How to brew saffron (in order to release all the hidden enzymes and nutrients) and recipe for ‘Saffron Rice Pudding’

Heating up spices like saffron helps to release their nutritive properties for greater potency

Saffron harvested from the flower of crocus sativus is very well known for its great taste and medicinal properties. Ancient Persians knew saffron can be used for treatment of more than 90 different illnesses. The science today seems to be in agreement with the ancient wisdom about this exotic spice. Research has shown that saffron can be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs for treatment of many diseases including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and depression.

Saffron is a very expensive spice since the harvest of saffron is pretty labor intensive and is done by hand. One ounce of saffron is more expensive than gold and depending on the grade of saffron, a gram of this exotic spice is sold somewhere between $7 to $9.

You could add saffron to rice or use it to marinade fish, or make pastries. Although saffron is very expensive spice to use, only a pinch of saffron (usually about 15 to 20 threads) is what you need to spice up your dishes.

Saffron has hidden enzymes and nutrients that will be released when grinded and heated.  Here are the top steps for brewing saffron:

  • >> Make sure to buy wholesome saffron and start from the actual threads
  • >> Grind a pinch of saffron threads with a pinch of organic cane sugar inside copper mortar (It’s better to use copper mortars or pots in the kitchen since copper is known to boost the body’s immune system)
  • >> The saffron threads and cane sugar should be fully grinded into a uniform powder
  • >> Remove the saffron powder into a cup and then pour 3 tablespoons of boiling water on top of the powder
  •  >> In order to brew saffron cover the cup with a lid and let it sit there for 25 to 30 min .The heat will allow the aroma and color of saffron to be released
  • >> Your saffron liquid is now ready to be used to flavor dishes

Here is a recipe on how to make ‘Saffron Rice Pudding’:

 Ingredients:

    >> 1 cup of organic brown rice (this recipe is with white rice, but brown rice has more fiber and is healthier than white rice)
  • >> 3-5 cups of water (whatever rice you use, use twice more water)
  • >> 2 cups of organic brown cane sugar (the recommended sugar is 2 cups for each cup of rice; however, I usually use less sugar (like one cup) and if it needs more sugar I add organic maple syrup to the final dish at the end)
  • >> 1 tablespoon of brewed saffron
  • >> 1 cup of rosewater
  • >> 2 pods cardamom
  • >> 1/4th of a cup slivered almonds
  • >> You can use cinnamon and pistachios for garnish at the end

Wash the rice until the water is clear (if you are using long-grain rice, let it soak for few hours or the night before) Cook the rice until it’s tender (usually that could take from 30 min to an hour and half if you haven’t socked the rice before). Brew the saffron with organic cane sugar and leave it aside crush cardamom pods and soak them in one cup of rosewater and set it aside. Once the rice is tender, add organic cane sugar to it and let it cook for half an hour. Make sure to keep stirring the rice after you add sugar so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Then add brewed saffron and let it cook for another 30 min.

Finally add slivered almonds and rosewater with cardamom pods to the pot and mix them well. Cook the pudding until most of the water is evaporated and is completely dense. Keep in mind that the pudding is extremely hot and may be jumping out of the pot. Be careful not to burn your hand.

Remove the cardamom pods and pour the pudding inside a glass dish. Garnish it with pistachios and cinnamon at the end. Allow the dish to cool down to room temperature. Then leave the dish in the fridge for few hours.  The Saffron Rice Pudding is ready to serve few hours after it’s chilled.

bone appetit!

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