What Are the Best Whole Spices for Your Grinder?

While you may have thought that buying ready-ground spices will give you the same result as buying whole spices and herbs and grinding them yourself, there are many health benefits (not to mention flavour advantages) that are lost when you do not buy whole.

Herbs and spices are a great way to add flavour to a variety of dishes, and in almost every culture across the world, these ingredients have been used since the dawn of time. In addition to adding a whole new taste dimension to dishes, they also offer a number of unique health benefits that help reduce illness, strengthen immune system, clear skin and even reduce inflammation.

What herbs and whole spices should be grinding in your kitchen, and what are some of the amazing health benefits that they have to offer?

Healthiest Whole Spices and Herbs

Be sure to add these herbs and spices to your shopping list, to get the full benefit of their flavour and health power…

1.     Oregano

A herb in the greater family of origanum, this herb is a popular pizza garnish that packs a powerful antioxidant punch. So much in fact, that it is said to have the same level of antioxidant as three cups of broccoli! It is also extremely versatile, working well when used with pasta, salads, pizzas and even sandwiches. To get the full benefit, look for whole dried leaves that you can grind yourself, or use your grinder on store versions for a more intense flavour.

2.     Rosemary

Rosemary is said to contain compounds that help to reduce inflammation, which is a risk factor for a number of health concerns. This herb is being studied to determine how effective it is to enhance heart health. A favourite in chicken and roast vegetable dishes, you can also use this herb in tomato based sauces, other roasts, in marinades and in baked bread. You can use ground rosemary in cakes and sweeter dishes too if you want to try something different and delicious.

3.     Turmeric

With its bright yellow colour, turmeric is an often-overlooked spice that has a whole lot of goodness. It is often found in curry powder and used in curry dishes, and is believed to be good for heart health as well as the prevention of cognitive decline in the ageing. Look for whole turmeric in its natural form, which can be ground into food. Use it in your favourite curries, or add to stews, vegetable dishes, meats, egg salad, potato salad and even in homemade dips and salad dressings.

4.     Red Pepper Spices

There are a number of super spices found from dried red peppers – all of them excellent for your health and high in flavour. Cayenne pepper, paprika and crushed pepper are the most commonly found red pepper spices, each of which have their own unique taste and level of spiciness. Red pepper is known for its weight-loss benefits, helping to boost metabolism and reduce hunger pangs. These spices are also high in antioxidants too. Use these whole, and grind into your favourite dips, sauces, pasta, salads, seafood, marinades, chicken or even roasted chickpeas for a delicious snack.

5.     Black Pepper

The wonders of whole black peppercorns have long been celebrated, with many cultures embracing this spice for hundreds of years. It has been used to treat everything from digestion issues to colds, pain and even heart conditions. Today, science has proved the old healers right, after finding a number of essential compounds such as pipines that are excellent for health. Grind it fresh just before eating, and use on any and all of your favourite foods. You could even try it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream for an out-of-this-world dessert.

What are your favourite spices to grind, and how do you like to use freshly ground spice in your meals?

Supplier of the Year – Global Grinders

Jeff Gross announced at the Sales & Management Meeting that the 2013 Supplier of the Year Award will be given to Global Grinders. Global has been a vendor of Kaufman Container for over a decade and has done an exceptional job in providing quality products and services to a variety of customers. Located in South Africa, Global Grinders supplies a variety of spice closures, grinders, as well as spice bottles to a global customer base. Many of their products are unique and patented. Global was key in providing Kaufman Container grinder closures for Kroger, Gourmet Nut, and recently a line of custom dispensing closures for JR Watkins company in Winona, Minnesota.

Lorraine Vos of Global Grinders made the following statement upon receipt of the Supplier of the Year Award:

The management and staff of Global Grinders are extremely proud to have been awarded the honor of being Kaufman Container’s Supplier of the Year for 2013. It is inspiring for us, a small company based right down on the southern tip of Africa, to be recognized for our ability to produce excellent quality products. However, more so, that our efforts to offer good and efficient service are appreciated.

Our company started in 1997 with 5 employees, a tiny factory with a single product (a grinder designed and manufactured by ourselves) which was then only supplied to the local market. We slowly started expanding and one of the first ventures into export was actually to the USA.

Since then, our product range is now extensive and our market spreads to every continent. We supply many general trade items but also many custom designed and branded grinders. Most of our products are patented. Kaufman Container has been instrumental in helping us to “spread our wings” even further into the USA market for which we are grateful. We strive to stand for our motto – a perfect grind every time.

Congratulations Global Grinders!

Another year draws to a close!

When we were children, once Christmas was over, it seemed like we had to wait an eternity for the next Christmas. Now it is astonishing how quickly it does come around again!

I would just like to take this opportunity to let you all know that our manufacturing division will be closed for our summer vacation from the 13th December until the 13th January and our administration offices from the 20th December also until the 13th January. We will however be available on email if you need any assistance.

Wishing everyone the best over the Festive Season, whether it will be in snow or sunshine, and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!!

New trend in consumer purchases

We have noticed that in this past year there has been a leaning towards larger packs of spices both for catering and home use. In the past the 100ml size was the favourite and now it seems that anything from 200ml to 375ml is taking up positive shelf space in chain stores and supermarkets. We have been encouraged by these trends and have brought out our own range of these food service size products.

We have a 325ml PET & a 375ml PET bottle both with heavy-duty grinders. The thread is a screw snap on and non-refillable. The grinders have a built-in patented ring pull tamper evident seal.

The Big Brother Grinder – This supersize grinder can be used on bottles with a capacity of up to 1000ml. We have even tested it on coffee beans and it is perfect for grinding cover over cappuccinos, ice cream or even for flavouring cakes.

It is whale season in Cape Town!

About 20 minutes’ drive from our factory, we have the absolute pleasure of being able to experience a wonderful spectacle. At this time of the year, several species of whale come into False Bay (situated near Cape Point) to calf in this protected bay. A road runs along the complete area so daily there are traffic jams with many, many local and overseas enthralled sightseers enjoying this annual event.

The Southern Right Whale

The most common species seen here is the Southern Right Whale( in the picture above). The term “right” refers to the fact that in the 19th century these whales were regarded as the “right” whales to catch because of their high oil content and also because they were slow swimmers. All whales are now classified as protected species in South Africa, so possibly they feel safe coming so close to our shores.

The Humpback Whale

These are renowned as the “acrobats” of the ocean and put on a wonderful show of breaching (jumping clear out of the water), lobtailing ( slapping the water with their tails) and spyhopping (poking their heads out of the water) as if just for the entertainment of  the appreciative audiences with their cameras clicking away.

Next month we will be enchanted by the sight of the calves swimming alongside their mothers learning all the tricks of life until they are ready to head out to deeper waters.

13 reasons to choose GLOBAL GRINDERS as your preferred spice grinder supplier!

  1. Our grinders are made from the highest quality virgin grade materials. This ensures that each grinder can comfortably grind at least 3 jars of product.
  2. All our materials including packaging and inks are FDA & E.U. approved for food contact.
  3.  Our manufacturing standards are based on Good Manufacturing Practices and we have HACCP accreditation. We are in the process of upgrading to ISO 22000 with FSSC also.
  4. We have an onsite quality control laboratory equipped with up to date technology for testing our products on a daily basis
  5. We have a dedicated Research & Development department which constantly monitors the results of the laboratory and if needed, formulates improvements to designs, if deemed necessary
  6. We aspire to fair labour practice. Our staff is paid well above average and thus happy, dedicated and conscientious.
  7. We also have high speed camera inspection lines where each grinder is inspected and coded with an ultraviolet ink to ensure traceabilty for your clients’ products.
  8. We have a Research and Development department which is innovative and continually making minor changes and improvements to our range of grinders to ensure optimum performance
  9. We carry product liability insurance to give peace of mind. We also have insurance to cover the goods in transit to your warehouse/facility.
  10. We have worldwide patents on some of our designs to avoid cheap imitations of our adjustable and non-removable grinders.
  11. Price transparency – no hidden costs for packaging etc.
  12. Price stability – we strive through on going mechanization and improved productivity to keep our prices stable.
  13. We pride ourselves on our service. We are prepared to hold custom designed products in reserve stock, if requested by yourselves, to ensure immediate despatch in emergencies.

Summer in the Northern hemisphere

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who visited our stand at the PLMA trade show in Amsterdam last month. It was great to meet with you all.

Secondly, I wish our friends and customers Happy Summer Holidays and for those that are going away over this period, I hope you all have a great time and travel safely to your favourite destinations and return well-rested.

To my daughter and her family and everyone else in the USA:

A brief history of salt

A very ancient saltworks was discovered near an archaeological site next to a salt spring in Neamt County in Rumania.  Evidence indicates that Neolithic people were boiling salt-laden spring water to extract salt as far back as 6050 BC. Salt was widely used for other purposes than seasoning food and this could be one of the reasons that created a human settlement pattern around salt pans.

Apart from needing to preserve meat in brine, salt played a big part in religious rituals such as:

  • Salt was included amongst funeral offerings in ancient Egyptian tombs also in the form of salted birds and fish
  • It was used  in ancient Celtic Exorcism Rites
  • In Judaism, it is customary to dip bread in salt when passing bread around the table after Kiddush
  • In Wicca, it is believed to cleanse and area of harmful or negative energies
  • It is considered to be very lucky in Hinduism and is used in religious ceremonies such as weddings
  • In the native Japanese religion Shinto, salt is used for the purification of locations and people. In Sumo wrestling, small piles of salt or salt flowers are placed in dishes at the entrance to the halls to both ward of evil spirits and  to attract patrons

However there are also many practical uses for salt:

  • Coarse salt is brilliant for cleaning coffee and tea stains out of mugs.
  • In the garden I have found that coarse salt prevents snails from eating your plants. Also if spread between the bricks/tiles on your patio or path it will keep these areas weed free.
  • And then there is sprinkling salt on the spilt red wine!!

Salt can be used with other ingredients such as vinegar for a wide variety of cleaning needs.  If you have ever had these problems while cooking onions:

  • Chopping onions  – rub smelly hands with salt softened with vinegar
  • While cooking the onions they burn – a mixture of cinnamon and salt on the hot plate will clear the air of the burnt odour
  • If burning the onions so badly that a fire is started then don’t use water to put out the flames – use salt
  • To clean the burnt pot use salt to clean.

Did you know about the Ghost Chili Pepper?

Did you know about the Ghost Chili Pepper (Bhut Jolokia)? I hadn’t until last week. Here I was eating lashings of Jalapeno on my pizzas with a glass of milk at hand. Since I was told about this Ghost Chili, and now looking at the Scoville Chili heat chart, I see that Jalapeno is for the faint-hearted amongst us with the Ghost Chili along with the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Chili being 400 x times stronger than Tabasco…. Doing a bit of research I discovered some interesting uses for chili apart from giving a dynamic taste to your cooking. It is said to:

  • Relieve back pain and migraines
  • Helps with digestion problems
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Helps with flu symptoms
  • Nasal spray for sinus – really!!!
  • The real hot chili can be used in hand grenades as a non-lethal way to flush out the criminals from their hideouts

BUT my all-time favourite is, if you have problems with wild Elephants invading your garden, just smear Ghost Chili on your fence. They will be quick to move to your neighbours’ garden never to return.

Ensuring food safety of your products

As manufacturers and packers of food products, how do you ensure that food safety of your products once they leave your factory?

Tamper-evidence is perhaps most visible in the process of product packaging and labelling, as it assures the consumer that the product has not been tampered with, prior to opening/use.

Methods of tamper evidence vary from:

  • Pressure sensitive or heat induction liners on the rim of the container under the closer. Once removed, it will indicate that the content could possibly have been tampered with, as the liner is not re-sealable.
  • Shrink sleeves that cover the closure to the shoulder of the jar or possibly a full seal which can double up as a branding label.
  • Closures/spice grinders such as the ones in the pictures below that have a thread which locks on to the jar which makes it non-removable. It also has a ring-pull tamper seal that needs to be torn off to enable the contents of the jar to be used.

Traceability, while not visible, is vital not only to the consumer but to the supplier or store owner. Everyone in the food packaging industry is very aware of the problems that can arise from a lack of accurate and comprehensive traceability due to the effectiveness and speed of information shared in the case of a possible recall.

Did you know?

In our manufacturing process, each grinder is run through a camera inspection line to ensure conformance and, once passed, is printed with a code to ensure traceability right back to the source of the raw material?