Saffron from the Beautiful Crocus Flower
Saffron Spice History and Effect on the Body
Saffron originated in Arabia and was brought to Spain in the eighth century. Spain in the main exporter of Saffron today, but it is also exported from Greece and Turkey. It is the most costly spice and can be bought for about $50.00 an ounce.
The red filaments or threads are actually the dried stigmas of the saffron flower which is a Crocus, which are lavender, white or yellow. Each flower contains only 3 stigmas.
Of course they are picked by hand. It takes about 80,000 flowers to make a pound of saffron. Since it has a strong aroma and an intense flavor, it is used sparingly.
It is considered worth the price because of all the positive effects it has on your body. It contributes to promoting lower rates of heart disease; it aids digestion, alleviates fatigue and exhaustion because it works to strengthen the nervous system.
It also aids digestion by increasing the appetite. It is high in thiamine and riboflavin which promote a healthy heart. Saffron is also used to improve the mood and clear the brain, where you can think more clearly.
Crocus Flower Producing Saffron
Saffron Health Benefits
Saffron can be made into milk, which gives preventative care for those with mild heart problems. Saffron aids in lowering cholesterol. In addition, it is an antioxidant, and it has anti-inflammatory properties.
To use this remedy, bring 1 cup of milk to a boil and add a pinch of saffron. Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes. You may sweeten it with honey or sugar. Drink it once daily.
The following recipe will help clear your mind and work as a mood booster. Use a pinch of saffron threads and 3 ounces of 100-proof alcohol, putting both ingredients into a.covered jar. Let stand for 2 weeks while storing the jar in a cool, dry place. Drink ¼ cup as necessary
Saffron Uses in Particular Recipes
When you purchase saffron, choose strands over powder, as the strands have a better flavor. Store saffron in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Rice cooked with saffron is a favorite of many people. It is an indispensable ingredient in many recipes, such as; the Indian rice Palau, the Risotto a la Milanese of Italy; and the Spanish paella. Saffron is great with fish, in stews and soups. The Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish who grow their own in Lancaster County use saffron in cooking. Saffron is also used in Swedish cake and breads made for special occasions.
Seafood Newburg with Saffron Rice Recipe : Preparing Herbs
Saffron is a very interesting, yet expensive, and a very popular spice. It is probably one of the healthiest spices for the heart. Many people love the distinctive flavor it adds to their food.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby