Cumin is a flavorful spice that will add character to any recipe, and is frequently used in Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. Considered a warm spice similar to cinnamon, cardamom, caraway, or nutmeg, cumin has an earthy, sweet, yet slightly bitter and smoky taste. A member of the parsley family, cumin is also a key ingredient in chili and curry powder.
Did You Know?
- Lettuce makes an ideal weight loss food because aside from being low in calories, it also contains fiber and cellulose that help make you feel full and improve your digestion
- Cumin’s impressive repertoire of vitamins and minerals enables it to deliver healing benefits, such as increasing cognitive performance, improving digestion, preventing diabetes, dispelling phlegm and mucous, and fighting viral infections
- Cayenne pepper and other members of the chili pepper family naturally have capsaicin, a chemical component known to have an extensive array of therapeutic properties. Basically, the hotter the chili, the more capsaicin it has
In this recipe, I’ll show you how a dash of cumin can take this simple lettuce roll dish to a whole new level.
Cumin Spiced Lettuce Roll Recipe
Serving Size: 4-5
- 1 head leaf lettuce (butter or red leaf)
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced into strips
- 2 scallions, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, minced
- Alfalfa sprouts
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dr. Mercola’s raw honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Cut out the lettuce cores. Separate leaves.
- Top with some minced scallions and a few pieces of red pepper.
- Add some sprouts and roll the leaf carefully. Secure with toothpick.
- Continue the process with the remaining lettuce roll ingredients.
- To make the dressing, whisk together lemon juice, honey, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt. Add olive oil.
- Serve lettuce rolls with dressing on the side.
Cumin Spiced Lettuce Roll Preparation Tips
A popular salad staple, lettuce has several varieties you can choose from, such as butterhead, iceberg, and Romaine. Buying full heads of lettuce is more cost-effective, especially if you’re enjoying salads a great deal. But if you’re looking for convenience, you can also try salad mixes that come in bags.
To prepare your lettuce, tear off the leaves and wash them well. (Do not chop them using a knife to avoid bruising the sensitive leaves.) Dry them in a salad spinner or pat dry using clean paper towels. Lettuce is among the long list of vegetables that can be prone to a high pesticide load, so be sure you get locally grown, organic varieties.
Another superstar ingredient of this lettuce wrap recipe is avocado. This superfood not only tastes great, but it’s also very easy to incorporate into your diet. You can add avocado to salads, wraps, burritos, bruschettas, soups, smoothies – you name it!
To avoid ending up with a slimy, messy, and overripe avocado, here’s a tip: check under the stem or the cap on top of the fruit. If you pull off the stem and it’s green, you’ve got a good candidate that’s good enough to eat. But if it’s brown, this means the avocado is overripe and you’ll likely find nasty brown spots inside. However, if the stem won’t come off easily, this means the avocado is not yet ripe.
To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, peel your avocado as you would a banana. Here’s how:
- Cut the avocado lengthwise, around the seed.
- Holding each half, twist them in opposite directions to separate them from the seed.
- Remove the seed.
- Cut each half, lengthwise.
- Using your thumb and index finger, peel the skin off each piece.
Kitchen Hack: to prevent cut avocados from turning brown and keep them fresh for several days, put it with a half an onion in an airtight container and refrigerate. The sulfur compound from the onion (the same chemical that makes you cry) seems to do the trick, without having its overpowering flavor leach into the avocado.1
Choose bright yellow lemons that are smooth and heavy for their size. Veer away from lemons with streaks of green on the skin (which usually indicate higher acidity) or have rough, thick skin (which is a sure sign that they don’t have much juice in them).
Tip: rolling your lemons on the countertop for a few times before squeezing will help them produce more juice.
Meanwhile, spices like cayenne pepper and ground cumin should be stored in an airtight container or inside the freezer. Remember that a little goes a long way, so use these spices sparingly.
Why Are Cumin Spiced Lettuce Rolls Good for You?
Lettuce makes an ideal weight loss food because aside from being low in calories, it also contains fiber and cellulose that can make you feel full and improve your digestion. Apart from that, lettuce also provides:2
- Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which work together to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol and the buildup of plaque in the heart
- Lactucarium, the white fluid you see when you break or tear lettuce leaves, has relaxing and sleep-inducing properties similar to opium, minus the side effects
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Cumin’s impressive repertoire of vitamins and minerals enables it to deliver healing benefits, such as:3
- Increasing cognitive performance
- Improving digestion
- Preventing diabetes
- Dispelling phlegm and mucous
- Fighting viral infections
- Relieving anxiety and depression
- Boosting the immune system
- Preventing premature aging
Cayenne pepper and other members of the chili pepper family naturally have capsaicin, a chemical component known to have an extensive array of therapeutic properties. Basically, the hotter the chili, the more capsaicin it’ll have. Some of the benefits of cayenne pepper include:4
- Relieving arthritic and rheumatic pain and inflammation
- Reducing cardiovascular disease risk
- Treating cold, cough, and congestion
- Preventing blood clotting in arteries
- Helping burn off calories
Avocados, which are one of the healthiest foods on the planet, provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid.
Sprouts, on the other hand, have higher vitamin content in the most absorbable form compared to their more mature versions. Alfalfa in particular contains vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, and K.
+ Sources and References