One may imagine that the cost of saffron could deter people from buying it. Well, that is only imaginable until you have used it yourself. This spice, often referred to as red gold, is gold indeed. The versatility of this powerful spice is inestimable and is worth looking into.
This golden spice is highly beneficial, and it is almost irresistible to not want to stock up on it. Although it could be the solution to many of your kitchen and health needs, you should be cautious with this spice.
There is a limit to how much of it you can use, and you should know what the limit is.
What is saffron?
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. This spice is gotten from the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) flower. It has a crimson red stigma and styles that are called threads. These threads are handpicked, dried, and sold by weight. It’s no wonder why it’s referred to as gold.
This red golden spice is collected and sold for culinary and non-culinary purposes. Some people use it to add flavor and a rich golden yellow hue to meals and beverages. It also has versatile purposes in medicine and beauty.
Furthermore, the flavor from these seemingly small threads is so powerful that too much of it can overpower your dish. Also, ingesting too much into your body can be toxic. This golden spice tastes earthy, pungent, or fruity.
As the king of spice, there is no perfect substitute for saffron, not even turmeric. This is one of the reasons why many people stock up on it. The threads are the most preferred form of this spice because the powder may be adulterated.
It is available in some grocery stores or stores that sell a variety of herbs and spices. This spice is sold in grams, pinches, or threads. When buying this spice, buy from reliable sources to avoid getting copycats or adulterated versions.
Should you use saffron?
Yes. If you’re not using saffron for health reasons, you can incorporate it into paella, rice, soups, stews, milk, zucchini sauté, pork chops, bouillabaisse, and many other meals.
Whether you use this e for meals or health-related reasons, you’ll be loading your body with a lot of benefits.
How much saffron should you use in rice?
Use ¼ to ½ a teaspoon of saffron threads to make saffron rice. The highest you should go is a pinch. How much of this spice you add to a pot of rice depends on the quantity of rice you’re cooking.
How much saffron should you use in risotto?
Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of the golden spice to 350 grams (1 ¾ cups of risotto rice) to make saffron risotto. How much of the golden spice you add to risotto depends on how much flavor and color you want to give your dish.
How much saffron should you use in paella?
One large pinch of saffron is enough to give your seafood paella a rich golden yellow color and earthy flavor. The subtle flavor of this spice greatly enhances the taste of the entire dish. So you don’t want to use too much spice and overpower the seafood flavor.
How much saffron should you use in biryani?
One pinch (10-15 threads) of saffron is enough to spice up biryani. The spice helps to enhance the appearance and flavor of biryani. This golden spice makes biryani more appetizing by giving it a luxurious red hue.
In addition, when adding the spice to a pot of biryani, add a pinch of sugar and dissolve the threads in milk or water to bring out the color.
How much saffron should you use in bouillabaisse?
½ a teaspoon or a small pinch of the red gold spice is enough for a bouillabaisse of 6 servings. The crimson red spice is responsible for the bright orange hue of bouillabaisse.
How much saffron should you use in soup?
One pinch is enough for 4 to 6 bowls of soup. If you use more than this quantity, what should have been a bowl of flavorful and savory soup may become bitter.
How much saffron should you use for tea?
Depending on the quantity of tea you’re making, a small or large pinch of the red gold threads is enough to flavor tea.
How much saffron should you use in milk during pregnancy?
3 to 5 strands of this spice in warm milk is enough for pregnant women. The golden spice is highly beneficial to the health of pregnant women.
Moreover, there are traditional myths that drinking milk that contains these red gold threads can make a woman give birth to a fair baby.
How much saffron should you use to suppress your appetite?
The red gold has been made into capsules that people take as supplements. The supplements work as appetite suppressants to aid weight loss.
People who want to lose weight with this spice should not take more than one capsule (which contains 176.5 mg) of the supplement per day.
How much saffron should you use for depression?
20 to 30 mg per day is enough to suppress depression. The spice is highly powerful such that this seemingly minute amount begins to take effect as early as one week after you started using it.
How to use saffron
The best form to use this spice is in the thread form. You can use the powder form if you crushed the threads yourself. The powder form is also better for recipes that do not need threads.
Keep in mind that one teaspoon of saffron threads is equal to 1/8 teaspoon of powdered saffron.
There are two ways to add saffron threads to your drinks or dishes. They are:
1. Bloomed saffron
This applies to both the powder and thread forms. Allow the spice to steep in warm water or milk for up to fifteen minutes. Afterward, the color of the liquid should become golden yellow or orange. Then, you can go ahead to cook with the water.
2. Use saffron directly
This method of using this precious spice is for recipes that cook for a long time and use a lot of liquid. Before the dish is ready, it’d have steeped rich flavor and color into your dish.
Benefits of using saffron
This golden spice is packed with plant compounds that can provide any of these benefits:
- Antioxidant properties that protect body cells from free radicals
- It also has anti-inflammatory properties
- If pregnant women stay within the recommended daily intake (0.5 mg to 2 mg), it can help relieve stress and body aches and improve their mood
- Protection of brain cells from damage
- Improved mood
- It is also an antidepressant medication
- It can also help to soothe the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Aphrodisiac properties
- Supplements made from this spice can aid weight loss by suppressing your urge to snack
- In addition, the golden spice has the potential to greatly reduce risk factors for heart diseases and diabetes
- Taking the spice in meals and milk may help improve Alzheimer’s disease and fight cancer
Are there any side effects of using saffron?
Saffron does not show any side effects except if you take large amounts or you are allergic to it. If you’re new to the spice, you may experience symptoms like headache, drowsiness, nausea, stomach upset, vomiting, dryness of mouth, and a change in appetite.
However, these side effects may not last long. If they do, you should stop using the spice at once. See a doctor if necessary.
In addition, pregnant women should be careful with saffron because too much consumption of the spice can trigger miscarriage. Therefore, they should consume the spice with counsel from a doctor.
What is the recommended daily intake of saffron?
If you’re using saffron as a dietary supplement, the recommended daily intake is 1.5 grams. In some cases, less than this recommended daily intake shows beneficial effects.
How much saffron can be too much?
Exceeding the daily intake of saffron is already too much and can be toxic to your health. Any dosage above 5 grams is too much and dangerous to your health.
Who should not use saffron?
People with a previous record of saffron allergy, people with bipolar disorders, breastfeeding mothers, and some pregnant women should stay off saffron. Also, saffron can interact with anesthesia, so you should stop taking it two weeks before surgery.
In addition, saffron reacts with medications that lower blood pressure and caffeine. If you take any of these regularly, you should stay off this spice.
How much is 30mg of saffron?
30 mg of saffron is equivalent to a pinch which contains 20 threads.
Saffron is indeed the gold people call it. This very versatile spice offers a lot of benefits. Although it could be quite pricey, you’ll find that many people do their best to get the red gold. Its invaluable benefits are indeed worth the money.
Most importantly, as you enjoy the benefits of using saffron, remember that you shouldn’t have too much of it. Stick with the recommended dosage for whatever purpose you’re using it. Although it is powerful, it could turn against your body if you ingest too much.
Thanks for reading.
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