Saffron is a popular spice and an expensive one too. Its taste makes it great for usage in food, as refreshment and even for making beverages. Saffron’s unique colour, flavour and other properties give it culinary and medicinal characteristics that make it renowned all over the world. It belongs to the Iradaceae family and is a native of the South Europe regions. These regions originally cultivated and used saffron on a daily basis.
- Disease prevention: Saffron can improve diseasse prevention power
- Volatile oils: The plant part from which saffron is obtained contains essential but volatile oils which when added to food, imparts its unique flavour and benefits of saffron as a spice. Some of these oils are cineole, pinene, borneol, geraniol etc.
- Active components: Apart from the volatile oils, there are also non-volatile active components like carotenoid compound that are anti-oxidants beneficial to the body. These prevent free radical reactions which produce harmful by-compounds and diseases. Some of the carotenoids like zea-xanthin, lycopene, alpha and beta carotene are widely appreciated. This is also one of the main uses of saffron.
- Therapeutic applications: In many religions, saffron is not just considered a spice. It is used in various types of therapies like body healing, detoxification and also in the spas.
- Anti depressant: The active components in the saffron make our body lose its depressing characteristics making it a dietary necessity sometimes.
- Digestive properties:Saffron is also a digestive and an anti convulsant.
Apart from imparting its exotic flavor and aroma to several recipes, saffron possesses beauty benefits as well.
It has natural skin lightening qualities. Saffron can be beneficial for your skin in the following ways:
- Saffron for radiant Skin
- Saffron for Fairer Skin
- Treatment of Acne and Blemishes
- Treatment of Dull Skin
- Saffron for Luminous Complexion
- Treatment of Dry Skin
Saffron is beneficial for your hair and helps in stimulating hair growth.
- Combats Hair Loss:Saffron can be mixed with licorice and milk and applied to bald spots.
This will combat hair loss and promote hair growth.
Saffron is a versatile spice that can add a new dimension to both savory and sweet dishes.
Not only does it impart a distinct flavor and aroma, it also makes your dish look more presentable.
Saffron can be used in thread or ground form depending upon the recipe.
If you are using saffron to garnish your dish and wish to create a visual impression,
you can use threads. On the other hand, if you want the saffron to blend with your dish such that
it is not obvious to the eye, you should go for its powdered form.
The cooking tips given below will enable you to reap the maximum benefits from this magical spice.
- You can prepare your own powdered saffron instead of buying it from a supplier.
You can do this by grinding the saffron threads with mortar and pestle.
If you find it difficult to grind the threads due to its moisture content, add a pinch of sugar grains and then grind.
This will make grinding easier without affecting your recipe.
- You can make liquid saffron by adding 3 to 5 teaspoons of warm or boiling
water to powdered saffron and allow it to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes.
It can be stored in a jar for a few weeks to be used when needed. Liquid saffron can also be prepared with milk,
vinegar or wine instead of water.
It is usually added to other ingredients towards the end of cooking to draw out the color
and disperse the flavor throughout the dish.
- Saffron can be used to prepare delicious chicken in saffron cream sauce.
- Saffron is used to prepare saffron rice.
- You can prepare saffron tea by adding 5 to 10 strands of saffron to the boiling water while making your tea. This tea will have the distinct fragrant aroma of saffron.
- Treatment of Dry Skin