Saffron is a valuable and rare spice, with significant flavor and healing properties. To produce just 2 lbs of saffron, 150,000-180,000 flowers are needed, making it the most expensive spice in the world.
The basic ingredients of Saffron are the crocine and crocitin, which are responsible for the strands color, picrookine to which it owes its taste, and safranal, which is the main ingredient of the aromatic essential oil, all loaded with antioxidants. Saffron strands strengthen the body’s defense against free radicals, which are associated with skin aging, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and diabetes. In addition, Saffron contains significant amounts of vitamin A, C, and B6, as well as folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Saffron has been known since antiquity, as it refers to the Old Testament and Homer, as well as in Hippocrates writings, for its excellent health benefits and medical and pharmaceutical properties.
In summary, Saffron:
– Protects the heart from cardiovascular diseases.
– Enhances mental function and mental clarity.
– Contributes to lowering cholesterol.
– Fights stress
– Enhances memory
– Has anti-aging and anti-cancer properties
– Can soothe digestion problems
– Can heal acne
To use Saffron in your recipes, pour a few strands in a cup of hot water and add the colored liquid at the end of the cooking or add them directly to the pot. Don’t add big amounts of strands, otherwise you can ruin your recipe.
What’s New with Vicky:
In this section of “What’s New with Vicky” we figured we would share with you that Vicky has one of the most excellent memories we have ever seen. Is this by accident or is it related to all the herbs and spices she consumes? Vicky has been know to use herbs and spices on a daily basis, in fact she loves to make saffron tea and she definitely includes that in her repertoire. Vicky believes in the benefits of saffron so much that she often recommends it to any of our members that maybe suffering with depression. It happens to be a very good remedy for anxiety and depression.
With stunning photography from all corners of Iran and gorgeous recipe images, this lavish cookbook rejoices in the land, life, flavors, and food of an enigmatic and beautiful country.
All that is needed to complete this lean healthy meal is brown rice or whole wheat pitas!
Indian Style Grilled Chicken
• 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts [halved]
• 4 cloves garlic [minced]
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
• cayenne pepper [to taste]
• Himalayan sea salt [to taste]
• freshly ground black pepper [to taste]
1. In a large bowl combine the olive oil, honey, saffron, garlic, basil, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
2. Add chicken to the mixture, toss to combine, cover and let marinate for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat grill to medium heat. Lightly oil the grill grate.
4. Discard marinade, place chicken on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes each side, or until the juices from the chicken run clear.
5. Serve and enjoy!
Health & Beauty Tips of the Week:
1. Saffron as A Toner
Saffron can help in toning up your skin. All you need to do is soak saffron strands in rose water and apply it on your skin after scrubbing.
2. Saffron Treatment of Dry Skin
If you have dull and dry skin, you can prepare a mask with lemon and saffron. Lemon cleans your skin from deep within while saffron provides luminosity to it. Mix a few drops of lemon juice with a spoonful of saffron powder. If you have very dry skin, you can add a few drops of milk. Make it into a smooth dough and spread all over your face. Leave for 20 minutes and wash off with lukewarm water.
3. Saffron Combats Hair Loss
Saffron is beneficial for your hair and helps in stimulating hair growth. Mix Saffron strands with licorice and milk and applied to bald spots. This will combat hair loss and promote hair growth.
Q: I prefer tea much more than coffee. Can I add saffron strands for extra flavor?
A: Mix saffron strands with your favorite tea leaves and other herbs and spices and prepare your tea as usual. Keep in mind that the antioxidants and flavonoids found in Saffron tea can protect your body from harmful substances and disease!
Q: I haven’t used saffron in any of my recipes, I want to but I’m afraid due to my 4-year old boy. Is it safe for kids to consume saffron?
A: Unless there is an allergy in saffron, you can add saffron strands to your recipes just like you do with the usual spices like paprika, cumin, cinnamon etc.
“Saffron maybe pricy but as I always like to say pay now or pay later!” Vicky DeRosa