Mehmet Oz's HealthCorps (a sort of Peace Corps to tackle America's obesity epidemic) is partnering with Savory Spice Shops, a plucky little Denver based start-up selling fresh ground spices with inventive blends like Southern Spain Pinchito (salt, cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, garlic, caraway, turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, anise, cayenne and saffron) and Tan-Tan Moroccan (Hungarian paprika, white sugar, cumin, salt, Ceylon cinnamon, black cardamom, parsley, coriander and turmeric.) The blends are an absolute treasure trove of ideas for dinner.
The concept, dreamt up by young entrepreneurs Mike and Janet Johnston, blows away the dull McCormick offerings on the grocery shelf. Not only do they offer more than 160 spice blends, but their spices are ground fresh in weekly batches and hand-crafted in Denver. Even better, their recipe-finder allows you to enter a region of the world (say, Africa) and a type of food (chicken, fish, veggies) in order to find recipes using the blends. The only caveat is the recipes are not always great for the waistline; they suggest serving Chicken Tagine topped with French fries--a completely unecessary indulgence.
Dr. Oz's concept is to take high school students to visit the shops to learn about spices and their particular medicinal properties. Not only can spices add nutritional value to a dish, but they can reduce the need for salt and increase satiety. The shops are currently in ten states, including California, Texas and New Jersey.
We're hopping in the car and dialing up the GPS as we write!