How to Prepare Saffron
While you probably know that Saffron imparts a unique flavor, color, and aroma to your dishes, you may not be aware that Saffron is an incredibly healthy spice which has many medicinal benefits. Saffron is great for aging eyes, high concentrations of natural carotenoids help protect the lens and the retina of aging eyes. Saffron enhances the mood by boosting serotonin levels. Saffron helps people suffering from Anxiety, Stress, and Insomnia. Saffron is great for your skin! Saffron is also very high in Antioxidants.
Here are some Preparation tips we put together to make sure you get the most out if your Saffron:
TIPS on How to use Saffron: Take a pinch of Saffron (15-30 threads) and grind it into a fine powder using a pestle and mortar or electric grinder. *For ease of grinding, you can add kosher salt or small amount of sugar* to your pestle and mortar which acts an abrasive, to reduce the saffron into a fine powder. Once the Saffron is grounded, add the powder to a small amount of hot water (2 ounces/4-5 tbsp) and let it steep for a min of 10 minutes. We recommend steeping for 30 minutes.The longer the better! Saffron releases its Color, Flavor, and Aroma when it's grounded into a fine powder and steeped in hot or warm water.
Once you have your concentrated liquid, you can add it to your rice dishes, use it as a marinade for white meats or vegetables. If your recipe or dish already has broth, you can skip the water infusion process and add the powder directly to your broth.
SAFFRON MILK: For best results, grind your saffron into a powder first and add directly to your hot milk. If you prefer to make it traditionally using whole threads, simply add your milk (for non-dairy use almond or coconut milk) to a saucepan and bring to a light boil. Add your whole saffron threads to the milk and turn the heat down to low, stir the mixture thoroughly and frequently to ensure the milk doesn’t scorch. Simmer for 10- 15 minutes until you achieve the desired color. Saffron is less soluble in milk than water, due to its density. It will take some time to render your milk a nice yellow color. For extra flavor, try adding cardamom seeds, cinnamon, sugar or honey!
SAFFRON TEA: If you enjoy a cup of tea with no caffeine, Saffron is a great for you! Simply bring your water to a boil, add the saffron threads to your tea pot, pour the boiling water over and leave it for a few minutes. Add sugar as desired. Want to try something a little different? Try serving with a mint sprig or lemon slice for added flavor and health benefits.
SAFFRON RICE: For the best results, use Basmati rice. Prepare your rice how you normally would, by rinsing with water first, then by bringing water to a boil, salting it to taste, then dropping in your rice. Make sure the rice is fully submerged. While the rice is cooking, start to prepare your saffron water. Simply do this by grinding your saffron (a big pinch) into a fine powder (using a pestle and mortar) and adding about 2 ounces (or 5-7 tbsp) of hot water, and letting it steep for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. Once the rice is cooked and ready, separate a small portion of your cooked rice into a separate bowl and add your infused saffron water. When adding the saffron water to the small bowl of cooked rice, try to avoid adding any saffron sediment which may have floated to the top. Mix the saffron water in the separated bowl of rice until the color turns completely golden. Once ready, pour this golden saffron rice on top of the rest of your cooked rice for style, and added flavor and aroma.