8 Best Vegan Recipes Using Saffron For Your Kids
Plants produce saffron or Crocus sativus. Saffron spice, food colouring, and medicine are all made from dried flower parts that resemble thread (stigmas). Chemicals found in saffron have antioxidant properties, the ability to reduce swelling, and the capacity to kill cancer cells. Let's try some delicious vegan recipes using saffron.
Health Benefits Of Saffron
1. Improves Mood
The sunshine spice is the moniker for saffron. This is due to more than just its distinctive colour; it may also help to lift your spirits.
According to a review of five studies, saffron supplements significantly outperformed placebos in treating the signs and symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression.
Other research revealed that saffron, 30 mg taken daily, was just as effective in treating depression as Fluoxetine, Imipramine, and Citalopram. Saffron's side effects were also less common than those of other treatments. Both the saffron petals and the stigma that resembles a thread seem to be effective for treating mild to moderate depression.
Even though these results are encouraging, longer human studies with more subjects are required before experts can suggest saffron as a depression treatment.
2. Cure For ED
Millions of men struggle to maintain an erection due to erectile dysfunction (ED). Additionally, some studies suggest that saffron may be used to treat ED.
According to Czerwony, doctors frequently prescribe ED medications because they are effective for many people. But saffron might be an option for those seeking a herbal cure. According to studies, don't go over the recommended daily dosage of 30 milligrams. Saffron can be toxic in large doses.
3. Cancer-Fighting Properties
Antioxidants are abundant in saffron and aid in scavenging dangerous free radicals. Chronic diseases like cancer and free radical damage have been linked.
Studies in test tubes have demonstrated that saffron and its compounds can kill or suppress the growth of colon cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.
This result also holds for several other cancer cells, including those in the cervix, prostate, lung, breast, and skin.
Crocin, the primary antioxidant in saffron, has also been discovered in test-tube studies to potentially increase cancer cells' sensitivity to chemotherapy drugs.
The anticancer properties of saffron have not been adequately researched in humans, even though these results from test-tube studies are encouraging.
4. Antioxidant Boost
Antioxidants are abundant in saffron and many other herbs and plants. In addition to preventing cancer and other diseases, these substances aid in the fight against cell damage. Additionally, studies have suggested that saffron's antioxidants may benefit your brain and nervous system.
Three antioxidants in saffron—crocetin, crocin, and safranal—might enhance memory and learning. Additionally, these substances may aid in the prevention of neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease.
According to Czerwony, the antioxidants in saffron may help shield the brain from harm. You should obtain antioxidants from various sources because they are helpful substances. Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables is a highly effective way to increase your intake of antioxidants and prevent disease. To increase the antioxidants in your diet, add some saffron.
5. Treatment Of Alzheimer's
To treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, saffron may be just as efficient as a prescription drug. Alzheimer's does not have a known cure, but research indicates that saffron may help to lessen symptoms and slow the disease's progression.
According to Czerwony, “some small studies found that saffron extract improved cognitive function in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer's.” A low risk of side effects exists with saffron as well. People who have Alzheimer's disease should regularly visit their doctor and discuss any supplements they take.
6. PMS Treatment
From pelvic pain to acne breakouts, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can result in many symptoms. Anxiety, depression, and mood swings are common side effects of PMS for many people.
According to a few small studies, saffron may help with depression brought on by PMS.
Premenstrual syndrome, according to Czerwony, “can hurt a person's quality of life.” “Speak with your provider if you have severe PMS or if it interferes with your daily activities. Additionally, saffron may lessen some of the emotional PMS side effects.
7. Depression Therapy
Millions of people worldwide suffer from a mental health disorder known as depression. There are different forms of therapy or medications to use during treatment. Consuming saffron may help with depression symptoms, according to some studies.
If we obtain more information and data, saffron “could become a future depression treatment,” according to Czerwony. But before saffron can take the place of tried-and-true depression medications, we need more extensive studies considering long-term outcomes. Never stop taking any prescription medications without first consulting your doctor.
8. Help To Lose Weight
Losing weight can be challenging when your appetite seems to work against you. According to a study, women who took saffron reported feeling less hungry and snacking less frequently.
According to some evidence, saffron can reportedly reduce appetite and aid in weight loss, claims Czerwony. But it's not enough to make it work. You can achieve success by combining saffron with a balanced, healthy diet.
9. Potential Aphrodisiac
Foods and supplements known as aphrodisiacs work to increase libido. According to studies, saffron may have aphrodisiac qualities, especially in antidepressant users.
For instance, men with erectile dysfunction brought on by antidepressants significantly improved erectile function when taking 30 mg of saffron daily for four weeks as opposed to a placebo.
A review of six studies also revealed that saffron consumption significantly increased libido, general satisfaction, and erectile function, but not semen characteristics.
30 mg of saffron taken daily for four weeks reduced sex-related pain and increased sexual desire and lubrication in women with low sexual desire as a result of taking antidepressants compared to a placebo.
10. Treating Seizures
Iranian traditional medicine uses saffron as an anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) treatment. According to studies using biological models, it can shorten some types of seizures. To learn more about how it functions, says Czerwony, we need more extensive clinical trials.
According to Czerwony, saffron “may show promise as a seizure treatment, but we need more data about its safety and efficacy.” Before taking herbs or supplements like saffron, consult your doctor if you have a seizure disorder.
Vegan Recipes Using Saffron
1. Chickpea & Saffron Stew
Looking to increase your intake of chickpeas? Try this stew for a one-dish meal that is complete. It also accommodates vegetarians.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Servings: 8
- Avocado oil: 4 tablespoons
- Shallots: 3 (or 1 small onion), chopped
- Garlic: 3-4 cloves
- Cumin: 2 teaspoon
- Paprika: 3 teaspoons
- Sherry vinegar: 2-4 tablespoons (depending on how much tang you like)
- Whole peeled tomatoes: 1- 28-oz can (without juice)
- Saffron: 2 or so teaspoons
- Red pepper flakes: 2-3 pinches
- Fresh chickpeas: 2-3 cups (or 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
- Veggie broth: 2 cups
- Baby spinach: 4 cups
- Salt & pepper
- Drain the tomatoes (save the juice they were in for something else). Put the whole tomatoes in a small bowl and use your hands to tear them apart carefully. Put aside.
- Heat the avocado oil, onions, and a few pinches of salt in a large pot. On low to medium heat, allow the onions to cook until they are translucent. Approximately five minutes.
- Cook for an additional 30 seconds while stirring in the garlic, cumin, and paprika to prevent burning.
- To remove any small bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, add 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar and stir. After about a minute, add the tomatoes and cook them until they bubble. Add the broth, saffron, red pepper flakes, and chickpeas. Reduce the heat. Then simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the spinach and stir for a few minutes to let it wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings. If you prefer less zing, feel free to omit the additional tablespoon or two of sherry vinegar that I typically add.
- Serve with some wine and crusty bread.
- Keep the leftovers in the fridge or freezer because they taste better the next day.
2. Vegan Rigatoni With Saffron, Capers And Tomatoes
Simple weeknight rigatoni with tomatoes, saffron, and capers is vegan. It requires little effort other than some chopping and periodic stirring.
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 60 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes | Servings: 4
Ingredients For The Saffron And Caper Tomato Sauce
- Avocado oil: 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
- Red onion: 1 small, finely diced
- Garlic: 3 cloves, minced
- Sambal oelek: ½-1 teaspoon (or hot chilli flakes, adjust to taste)
- Tomato paste: 1 tablespoon
- Tomatoes: 6 medium, peeled and chopped
- Small pinches of saffron: 1-2
- Brown sugar or maple syrup: 2-3 teaspoon
- Sea salt: ½ teaspoon (go easy as capers add saltiness too!)
- Capers: 2 heaped tablespoons, chopped coarsely
- Black pepper, to taste
- Pine nuts or walnuts: 1 handful, toasted
- Nutritional yeast: 2-3 tablespoons
- Fresh parsley or basil to garnish
- Rigatoni pasta: 320 g
- Heat avocado oil in a large frying pan.
- Over low to medium heat, add the chopped onion and cook it for a few minutes until it almost becomes translucent.
- Add the minced garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes or until soft and fragrant.
- Combine the onion, garlic, and sambal oelek (or chilli flakes). Now add the tomato paste.
- Add the diced tomatoes. Use a fork to gently mash the plum tomatoes before adding them to the pan. Add a half-teaspoon of salt and 120 ml, or ½ cup, of vegetable stock or water.
- While simmering (without a lid) for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, stir it well every 10 minutes. You want the tomatoes to be wholly liquefied and the sauce to thicken to coat the pasta well. Add a little more water if the tomatoes haven't yet broken down and the sauce seems dry.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook your pasta until it is al dente, about 15 minutes before your sauce is ready.
- After the sauce has simmered for the desired time, add the saffron, sugar, and freshly ground black pepper. This will help the sauce taste better and balance the citric acid used to preserve the tomatoes.
- Capers are the last ingredient to be added, so add them after you taste the sauce to determine whether it needs more salt.
- Pasta that has been cooked with sauce on top. Serve divided among 4 dishes with nutritional yeast, toasted pine nuts, and fresh parsley.
3. Vegetable Paella With Saffron And Lemon
Even though paella rice, a vegetarian version of the popular Spanish dish, is widely available, you can also use Arborio or short-grain brown rice in its place. Because of the saffron threads, the food has a distinctive flavour.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 45 minutes | Total time: 55 minutes | Servings: 2
- Sunflower or light avocado oil for frying
- Onion: 1, finely diced
- Garlic: 2 cloves, finely chopped, grated or crushed
- Red pepper: 1, deseeded and cut into 5mm-thick slices
- Yellow pepper: 1, deseeded and cut into 5mm-thick slices
- Paella rice: 200g
- Mushrooms: 100g, finely sliced
- Tomatoes: 3, diced
- Smoked paprika: ¼ teaspoon
- Paprika: ¼ teaspoon
- Pinches of saffron threads: 2
- Vegetable broth: 1 litre
- Green beans or sugar snaps: 100g
- Fresh parsley: ¼-½ cup, chopped
- Lemon: 1, cut into wedges
- Salt and pepper
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a flameproof casserole, large frying pan, or paella with a heavy bottom. Stirring occasionally, cook the onion for 10 minutes on low heat. After adding the peppers and garlic to the onion, stir for two minutes. Include rice, both varieties of paprika, tomatoes, mushrooms, and saffron in your meal.
- Salt and pepper should be added after adding the stock in thirds. Cook for 30 minutes at a gentle simmer while stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the liquid and add more stock or water to top it off (you might not need it all). Gently add liquid during the last 10 minutes to keep the paella from getting soggy.
- While the paella cooks, boil the green beans for 3 minutes before cooling them off in a bowl of icy water. If you're using sugar snaps, just add them raw toward the end of cooking (see below). After 30 minutes of cooking, check to see if the rice is soft; if not, cook it a little bit longer. To bring any extra liquid to a boil, turn up the heat and stir.
- Then, simmer the mixture very gently without stirring until a bottom crust forms (this is difficult to do without a natural paella pan, though). After that, incorporate the beans and parsley. Turn off the heat after two minutes, taste the food for seasoning, and then serve with lemon wedges.
4. Lentil Spinach Keema And Saffron Rice
A delectable main dish that is gluten-free and vegan. This protein-rich keema may be prepared in 30 minutes if the rice and lentils have been prepared in advance. It tastes very well when paired with plain yogurt and rhubarb chutney.
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4
Ingredients For The Saffron Rice
- Basmati rice: 1 cup
- Water: 2 cups
- Saffron threads: ⅛ teaspoon
- Fine sea salt: ¼ teaspoon
Ingredients For The Lentil And Spinach Keema
- Avocado oil: 2 tablespoons
- Onion: 1 medium, chopped
- Cooked brown lentils: 2 cups (see note)
- Diced tomatoes: 1 cup (half of a 14-oz can)
- Curry powder: 1 tablespoon
- Strong coffee: ½ cup
- Sea salt: 3/4 teaspoon
- Spinach leaves: 2 cups, cut into ribbons
- Fava bean shoots: 2 cups, cut into ribbons (optional)
- Apple cider vinegar: 1 teaspoon
Method For The Saffron Rice
- Bring the water, saffron, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Stir in the rice.
- Cover and cook over low heat until all the water is absorbed.
Method For The Lentil And Spinach Keema
- Warm the oil in a medium skillet over a medium burner in the interim. Add the onion and simmer until it is tender (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the curry powder, simmer for one minute, then add the lentils, tomatoes, coffee, and salt.
- The mixture should be simmered for 5 to 10 minutes, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking. Turn off the heat.
- For five covered minutes, stir in the spinach, apple cider vinegar, and fava bean shoots if using. Serve with saffron rice.
5. Saffron Rice With Asparagus
A beautiful side or main meal for any occasion, saffron rice with asparagus and touches of lemon is delicious.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4
- Unsalted vegetable broth: 2 cups
- Basmati white rice: 1 cup
- Yellow onion: 1 small, finely diced (~1 cup)
- Saffron threads: 2 pinches
- Turmeric: ½ teaspoon
- Ground sea salt: ½ teaspoon
- Ground coriander: 1 teaspoon
- Spanish paprika: ½ teaspoon
- Avocado oil-2 teaspoons
- Garlic: 2 cloves minced
- Asparagus spears: 1 pound cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
- Toasted pine nuts: ¼ cup
- Fresh lemon juice: 1 lemon
- In a sizable saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the vegetable stock, white rice, onion, coriander, turmeric, and Spanish paprika. Before boiling, everything needs to be combined. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes after the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and put it in a safe location.
- A different, large skillet with medium heat should be added to the avocado oil. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Throw in the asparagus and let it simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes after the desired crispness has been achieved. Whenever desired, season with salt and pepper. Stir, then turn off the heat.
- Asparagus is an excellent addition to rice. The pine nuts can be toasted in the same skillet by adding them and cooking them over medium heat, frequently stirring, until they start to brown. Before stirring, add the rice mixture, the pine nuts, and the lemon juice.
- Enjoy this saffron rice as a main course or a side dish.
6. Persian Saffron Rice Cakes
For everyone at the table to enjoy the wonderful crunchy outsides and the soft pillowy interiors, the traditional Persian meal is veganized in this recipe and baked into adorable small individual-sized muffins.
The rice cake is held together in the traditional recipe with egg yolks and yogurt, and layers of chicken breast are typically used. This recipe uses vegan eggs and butter in place of all the dairy ingredients, giving you the freedom to use any fillings you choose!
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 1½ hours | Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes | Servings: 12
Ingredients For The Rice Cakes:
- Basmati rice: 1½ cups
- Water: 2 ½ cups
- Saffron: 3-4 sprigs
- Vegan eggs or any egg replacer: 3
- Vegan butter: 3 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients For The Topping
- Dry barberries: 1 cup
- Hot water: 1 cup
- Sugar: 3–4 tablespoons
- Add the basmati rice to the water in a medium pot after thoroughly rinsing it in cold water. Cook until 3/4 done by bringing to a boil, lowering the heat, and simmering.
- Mix a few teaspoons of warm water with a few saffron strands. Mix the rice and saffron.
- Make sure the cooled rice is evenly combined with your vegan egg substitute in a big basin.
- Make sure to use a lot of vegan butter to grease the bottom of your muffin pan. Turn on the 375°F setting on your oven.
- Fill each muffin tray with a scoop of the rice mixture. Put a little extra vegan butter on top. There are precisely 12 muffins in this recipe's yield.
- The bottoms should be golden brown and crispy and easily come out of the oven after an hour of baking on the lowest rack.
- While that bakes, let your barberries soak in boiling water with sugar for at least ten to fifteen minutes or until they are ripe and sweet.
- Remove from the tins and serve with sliced almonds, chopped pistachios, and barberries.
7. Creamy Vegan Saffron Risotto
This creamy vegan saffron risotto maintains all the flavours of the authentic Italian dish despite having less oil, butter, and cheese.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4 People
- Saffron threads: 1 teaspoon
- Risotto rice: 320 g
- Dry white wine: 50 g
- Water: 1½ litres
- White onions: 2
- Carrot: 1
- Celery: 1
- Bay leaves: 2 (optional)
- Coarse sea salt: ½ tablespoon
- Salt: 2 teaspoons
- Extra virgin avocado oil: 2½ tablespoons
- Nutritional yeast: 1½ tablespoons
Method To Prepare The Broth And The Saffron
- In a pot, combine water, 1 onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, and coarse sea salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, then simmer for the duration of the recipe.
- TIP: Cut the onion in half and separate the carrot and celery into three pieces.
- In a small pot, put in a half cup of water. After that, stitch on the saffron threads. The water is warmed using low heat. Allow the saffron to release its colour in the boiling water for about three minutes while stirring, but do not let it boil. Leave the heat off, and don't touch the pot.
Method To Make The Risotto
- To a pan, add the risotto rice. Turn on the heat and toast the rice for two to three minutes. Move the rice around the pan constantly while it is toasting. The rice has been roasted when you start to detect its aroma. Remove the hot rice from the pan and spread it on a large plate to cool.
- The best way to toast rice is without fat or liquid above a hot pan.
- Steer clear of preparing risotto in a nonstick pan.
- In the same pan, add one ladle of vegetable broth and one onion that has been finely diced. Allow the onion to simmer in the broth on low heat until it becomes translucent. Possibly five to ten minutes. Add more broth if it's necessary. Prevent the onion from fading or browning.
- Add the rice and stir quickly with a wooden spoon to combine it with the onion as soon as the heat is high. On high heat, stirring continues for 30 seconds.
- In a hot pan, combine the rice and white wine. To evenly distribute the rice and wine throughout the pan, stir continuously. When the wine has completely evaporated, add two ladles of vegetable broth and gently boil the mixture. Keep on stirring.
- After the liquid in the pan has nearly evaporated, add two more ladles of vegetable broth. Stir frequently, gently, and continuously for nearly the entire time, moving from the sides to the center of the pan. As the liquid evaporates, add additional broth, two ladles at a time.
- Add the saffron and its liquid when the risotto is halfway through cooking.
- Stirring in two ladles of liquid at a time, cook the rice until it is al dente. In other words, it will take less time than the rice bag specifies—2 minutes less. On the inside, it was a little rigid.
- After turning off the heat, give the rice 30 seconds to rest in the pan. Rice shouldn't be overly wet or overly dense. It should be seamless.
- After turning off the heat, add the nutritional yeast and the extra virgin avocado oil. Stir quickly until everything melts together after about 1½ minutes.
- At this point, the risotto should be creamy and ready to be served.
- Spoon about 1 to 2 ladles of risotto per serving dish. Place the risotto in the middle of the plate, and don't touch it. Do not flatten it with your spoon.
8. Vegan Saffron Pasta With Lemon
This creamy, quick, and delicious vegan saffron pasta dish with lemon and sundried tomatoes is the ideal midweek supper. With a ton of fresh lemon, sundried tomatoes, and a trace of saffron, this vegan lemon pasta is bursting with flavour.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4
- Pasta: 250 g
- Vegan butter: 30 g
- Large shallot, finely diced: 1
- Dry white wine: 75 ml
- Lemon, juice and zest: 1
- Plant-based cream: 250 ml
- Pinch of Saffron
- Fresh basil: 6 leaves, roughly chopped
- Sun-dried tomatoes: 100 g, drained and roughly chopped
- Pine nuts: 30 g, toasted
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- The pasta should be cooked al dente according to the package directions in a large pot of boiling, generously salted water. Reserve a cup of pasta water before draining.
- While butter melts in a large pan, the shallots should be sautéed for one to two minutes over medium heat. White wine is added; continue cooking until all of the alcohol has evaporated.
- After the vegan cream and saffron, add the lemon juice and zest. To thicken the sauce, simmer it for 3–4 minutes after stirring everything together.
- The sundried tomatoes and basil are added, then combined. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately after seasoning to taste, and add the toasted pine nuts.
Store Saffron For The Best Flavour
The first step in storing freshly purchased saffron threads is to dry them out. The saffron threads can be dried quickly by sandwiching them between paper towels and putting them in a warm, dry environment. After a week or so, transfer the threads to a container.
Use An Appropriate Container
Store the saffron in an airtight container. The intention is to protect the spice from moving air. The container must not only keep out air from the outside but also contain as little air as possible inside.
Reduce the amount of air that comes into contact with the spice by storing your saffron in the smallest container you can find. A small container will make it simple to grab the precise amount you need and close it quickly. As you use up your saffron, transfer the remaining quantity to a smaller container to continue minimizing its exposure to air.
Store Saffron Away From Light
Saffron is so sensitive to light that the time of day it is harvested depends on its photosensitivity. If the spice is exposed to too much light, its colour and fragrance are lost. You can use a light-blocking container or wrap the saffron in foil before putting it in the container as one of your options. The foil shields the saffron from air and light.
Use An Appropriate Cabinet
Where to put your saffron container is another crucial consideration. The nature of the container should be taken into account first. You can set the container on a spice rack with the other spices if you choose a bottle or jar that blocks light.
If your saffron is not foil-wrapped and the container is transparent, you can shield it from light by storing it in a closed cabinet. Ideally, one made of wood, as metal can become warm in a kitchen. Keep it (and the rest of your spices) out of the heat until you cook it.
Saffron is a potent spice that contains lots of antioxidants. It has been connected to health advantages like increased libido, mood, and sexual function, lowered PMS symptoms, and weight loss.
The best part is that it's generally safe for most people and simple to include in a diet. To take advantage of the possible health benefits of saffron, try adding it to your favorite dishes or buy a supplement online. Or you may try to grow your home garden and can get tips from here.
I trust you enjoyed this article about the 8 Best Vegan Recipes Using Saffron For Your Kids. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!
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