine to a collecting exercise, and this might happen while at a winery tour or festival, so after you have discovered that wine is amazing you decide to carry a case home. The challenge comes in storing the wine to ensure it remains good all the time. There are few solutions you could try for storage but the most reliable is using a wine cooler. Choose the right cooler depending on your needs.

Here are some of the things you want to consider when choosing a wine cooler.


Size is dependent on the amount you intend to store as well as the space you have left at home. If your intake is just a few bottles, you might just do well with a small wine cooler, but in some cases you will want to reconsider your choice if you are a regular consumer and you would also love to have a wide variety of wine to store. Don’t compromise on space with the wine cooler to a point it takes up the space for other items in the house. Check for some different sizes and designs of wine coolers that you can buy for your needs.

Design and Shape

Where are you going to place the cooler? You need to understand the best place to place it and whether it will fit perfectly. Depending on the shape of the space, you can get a freestanding wine cooler if you are sure it will not compromise on the esthetics of the house, or you could decide to have a built-in wine cooler that comes with the advantage of a finished and neat look. There are also countertop wine coolers that can fit up to 12 bottles, and these come ideal if your space is limited.

Features to Look For

There are added features that you should consider that will make the cooler more efficient and effective. These include UV-resistant glass doors that will help to offer protection against UV rays, which could damage your wine. Ideally, this allows you to even install the cooler outside where there is direct sunlight.

Humidity Controls

You may also want to check humidity controls. With low humidity levels, wine could dry out the cork and this could lead to air getting into the bottle and damaging the quality of the wine. With humidity controls you can manage the amount of humidity the wine is exposed to.

Temperature Control

You may also want to consider adding temperature alarms and memory function. The alarm will alert you when the door is opened and will inform you about changes in temperature inside the cooler. The memory function remembers the temperature settings you applied and will help to restore the right temperature after power loss.

Buying a wine cooler is an important decision that you should take after you have conducted a survey to understand the best ways to store your wine. Get the best cooler that will not only serve the purpose of storage perfectly, but also blend with other items in your home. Try the suggestions above when looking for a wine cooler.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

5 Tips for finding a great espresso

The main goal of drinking espresso is to enjoy and savor the taste, loving every sip that you take. Sometimes the espresso that you have in cafes is not of the best quality. Whether you are having your espresso at home, or in cafes, the best espresso must be from the best coffee beans, which have undergone the right brewing process and methodology in preparation.
A good espresso machine that functions well, providing the right temperature will give you the perfect espresso. The equipment doesn’t have to be costly to serve you the best espresso. You can purchase a good espresso machine from various online stores. Get more information and guidance on how to choose an espresso machine at, but first here are some tips to finding a great espresso.


Espresso that has been prepared with the right consistency should be thick and highly viscous compared to the regular coffee. Getting the fine grind is not easy, but depending on the grinder used, you can achieve the right consistency. Fine grind allows the smooth passing of water, which heats up evenly giving the desired flavor. The consistency level is normally evident from the residue that is left at the bottom of the cup once the espresso is finished. The dried residue should be brown in color.

Water and Temperature

In order to achieve high flavor when making espresso, the temperature used in the preparation of espresso should be high. The water used should be of high quality with no traces of mineral deposits which would affect the taste. Get a water test kit if you are unsure of the water quality.
The temperature of the water should be at 195-205⁰ F. The pressure of about 131 pounds is exerted and the water is forced through finely ground coffee beans to bring out the perfect flavor. While some espresso machines have timers, some have to be controlled manually. Espresso should be served hot.


The dissolved oils after the extraction are what make up the crema, foamy in appearance which adds to the sweet and delicious flavor. The crema normally has a golden brown to deep brown color taking up 1/3 to 1/2 of the cup. How the crema looks will depend on the temperature and pressure during preparation, sometimes appearing lighter.


Nothing complements perfectly blended espresso like the sweet aroma that it produces. A great espressos smell should be felt from a distance. Espresso prepared from coffee that is too acidic produces a sour smell and taste. Ensure that your coffee is high quality.


A great espresso should be rich in taste, with some level of bitterness and show no high water content. Upon tasting, the espresso should be of the right consistency.

Pick on a flavor

There is nothing wrong with a little experimentation. Try out different flavors and settle on one that suits you. Avoid combining different flavors or adding syrups which would affect the overall taste after extraction is complete.
With the right espresso machine, you can make the best espresso at the comfort of your home by getting the finest grind and setting up the correct pressure and temperature.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Healthy Snacks: Best Foods for Better Sleep

“You are what you eat.”

We’ve all heard that before. It’s a line that almost every wellness coach or fitness trainer will feed you.

Well guess what? Here’s a new one for you: “You sleep how you eat.”

What does that mean, exactly? It means if you eat like crap, you’ll sleep like crap too. Fairly simple and direct, don’t you think?

So what do you eat if you want to have better sleep, anyway? We’re glad you asked. We had a whole list of healthy foods we put together that we were going to share with you, and we were afraid you’d be bored of the topic.

But no! You’re still here, reading these words, hanging on the edge of our seat, waiting to find out what types of nutritious foods you can add to your diet in order to to a good night's sleep like an actual human being might.

Well take a load off already! Sit back, relax, and listen to our suggestions on what to eat to sleep like a baby (and we don’t mean the newborn kind that wakes up every two hours).


This fuzzy emerald jewel of nature helps you get a boarding pass on the sleep train. A recent study suggests that eating kiwi fruit every day lead to high quality and high quantity sessions of shut-eye.

Researchers at Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University took 22 women and 2 men between the ages of 20-55 who had all reported having issues getting proper sleep.Each participant in the study were instructed to eat two kiwi fruit exactly one hour before their usual bedtime for four weeks.

After looking over the data that was collected during this time period, the researchers made a startling discovery. (Okay, so it’s not that startling whatsoever, but we’ve always wanted to say that!)

It turns out the volunteer kiwi-eaters were falling asleep faster, sleeping more soundly, more efficiently, and more deeply than they were before. In fact, their sleep disruptions had either slowed down or stopped completely - and it was all thanks to the mighty slumber inducing powers of the kiwifruit.

Bow down to it, because we are so not worthy.


This leafy green vegetable isn’t just for cartoon sailors who are curiously absent from our modern day pop culture landscape; it’s also for those of us who want to boost our ability to count sheep on a regular basis.

Spinach contains plenty of calcium which is great for your bones (obviously) and for your capacity to pass out at night. Why? It helps your body - rather, your pineal gland - produce more melatonin.

Sound familiar? It should. It’s one of the most popular natural over-the-counter sleep enhancers on the market. So the more spinach you eat, the more of this naturally occurring substance that will generate naturally.

Same goes for other leafy greens as well! Kale, chard, turnip greens, collard greens...*yawn*. Pardon us, we’re getting sleepy.

Milk and Cereal

“Breakfast before bed? Are you crazy?”

Um, no. Haven’t you ever heard of a Bed and Breakfast before?

Just kidding. That wasn’t our best pun, but that’s not the point here. What we’re trying to tell you is, eating a nice bowl of cereal before you snooze will actually help you get to sleep faster and stay that way longer throughout the night.

Milk is a source of tryptophan which helps your body manufacture serotonin, a hormone which is responsible for calming you down before you crawl under the sheets.

When paired with a sugar free, multi-grain cereal that has a decent amount of carbs, the milk’s tryptophan will be quickly absorbed into your body.

The end result? A happier, groggier you that’s ready to brush their teeth and hit some serious hay.

(Bonus tip: add a few slices of banana for an extra boost of tryptophan.)


Ahoy, mateys. Fish is a lean, healthy source of protein, it’s true. But did you know that most kinds of fish have considerable amounts of Omega 3 acids, which some experts say play a role in your regular sleep patterns.

They also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which we know produces serotonin which is great for relaxation - as we just mentioned above, did we not?

Walnuts, Almonds, and Cherries, Oh My!

Walnuts are also a good source of tryptophan. A single serving of walnuts contains 318 mg of this beneficial amino acid. Almonds, on the other hand, contain magnesium, which is also a well-documented sleep aid. So, scarf down a handful of walnuts and almonds along with that bowl of cereal we mentioned at least two hours before bed and see where the night takes you.

Cherries, especially the tart ones, are terrific sources of melatonin. Just like the kiwis we talked about at the beginning of this article, they were also part of a clinical research study in which participants were given tart Montmorency cherry juice concentrate for a week. At the end of this study, all volunteers had higher levels of melatonin present in their bodie. They also spent more time in bed. (Go figure.)

Well, that’s our list for today. We hope these snack foods help guide you towards the sleep of your dreams. Get it? See, that was a better pun...wasn’t it? Kind of? Hey, we’re really trying here!
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