At the center of every table and at the front of most spice cabinets is the salt shaker. Typically, when looking to add flavor to a dish, salt is the first thing that the average cook reaches for. However, we are here to let you know that if you truly want a delicious, satisfying, out-of-this-world dish, you will abandon the salt for the new kid in town; the spice blend.
While it is true that salt will bring out the natural flavors of meats, vegetables, and fruits, most people do not know how to use it correctly. A dish can easily become ruined by the addition of too much salt, or the scarcity of not enough. Additionally, there are so many flavors that the average cook leaves untouched because they are afraid of ruining their food. With a spice blend, you don’t have to be afraid.
Spice blends, like the Everything But Salt Grinder, are created by thinking through the flavor profile of each contributing spice and how that profile will play off of the others within the blend. This thoughtful process of crafting spice blends allows for the fullest flavor potential to be brought out in every food that it is added to.
Do you want something that you can pull out of the cupboard and throw on meats, veggies, and more without having to think it through? Yes? Then a spice blend is made for you! The perfectly balanced concoction of herbs and spices allows the blend to be used in virtually any dish you are creating. If you are busy, you can literally put the same spice blend on your meat dish and your side dish without creating a blunder. Because spice blends are so thoughtfully created, they bring out the best flavors of each individual dish, making them taste different even though they were seasoned the same.
Salt can be a concern for many people battling health issues or for those who are conscious about their health. The extreme use of salt can lead to health concerns such as high blood pressure, dehydration and liver disease. In some serious cases, too much salt can also translate into an increased risk of cancer or kidney failure.
With that being said, because they do not include salt, spice blends actually have health benefits. For example, garlic is good for the heart, and onions can help to regulate blood sugar. Each herb and spice within a blend has its own individual benefit that it brings to the table (literally), making for a healthy and delicious additive.
If you want to use a spice that has as an exciting of a background as it does a flavor, then look no further. We would like to introduce you to Merquén. Deep in the mountainous regions of southern Chile lie the villages of the Mapuche people. This indigenous culture is considered to be the direct descendants of the pre-hispanic culture in South America. This strong culture of war-minded people avoided being overthrown by the Spanish explorers for decades. In modern day, the Mapuche people live in urban areas of Chile and have attributed to an increasing popularity of Mapuche cultural dishes and the traditional Mapuche signature spice, Merquén.
What does Merquén taste like?
The first thing that you need to know about Merquén is it is delicious. As far as the flavor palate, it is rich, smoky, and carries a kick. Merquén is made from ground, smoked chiles combined with sea salt and other spices such as oregano, cumin, and coriander. You can probably imagine the warmth and comfort of this Chilean spice by just reading about it. It's the perfect blend of spicy and flavorful, making it a wonderful addition to many dishes.
What kind of dishes can Merquén be used in?
The Mapuche people traditionally used Merquén as a rub for things such as cheeses and meaty nuts like almonds and walnuts. However, the modern-day Mapuche people and the U.S. food industry have expanded the possibilities for this delicious spice. To really live up to its full potential, Merquén can be used as a rub on different meats as well as the main spice in meat-based soups and stews. If you aren't into meats, no sweat you can still experience the deliciousness that is Merquén. Try it out in your next lentil dish, sauce, or in a rich, smoky vegetable side dish of onions, potatoes, or squash.
So, the next time you want to spice up your life, be sure to add Merquén to your menu. If you want to try a blend at home, the Merquén blend by Artisan Spice Co. is a blend of spicy and sweet chiles with sea salt and a mix of spices, perfect for your first try at a Mapuche dish.
Although you may be hearing a lot about bison meat lately, the delicious, nutritious meat is nothing new. Humans have been consuming bison meat for as long as bison have been roaming the plains, which is a very long time. If you are looking for a tasty way to add diversity to your weekly menu, but are conscious about only putting the best into your body, look no further. Bison is your new best friend, here’s why.
Just how lean are we talking? The answer is really lean. When compared to chicken, bison meat has approximately the same amount of protein, but nearly 5g less fat. However, since it is a red meat, we should probably compare it to tried and true beef as well. When up against beef, bison meat has 1g more protein AND 16g less fat. That is some lean meat.
If you aren’t familiar with the health benefits of lean meat, you should be. Lean meat, because it is packed with protein and low in fat, helps you to build muscles, strengthen your organs and quickly repair damage to the cells in your body.
HIGH IN OMEGA 3
When looking for a meat option that is high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids, most people typically turn to salmon. Those people must not know about bison. Bison meat has the same amount of Omega 3’s per serving as salmon, which ranges between 1-2g. However, bison meat is much more versatile. Bison can be used ground, or in steaks, chops or roasts. These cut options lead to many more options for meals than the traditional salmon filet. If you choose to eat bison for Omega 3 benefits, you won’t ever be bored!
VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Not only is bison lean, but it is packed with nutrients. One of the most prominent vitamins in bison meat is the B vitamin. In one serving of bison meat, you can get a hefty dose of vitamins B-6 and B-12, which are responsible for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Additionally, a serving of bison meat also provides high daily values of iron, zinc, and phosphorus. These vitamins will help you to build strong bones and increase the oxygen levels in your blood, leading to a healthier body and healthier you!