Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove has a hot, strong flavour with a very distinct fragrance. Cloves are the flower buds from the Syzygium aromaticum tree. They are harvested and dried to produce the clove spice.
Cloves are used in many countries around the world and for a wide variety of different cuisines. However this spice is not so popular in European countries as it can be a bit over powering. This spice goes very well with meats and is also used in marinades and sauces. It has the ability to add real depth and flavour to fruits.
Antioxidants- This spice has high antioxidant properties, and contains eugenol which is a natural antioxidant and can help reduce oxidative stress. This can be linked to chronic disease development.
Anti bacteria- Clove extracts are effective against many disease causing pathogens, due to their anti bacterial properties.
Tooth pain- This spice has analgesic properties, which can be effective relief from tooth ache. By placing a whole clove directly to the problematic area, the thin membrane of the gums can absorb the oil released providing pain relief.
Vitamins- A, C, E, K Folates, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamin.
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Selenium, Zinc, Potassium.
You can buy this spice either as whole dried buds or as a ground powder. It can be bought online or in the supermarket and normally comes in a handy jar or bottle to fit into your spice rack at home. Cloves are also a spice that can be used to mix with other herbs and spices to make blends and rubs.
Cloves are used whole or ground to season many dishes from all over the world. They are used to add flavour in the making of pickles and are used whole to flavour hams when they are baked. Ground clove is also found in the seasoning of curries.
Making drinks with cloves is another delicious alternative. Recipes can be found online for various drinks from simple teas to tasty cocktails.
For me, I like to make delicious cookies with this spice. Its unique flavour really makes these cookies stand apart from your usual cookies. I also add lemon zest to the cookies and I find the lemon flavour blends with the clove powder giving a tasty treat.
Makes 14-16 cookies
350 grams of all purpose flour
150 grams melted butter
175 grams golden sugar
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of clove powder
Zest of 1 lemon
Get a mixing bowl and blend the flour with the clove powder, baking soda and the salt. Once mixed put to one side.
In another medium to large bowl add the butter and the sugar and give it a good mix. Use an electric mixer if you have one. Once the mixture is nicely blended together add the egg and lemon zest and give it a good mix.
Then it is time to add the flour but not all at once, add bit by bit making a nice dough.
Refrigerate the dough for about 1 hour.
After 1 hour remove dough from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit or 180° celsius.
On a greased baking tray divide the dough equally until you have 14-16 cookies. When the oven has reached the required temperature bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies have a light golden colour.
Once removed from the oven leave to cool slightly on the baking tray before removing and placing them onto a cooling rack.
Once cool enjoy!