What Is Cardamom?

What Is Cardamom?

Are you asking – “What is cardamom?”

Cardamon is a spice you may have heard of. If you haven’t, you have probably tasted its aromatic flavor without even knowing it. This fragrant spice is found often in hot cider, mulled wine or eggnog in the United States and it’s also popular around the world. From the Middle East all the way to Scandinavia, you’ll find cardamom in main dishes, desserts and more.

An ancient spice that belongs to the ginger family, cardamom is a stand-out for its unique flavor. And here at Betsy’s Best, we love flavors that are shining stars in the culinary world. And cardamom is one of the bright spots in all-things spice. Cardamom pairs beautifully with other sweet-savory spices like cinnamon and cloves, and we think it adds the perfect touch of flavor to our Cardamom Cashew Butter.

No matter which type is chosen, cardamom lends a sweet yet strong flavor and scent. It has notes of both mint and lemon that make it unique in its flavor profile. The black cardamom is a little different with its cooling menthol and smoky flavor notes. This is a spice that has a taste you simply cannot duplicate. We think that makes it pretty special.

Where Does Cardamom Come From?

This aromatic spice is native to the evergreen rain forest of southern Indian Kerala state and grown in only a few tropical countries. The two main types of cardamom are black or green. You can use either the whole pods or the seeds found inside, and the spice may be purchased whole or ground. Native to the east where it grows wild, today cardamom is also cultivated in places like Guatemala and Tanzania. The green cardamom is the most common and what you typically find in markets. However, there is also black cardamom grown in the Himalayas that is found in both savory and sweet dishes although its taste leans towards the savory side.

Cardamom Nutrition Facts

Cardamom is a highly desirable spice, but not only for its flavor. Cardamom has everything you want and nothing you don’t. It’s low in fat, calories and carbs, and contains zero cholesterol. Yet it contains hefty amounts of protein and dietary fiber, and it’s rich in vitamins and minerals. Calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins are all found in this smoky spice. No wonder it’s been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries! Take a more in-depth look at all this spice has to offer.

According to Nutrition and You:

The spicy pods contain many essential volatile oils that include pinene, sabinene, myrcene, phellandrene, limonene, 1, 8-cineole, terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-oil, a-terpineol, a-terpineol acetate, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, methyl eugenol, and trans-nerolidol.

Each of these volatile oils have their own benefits as well. For instance, limonene elevates mood, provides stress relief, and works as an anti-fungal. And linalool has both anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties.

Health Benefits of Cardamom

Not only does this tiny pod serve a big burst of flavor, cardamom also has abundant health and medicinal benefits. And just when you think you’ve learned about them all, there are more.

Fights Infections

The seed pods have been used throughout history to treat all kinds of infections. Practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine used cardamom as a remedy for tooth and gum infections, and so did the ancient Egyptians. It has long been used to treat urinary tract infections, a benefit which has been recently confirmed in lab studies. Cardamom was even used as an antidote for snake and spider venom.

Therapeutic Properties

Another major benefit of this delectable spice is its therapeutic properties. It has the same components found in things like tonic, antiseptic, diuretic, antispasmodic, expectorant, and many other traditional medicines.

Packed With Vitamins and Minerals

Not only does cardamom have the essential volatile oils mention, but it’s slam-packed with other essential vitamins and minerals. Take a look at just a sample of what this tiny pod has in the way of helpful nutrition:

  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin

And just so you know, there isn’t a spice in the world that has the amount of manganese that cardamom does. Why is that important? Manganese regulates blood sugar, works as a strong antioxidant, and reduces inflammation, which brings us to one of the benefits of cardamom.

Fights Inflammation

This spice helps with sore throats, digestion, and detoxifying the organs. The antioxidant properties in cardamom have been shown to regulate blood pressure. These antioxidants also protect against cell damage and stop inflammation, which can be helpful for fighting chronic diseases.

Mood Enhancer

Cardamom is also recognized as a powerful mood enhancer. It’s commonly used in aromatherapy for its anti-depressant properties.

The list goes on and on!

Why We Use Cardamom

If you know Betsy’s Best, you know we do things a little differently. Our gourmet nut and seed butters use a blend of distinctive, functional ingredients that result in delicious and unique flavors. From chia seeds to Himalayan pink salt and cardamom, every ingredient adds a little something special to our spreads.

As a registered Dietician, Betsy loves to find the best ingredients in the world. But they must have amazing health benefits too and that is why cardamom was a perfect choice.

Ancient cultures have loved cardamom for its complex flavor profile, and we do too. Its flavor is smoky with hints of mint, pepper and lemon. The spice is also extremely aromatic, which is why the Greeks and Romans used it as a perfume. It’s the perfect spice to make our cashew butter elevate to the next level of gourmet flavor. Trust Betsy, your taste buds will sing from the delicious taste.

As you can see, cardamom has a lot going for it – both in health and taste. It seems this peppery seed is one of the healthiest herbs on the planet. That’s why cardamom is the featured spice in Betsy’s Best Gourmet Cardamom Cashew Butter. Our cardamom is non-GMO project verified and is a good source of plant-based protein. At Betsy’s Best, our goal is to make spreads in delicious flavors people love, all crafted from healthy and natural ingredients. Let us know what you think!