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I made this recipe for my mom who spent three weeks with us over the Christmas holiday and I must say that it wasn’t long enough! She is one of my largest supporters, right up there with Bob so I just love making raw foods for her whenever she visits.
I have made many different raw yogurts but I am always experimenting and finding different ways of making them. I have the Greek Nogurt which is cashew based and uses probiotics to ferment. For those who have nut allergies to cashews, I made a Young Thai Coconut Yogurt that also uses probiotics. Both of those recipes require 1-2 days to culture, but, this recipe can be made on the spot (well after soaking the cashews for 2 hours) and enjoyed right away.
So for those who are in a hurry or for those who can’t find probiotics, you can always make this recipe. Today, I get to shine the spotlight on a special guest that I haven’t had on my “show” before. Saffron. (holds up the applause sign) I hope to keep you in awe as I share a few things that I have learned about saffron that kept me in awe.
Saffron is the most expensive spice by weight. Saffron threads are the stigmas of a small purple crocus – each flower produces only three threads, which must be picked and sorted by hand. Oh, sign me up for that job, please. lol They are then dried to give us the spice and coloring agent that we call saffron. It takes over 75,000 flowers to produce a pound of saffron!!! I feel for the person who had to figure that out. :) Fortunately, very few threads are all that is needed for most recipes. A gram contains enough threads for a dozen or more uses. So be sure to store it in a closed container and keep in a cool dark place away from the light since light rays oxidize the pigments in saffron and changes its flavor.
Due to the handsome price it demands, there are many fake products being dyed to imitate saffron, so buyer beware. To determine whether or not what you have bought is fake… immerse a bit of the product in warm water. If the liquid colors immediately, then the saffron is fake. Authentic saffron must soak in either warm water for at least 10 to 15 minutes before its deep red-gold color and the saffron aroma begins to develop.
Despite its cost, many herbalists and natural health enthusiasts consider saffron’s health benefits to be worth their weight in gold. It is known to be used in treatment of asthma, menstrual discomfort, depression, atherosclerosis, whooping cough, and many other problems. Some studies have also indicated that saffron may also have anti-cancer properties as well. I dunno, (scratches head) I am still in shock that they painstakingly pluck 3 strands of this from one flower at a time… but it is good to know that these fragile tiny strands can be a great aid to our health. Flavor wise, saffron has a characteristic pungent bitter-honey taste with pleasant aroma.
The psyllium husk gel adds a wonderful creaminess to this yogurt. You can make it without but I recommend its use. The lemon juice is what gives the yogurt the “tang”. This is usually achieved by using probiotics and allowing it to ferment for 24-48 hours. I do prefer the fermented yogurt in the long run due to its higher nutritional value, but if you want a short-order of yogurt, this is a nice easy way to prepare it. Keep in mind that the longer this yogurt is stored in the fridge, the more tart it will become due to the lemon juice.
Yields 2 1/4 cups