Vinaigrette with Black Tea and Oranges

An article written by our guest author Selina Reusser

Why wait for the tea to steep if you can also just eat it?

 

First you boil the water, then you add the tea leaves, and then you let it steep – everyone can make tea, but did you know that you can also make an aromatic vinaigrette from your Conflictfood Black Tea ‘Silver Shan’? The easy and quick preparation of the vinaigrette gives your salads a fruity-spicy taste experience and shows you how diverse the use of tea can be!

Of course, we have already tried out the vinaigrette for you and wish you a lot of fun preparing it!

Ingredients:

2 tsp Conflictfood Organic Black Tea ‘Golden Shan’
50 ml Water
2 Shallots
1 Garlic Clove (optional)
5 tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of an Orange
Juice of half a Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Honey or a sweetener of your choice (optional)
Salad herbs to decorate (optional)
Salad of your choice (optional with Cherry tomatoes)

 

 

Preparation time:

ca. 10-20 min

 

Portions:

4 -6 Portions

Instruction:

 

First, you boil 50 ml of water. With the help of a sieve or a teabag, let the Conflictfood Organic Balck Tea ‘Silver Shan’ steep for about 10 minutes and then let it cool. You can also prepare your tea one day earlier so that it can cool overnight.Meanwhile, squeeze the orange and lemon and put the juice aside. Then you cut the shallots into very fine cubes and put them aside as well. If you like garlic, you can also add a garlic clove to your vinaigrette.Now you mix the tea with the orange juice and taste the mixture with lemon juice, salt, pepper and optionally honey and salad herbs. Finally, add the shallots and if preferred the garlic, and voilà – your vinaigrette is ready.

The Conflictfood Team wishes you ‘Guten Appetit’!

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Let’s bake “Hefezopf” – a typical German yeast pastry

Do you celebrate Easter at all?
In the Christian calendar, Easter is one of the most important events. It’s the time for many devout people to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus.

But on top of that, Easter marks the beginning of spring and the time of traditional dishes and of course copious meals with the family.

Traditionally, only green food is served on Holy Thursday, on Good Friday you will see fish on the plates and Holy Saturday is the time to start baking: all kinds of pastry is created in the kitchen, one more delicious than the other. Lenten season is over and so it’s time to get the ingredients, hit the kitchen and start experimenting.

How about trying something new? Start mixing your grandmother´s well-tried recipes with some luxurious spices from Afghanistan: let’s bake “Hefezopf” a typical German yeast pastry.

Ingredients

 

0,2 g Conflictfood-Safran, strings

¼ l lukewarm milk

20 g fresh yeast

70 g sugar

2 eggs

1 pinch salt

500 g flour

80 g soft butter

1 knife point vanilla pulp

2-3 tablespoons coarse sugar

 

Time: 3 hours (incl. rest and baking hours)

Servings: 6

Instructions:

 

Soak the saffron in strings in 20 ml of hot water.

Give milk and sugar into a bowl, add the yeast and stir until smooth.

Put flour, 1 egg, vanilla pulp, salt and saffron water to the dough and use the dough hook of the mixer on a low setting to mix the dough.

Add the butter and continue mixing on a high setting until the dough has turned into a smooth paste.

Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm environment.

After one hour, quickly knead the dough on a with flour covered working space and the leave it under the kitchen towel for another 20 minutes.

Spread liquid butter on a baking tray and follow with dusting some flour on top.

Knead the dough another time, separate it into 3 equal parts, form strings and then braid a plat – the typical shape of this traditional dish. Put it on the baking tray and leave it for 40 minutes, covered under the towel, in a warm space.

Whisk 1 egg, spread it on the plat and continue to apply the coarse sugar. Now it’s ready for the oven! Let it bake at 180°C on a middle stage for about 25 minutes until its colour turned into gold-brown. Remove the plat from the oven and let it cool down.

You can now enjoy with or without butter, or even some jam.

Have fun trying this recipe and Happy Easter!

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Our Top 3 Tips for Multiple Infusions

An article provided by our guest author Selina Reusser

One of the biggest benefits of drinking tea from whole tea leaves is that each serving of leaves can be infused several times. As they steep, they unfurl, exposing more surface area and releasing more flavor. As the leaf opens, the flavor becomes more intense, with most teas delivering the best taste on the second or third infusion.

If you are used to drinking tea from tea bags, this multiple usage may seem counterintuitive, as tea from tea bags is unlikely to give a second or even third infusion. This is because the tea dust contained in bags has a more exposed surface area, thereby releasing its flavor more quickly. Tea bags not derived from the tea plant Camellia sinensis usually consist of smaller petals or chopped ingredients such as leaves or roots. These teas are known as ‘tisane‘ (or Herbal Teas) and are usually non-caffeinated, which is why their ingredients rarely give off flavor for more than one infusion.

If you want to improve your tea brewing ability and release more flavor during your tea drinking, it is worthwhile to switch to whole tea leaves. Only the leaves of Camellia sinensis (e.g., green tea or black tea leaves) survive several infusions.

Below we have put together our TOP 3 tips for the multiple brewing of tea leaves:

1. Consider the steeping time:

A tea bag tipically contains about 1,5-2 grams of powdered tea, which should be soaked in 3-4dl of water for 8-10 minutes. This tea releases its full aroma in no time and cannot be infused again. However, if you allow whole tea leaves to steep for so long, these too will give most of their taste and aroma into the first cup. But since we are using whole leaves suitable for several infusions, it makes more sense to let the leaves steep for only 2-4 minutes. The shorter steeping time allows the tea leaves to slowly develop their flavor with each additional infusion, which also reduces the bitterness in the brew and decreases the caffeine content.

2. Do not wait too long between infusions:

Once you have infused the tea leaves, something similar happens to them as with cooked vegetables: when exposed to air, they gradually lose their aroma and taste. For example, lighter styles like Green Tea ‘Silver Shan’ and White Tea lose their aroma very quickly. So it’s best if you do not leave used tea leaves in between infusions for too long, and use them up within a day. In our experience, it is fine to store the leaves in the brewing vessel, at room temperature. If you live in a more humid climate, it makes more sense to keep the leaves in the fridge to avoid any chance of mold.

3. Finish with a ‘Cold Brew‘:

If your tea leaves are still fresh and aromatic after several infusions, we recommend soaking the leaves in a large glass of water and storing them overnight in the fridge to prepare an iced tea the next day. The long, cold infusion pulls even the last taste out of the leaves, without this becomes bitter. By doing this, you can make sure you get the most out of every tea leaf.If you do not have time for a long tea session, you can simply vary the amount of water, the amount of tea leaves, and the steeping time to extract all the aroma at once. This method is best for high-quality teas, as low-quality leaves are likely to produce bitterness with this method. You will find more brewing tips suited to our different teas in each of our Peace Kits.

Regardless of how many cups of tea you consume daily, the flexibility of making loose leaves will make you create the perfect brew – have fun experimenting and enjoying!

Find your own Peace Kit here

Bring the sunshine on your plate with this delicious Saffron-Orange-Hummus!

Ein Beitrag von unserer Gastautorin Selina Reusser

You don’t feel ready for autumn? Neither do we! We found a way to bring the bright sunshine back on our plate, with this delicious and easy Saffron-Orange-Hummus!

 

After trying our super simple hummus recipe, you’ll always want to make your hummus yourself – it not only saves you money, it also helps you avoid any preservatives and flavor enhancers!

Hummus is an oriental specialty made from pureed chickpeas, sesame paste (tahina), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and spices such as garlic and cumin. You can customize this basic recipe to your personal taste – our variation convinces with a fruity-sweet saffron flavor and goes well with fresh flatbread, falafel or as a dip for fresh veggies!

Ingredients:

250g Chickpeas (i.e. from the glass or 50g dried chickpeas)
3 tbsp Tahina (Sesame paste)
1-2 Garlic Cloves
0,1 g Conflictfood Saffron
100 ml fresh pressed Orange Juice
a bit of Lemon Juice
Cumin (optional)
Olive oil (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Paprika (to decorate)

 

Preparation Time:

ca. 20-25 min

 

Portions:

4 Portions

Instructions:

 

If you use dried chickpeas, you have to soak them for at least 12 hours, this is best done overnight. Then let the soaked and rinsed chickpeas simmer in fresh water for about 1.5 to 2 hours and then pour them through a sieve. If you do not have that much time, you can also use ready-made chickpeas from a glass jar as an alternative.Heat 100ml of fresh orange juice in a small pan and add a pinch of Conflictfood Saffron. The mixture should simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half – then let it cool down. If you want a more intense saffron flavor, you can add the saffron threads later to the orange juice and simmer for a shorter time period, then the saffron gives off a little less color, but the saffron flavor is better preserved.When your saffron-orange mixture has cooled, you can puree all the ingredients to a creamy mass. Finally, season the hummus with salt, pepper, lemon juice and, if you like, with cumin. A little tip: with paprika powder and olive oil you can decorate your hummus nicely before serving.

The hummus tastes especially good with fresh flatbread and olives – we are thrilled!

The Conflictfood Team wishes you ‘Guten Appetit’!

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It’s almost autumn – time for golden, saffron flavored Cauliflower florets!

An article written by our guest author Selina Reusser

Autumn is right around the corner!

 

With autum slowly turning the leaves into all different kinds of colors, we thought it would be lovely to bring some of this yellow-golden mood onto our plate with this delicious recipe!  Slow-roasting is an ultra-light and gentle way to prepare cauliflower. Seasoned with Ras El Hanout, a magical Moroccan spice blend, and with a pinch of Conflictfood Saffron threads, this dish is guaranteed to be a perfect autumn treat!

The glamorous spices and the roasting method make the golden cauliflower florets a perfect combination to our Conflictfood Freekeh, and we could hardly resist to snack on the roasted cauliflower after it was done baking!

Ingredients:

1 big Cauliflower (ca. 1,5 kg)
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 pinch of Conflictfood Safran
2-3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2-3 tsp Ras el Hanout (or your favorite curry powder)
1-2 tsp Paprika
Salt
Pepper
Agave syrup to sweeten (optional)
250g Conflictfood Freekeh (prepare according to the leaflet found in your box)
Parsley to decorate (optional)

 

 

Preparation time:

ca. 40 min

 

Portions:

4 Portions (depending on the size of the cauliflower)

Instructions:

 

First you mix the olive oil with the Conflictfood Saffron threads so that they can transfer their beautiful color and their special taste into the oil – the mixture is best stored in a warm place, e.g. near the oven. After that, heat up the oven to 200°C and set up a large baking tray with baking paper.

In the meantime, you can prepare and simmer your Conflictfood Freekeh according to the instructions in your peace box.After you have washed the cauliflower, you divide it into little florets or try to cut strips. In a large bowl, marinate the cauliflower florets with your oil-saffron mixture.Add the remaining spices (Ras El Hanout, paprika, salt and pepper), the balsamic vinegar and optionally the agave syrup and mix everything well.After you have marinated your cauliflower, place the cauliflower florets on the prepared baking sheet and leave the rest of the cooking to your oven – after about 30 minutes, with occasional turning of your cauliflower, the golden yellow roses are ready and can be enjoyed with a portion of Conflictfood Freekeh!

The Conflictfood Team wishes you ‘Guten Appetit’!

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The Saffron-Question: Real or Fake?

An exotic spice, worth almost as much as gold, no wonder there is more cheating going on in saffron than almost any other product.

Saffron is the most expensive agricultural product in the world – high quality saffron costs round 15-20 € per gram, the price of 25 kg of wheat flour at the same supermarket. The authentic and precious spice saffron is part of the flower Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. Saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas. The styles and stigmas, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. About 200.000 saffron flowers are required to collect 1kg of saffron spice; a very labour intensive process, so that answers the question why the spice is so expensive to produce.

Of course this high value attracts frauds who would like to earn some money by selling fake saffron. Unfortunately this is nothing new and has been going on for ages already.There are several different types of fraud: ones is selling products that aren’t saffron and another is selling saffron as though it is produced in one country and not in another.

Frauds often sell the safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) as saffron. This is because it’s quite similar to saffron but it is a thistle-like plant, whose flowers are yellow orange. The giveaway of this plant is that it doesn’t smell like saffron at all. Furthermore there is Turmeric (Curcuma longa), known as the saffron of the Indies, belonging to the family Zingiberaceae (Ginger); from the rhizome of turmeric you get the yellow turmeric powder, a spice widely used in Indian and Asian cuisine in general, and curcumin, a yellow substance worked in the laundry and in chemistry. At last it should definitely not be confused with the colchicum (Colchicum autumnal). This is a poisonous plant whose flowers are like the crocus.

Other frequent falsification consists in adding to the stigmas of the crocus flower fragments from other species. Mixing real saffron with fake makes it harder to notice for those who have little knowledge about it.There are a few key ways to tell real saffron from fake: taste, smell, look and price.

Saffron (thread/strand) never tastes sweet, If it’s sweet you surely bought the fake one. Real saffron will have a bitter and slightly astringent taste when placed on the tongue.
Then there is the aroma. Saffron has a very distinct smell. While fake saffron will have almost no aroma, the smallest amount of genuine saffron will have a characteristic and intense smell.To identify the aroma you first have to know what real saffron smells like. The real Saffron Aroma is a blend of earth, tabacco, vanilla, honey, salty sweet. Just remember this one mantra: Good saffron will always SMELL sweet and never TASTE sweet.

Genuine saffron also has a particular look about it, with a unique coloration and strands of saffron having a diffuse end. Real saffron won’t lose its original colour after you’ve put it in some water. Only the real saffron will keep its original colour when you take the thread out of the water. The fake one will have lost completely its added colour and won’t look the same anymore.The water with the pure saffron will turn honey-yellow. The fake one will turn dim red. You can also rub the saffron threads between wet fingers: they will red/gold/orange.

Never buy ground saffron. Far too often it’s cut with turmeric, paprika, and the aforementioned bark. Even if it’s from a spice merchant you trust, saffron powder loses its flavor faster than whole threadsSo the 4 most common giveaways of fake saffron are:
1: Smell. Real Saffron smells sweet
2: When you rub it between your moist fingers, they turn orange/red/yellow.
3: If it’s grounded, it’s probably fake.
4: Price. When the saffron is cheaper then 10 Euros per gram it is highly likely that it’s fake.

Save yourself all the trouble. Take a look at our online-shop and get your own genuine, high-quality saffron. It was sampled by creative chefs, tested in a laboratory (with excellent results) and is being recommended by many satisfied customers! And of course you will support the producers in Afghanistan. 😉

Find your real saffron here:

Green Tea with a twist – Refreshing Cold Brew with Lemon and Lime

An article provided by our guest author Selina Reusser

here is something cool in our fridge!

Did you know that you can infuse and enjoy your tea ice-cold as well? With this method, you simply let the tea leaves steep in cold water for several hours. Conflictfood Green Tea Green Silver Shan is particularly suitable for this method because the cold preparation is very gentle, and the long steeping time helps preserve the taste and the nutrients, without making the tea bitter.

The preparation of a cold brew is not only very easy, but you can simply add sliced citrus fruits or herbs to your mix, if desired!

We’ve tried a refreshing-lemony cold brew with the Green Tea Silver Shan for you! The fresh limes and lemons make this infusion not only super refreshing, but the cold brew also has a detoxifying and energizing effect!

Have fun trying this refreshing brew!

Ingredients

1.5 liters of water
2 lemons
2 limes
4 teaspoons Green Tea Silver Shan
1 green apple sliced (optional)
Some cane sugar, if you like it sweeter
Ice cubes
1 large pitcher with a lid

 

Preparation Time

10 min to prepare and a minimum of 4 hours to let it steep in the fridge

 

Portions

4 glasses

 

Anleitung

Start by slicing the lemons and limes – since you use the fruit with peel, organic quality is always a good choice. Now put 4 teaspoons of Green Tea Silver Shan in a large pitcher. If necessary, you can fill the loose tea leaves in tea bags or later use a sieve while pouring. Now you can add the sliced citrus fruit to the pitcher as well, and then add 1.5 liters of water to your mix. If you like it sweeter you can now add some cane sugar. The mixture should now be kept in the fridge for about 4 hours or you can let it steep overnight.After everything had enough time to mingle, the tea is ready to drink. If desired, you can now add a green apple to the mixture before drinking it. For extra freshness, you can prepare your cold brew with a couple of ice cubes and serve with reusable straws!Did you know that you can simply refill your pitcher with fresh water to make a new batch? The tea will rebrew several times and the citrus still has plenty of flavor left. You can get up to 3 refills before your mix becomes too weak or too bitter.

The Conflictfood Team says – Cheers!

More recipes here:

Hello Spring – Let’s have Freekeh with Asparagus

An article written by our guest author Selina Reusser

It’s Asparagus and Spinach Season!

 

By using seasonal veggies and fruit, you not only do something good for the environment, but also for your health. The seasonal produce is much fresher and  contains more vitamins and nutrients, because the transport from the field to your kitchen is cut shorter. In addition, you can bring some variety in your cooking routine by regularly taking a look in a seasonal calendar.

Harvest season for fresh asparagus and baby spinach in Germany has just begun, thats why we prepared this super delicious and simple Freekeh recipe for you.

Ingredients:

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
1 large Onion (optional spring onions)
2 Cloves of Garlic
800ml Vegetable Broth
250g Freekeh
1 Bunch of regional Green Asparagus
½ Lemon
100g Baby Spinach
Cherry Tomatoes (optional)
Pomegranate Seeds (optional)
Parsley (optional)

 

Preparation Time:

40 – 50 min

 

Portions:

2 big Portions

Instructions:

 

Begin by preparing all your ingredients: cut the onion into small pieces, prepare the vegetable broth and heat the oven to 220°C. Next, wash the spinach and the asparagus. Continue by peeling the bottom third of the asparagus spears and by cutting off the stem ends. You can put the asparagus on a tray lined with baking paper and then marinate with salt, pepper, olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Optionally you can quarter a handful of cherry tomatoes and bake them together with the asparagus.Heat some olive oil in a large pan, fry the onion until soft, but not golden. After 8 minutes add the garlic and fry for another 2-3 minutes.As soon as the mixture is glassy, stir the freekeh into the onions. If prefered, add the cherry tomatoes to the mix. Now add the vegetable broth, a ladleful at a time. It takes about 30 minutes for the Freekeh to absorb the broth, if necessary add more broth – it is important that you constantly stir your Freekeh. During this time, place the asparagus in the preheated oven.After about 30 minutes, you can again add a little more water to your Freekeh (optionally also some parsley), and let it cook for another 10 minutes with the lid closed.At the end, stir in the fresh baby spinach and mix it carefully into the Freekeh, until the greens are tender and heated through. Now you can season everything to your taste with salt, pepper, paprika, and the rest of the lemon juice and take the asparagus out of the oven.Serve the freekeh on a plate and place some asparagus on top. Garnish your dish optionally with pomegranate seeds, cherry tomatoes, and parsley.The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!

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Chocolate Chip Freekies

Freekies – Cookies crispy cousin!

 

It is Freekeh-Friday again which means it is the perfect time to fight the grey foggy evening and curl up under a blanket with warm drinks and of course – Chocolate Freekies!

What you need for Chocolate Chip Freekies:

 

500 g flour

½ tsp natron

230 g unstalted butter

115 g cane sugar

230 g brown sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

150 g freekeh

300 g chocolate chips

300 g cranberries

Instructions:

 

First turn the oven on to 200 degrees and prepare the freekeh. Clean the freekeh with water and bring it to a boil for 13 minutes so we can add it in the end.

You are going to grab your biggest bowl and get your mixer out to cream the butter and all the sugar together. It is an important step to allow the sugar to melt and mix with the butter. The brown sugar is the secret for a chewy cookie because it has molasses. Once you have creamed the butter, cane- and brown sugar, add one egg at a time and the vanilla extract.

Now it is time to mix the dry ingredients on the side. Fold the natron and salt in with the flour. Add it to the dough and stir just until its evenly mixed. You do not want to activate the gluten too much as it affects the texture.Get your freekeh out to add to the cookie dough. At this point the chocolate chips and cranberries also goes in. Here is where you can get really creative and play with your own combination.

Place small flat portions of cookie dough on your oven tray with a baking sheet over. And watch your chocolate freekies get golden and crispy – it will only take 10-15 minutes.

As a disclaimer, Conflictfood would like to let you know that these chocolate freekies are nutty and delicious, your roommate could easily finish them before you!

The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!

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Saffron from Germany?

An article provided by our guest author Benedikt Radloff

Generally known as „Red Gold“, saffron is a valuable spice originally from central Asia. But who would’ve expected this: Apart from that, one can find saffron in Germany as well. Presently, there are twelve saffron farmers throughout Germany. Boris Kunert for example, who cultivates the „Red Gold“ in Stolpen, a small place near Dresden, Germany.

Historically, the bulbous plant, which Latin name is crocus sativus, was first recorded to blossom as early as the 16th century. Saxon historian Peter von Weiß reports saffron cultivation ocurred south of Leipzig, Germany, in the region between Meißen and Dresden.

Original text by Petrus Albinus, chronicles of Meißen, Germany, 1580

Boris Kunert, journalist by profession, made cultivating the dark red, precious spice in Saxon fields his goal. His attention was drawn while doing research work in France. He was promptly attracted:

“i was simply fascinated by saffron. when i found out about thriving saffron in austria and switzerland, iwas convinced that this will work in saxony too”

One could think, Saxony is not the ideal place for cultivating saffron as it grows mainly in middle eastern regions with dry climates. However, due to climate change, similar conditions can be found in Saxony.

Disregarding other farmer’s thoughts, Kunert tested a small amount of saffron in his own garden. After a sucessful testing, the agricultural pioneer planted 30.000 saffron tubers in an area of several thousand square meters, and see what happened, in the following autumn his efforts bore fruits. Currently, his harvests developed and he gets between 400 and 800 grams per year.

Just like in Afghanistan the harvest in Germany is hard work. Firstly, the violet blossoms need to be picked, ere Kunert and his girlfriend are able to separate the fragile threads. The next step is the drying of the dark red threads in Kunert’s own oven until its full aroma is developed.

You feel like testing saffron’s taste by yourself?
Try both delicious saffron variants from different origins.

Much pleasure comparing!

Saffron from Saxony

Conflictfood’s Saffron

Weitere Safranprodukte

Origin of Saffron

How Saffron Came to Afghanistan

 

Afghanistan’s neighbor country Iran is the biggest producer of saffron. Iran supplies more than 90% of the saffron world market. The Iranian city Mashad is the center of saffron production. In times of war against the Russians millions of Afghan people had to flee to Iran. Many of them started working on Iranian farms where they learned all about the cultivation of saffron. After the war some families returned home to Afghanistan. They brought back saffron bulbs and started applying their knowledge about the cultivation to their home environment. Soon they called the attention of NGOs who understood the massive potential behind this development – especially in rural areas saffron could really be a lucrative alternative to the extensive cultivation of opium. Economically, Saffron is a great substitute for opium. Producers benefit from great market conditions because as a trade product saffron generates profits equally high to those of opium.

After the Soviet occupation and the fall of the Taliban regime, several local and international organizations supported farmers who wanted to switch production from opium to saffron. They assisted them with intensive trainings and provided educational programs teaching every step from the cultivation to the picking and processing of the saffron.

Chorasan – The Pearl of the East

 

The antique city of Herat is located at the ancient route of the legendary Silk Road. Back in time Herat was also called the “Florence of Asia”. The city was a centre of trade, art and culture within the old Persian empire. In the 6th century BC a new kingdom was established and the whole region, including Herat, Mashad and smaller provinces, was transformed into Khorasan, the so-called ‘Pearl of the East’. Soon you can learn more about Herat on our blog but now lets jump back to our topic – saffron.After this little excursion into the history of the Afghan-Iranian border region, all the linguistic and cultural similarities make sense. But Afghanistan’s close relationship to Iran is not only explainable by cultural history; we also have to consider ecological aspects. Herat provides equally good ecological conditions- concerning the soil, water and climate – as Mashad, which is not even a four-hour drive by car away. Saffron from the province of Herat has a very high quality, that one from the Ghorian district is said to be the world’s best.

Saffron from Herat

 

In 2008 some agricultural engineers started cooperating with saffron farmers and together defined a common target – the cultivation of saffron! Our local contact was the german NGO Help e.V. which brought us together with agronomists and teachers from the University of Herat. Their field of expertise is the ecological cultivation of saffron. They are consulting the small farmers.The German NGO ‚HELP – Help for self-help’ is doing research about the possible economical incentives of saffron cultivation for structurally weak regions. We learned about the wonderful Saffron project from our friends of HELP to whom we are in close contact. We are very thankful be part of the social change!

Women’s power

 

For you Conflictfood started the search for the ‘Red Gold’ and we found it on the fields of a woman’s collective in western Herat. Follow our next blog posts where you can find out more about the group of Afghan women who established this self-governed collective!

Read more about Afghanistan

Freekeh soup – heartwarming and full of flavor

Let’s cook freekeh soup!

 

It’s freezing cold today!  The best way to get through this chilly days is have a plate full of hot and heart-warming freekeh- soup. This soup is full of flavor and warmth with its many different spices. All you need to stay warm tonight is to do is follow these simple instructions:

Ingredients:

 

3 cloves of garlic

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 large tomato

200g Conflictfood Freekeh

½ bouquet of parsley

½ bouquet of fresh mint

1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of curcuma

A pinch of nutmeg1 tablespoon of

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoon of agave syrup

1 tablespoon of salt

1 liter of water

2 tablespoons of rape seed oil

Instructions:

 

Heat up a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of rape seed oil. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of the knife. Fry them and add one finely chopped onion.

When the onions are tender, add pepper, tomato and your mix finely chopped parsley and fresh mint.To the mixture you want to add thoroughly rinsed Freekeh. Freekeh can have little stones or traces of ash from the harvest and burning process. There fore rinse the freekeh in cold water a couple of times before cooking. Now add cinnamon, curcuma and nutmeg to the fried veggies and freekeh. Stir it all together and let the aroma infuse the ingredients.After we have let it sit for a few minutes to infuse we start adding apple cider vinegar, salt and agave syrup to create the soup liquid. Here you can also use cane sugar or local honey for sweetness. Add about one liter of water and bring it back to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes if you use broken coarse freekeh or 30-40 minutes if you use whole grain freekeh.

 

Check out our free Freekeh Cookbook and find more exciting recipes!

The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!

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Saffron Solstice

Saffron, a popular spice desired all over the world. But on this unique day, December 13th, our neighbours in the high north become mad about the queen of all seasonings! In all Danish, Norwegian but especially Swedish cuisines you will find the delicious smell of saffron – celebrating St. Lucy’s Day. According to an old story, this holiday has its origin in the winter solstice to shed light into dark on the shortest day of the year.

Ever since the Gregorian Calendar has been introduced, the winter solstice takes place one week later. But the holiday dedicated to St. Lucy is still closely related to old mediaeval traditions and is celebrated on the original calendar day, December 13th.

How does a typical St. Lucy’s Day in Sweden look like?

 

This special day in Sweden starts in the early morning: Everywhere across the country you will find the holy Lucy wandering through the streets, wearing her white garment and a candle wreath on her hair, accompanied by a group wearing white and holding candle light. The delicious saffron pastry plays an important part in this holiday and can be found everywhere in Sweden, starting from December 13th. Lussekatter – or saffron buns – is a Swedish pastry, traditionally prepared December 13th for St. Lucy. Saffron is an essential ingredient, causing the typical gold colour and full-bodied, flowery flavour.

The traditional “Julgaten”

 

The traditional form of Lussekatter is the „Julgaten“. Roll up the endings of the dough strand in opposite directions until it looks similar to an „S“. Finally, you can put raisins in the centre of each snail.

An incredible amount of saffron is sold in Sweden each year – making Iran to partly double their saffron prices! But don’t you worry – our prices for our finest Saffron from Afghanistan will not change. We want you to forget about the Christmas stress and to enjoy delicious pastry with warm winter sunbeam ray!

Ingredients

 

150 g butter

0,2 – 0,5 g Conflictfood Saffron, strings

50 ml milk

1 pinch of salt

125 g sugar

50 g yeast

850 g flour

1/2 cup of washed raisins

1/2 cup of chopped almonds

Instructions:

 

Start by heating up the milk gently and melt the butter in a little bowl. As soon as the milk is warm, pour it into two different containers. Put the finely crushed saffron and a pinch of sugar in one of them and stir it slowly.

For the next step, you will need the yeast. Chop it finely and put it into a mixing bowl. While stirring constantly, put the second container of warm milk in it until the yeast is dissolved. Add the melted butter and the mixture of saffron and milk in the mixing bowl and keep on stirring. For the next step you have to understir sugar and salt and add the flour.

Now you have to knead the dough carefully until you can loosen it easily from the bowl. Put some almonds and raisins on top and leave the dough in the warm oven for about 45 minutes. Before rolling the dough to the typical Swedish form of Lussekatter, knead it well one last time. You are almost done!Add some raisins on top and brush a little beaten egg yolk on the pastry. Put it in the oven for about 7-10 minutes at 225-240 degrees. Just a little tip: Use a greased baking tray with a little flour on it to take off the Lussekatter more easily after baking! Now it’s time to enjoy the delicious saffron pastry! Serve it with tasty, hot coffee or milk and feel like you are spending a special afternoon in Sweden!

Enjoy your little break from all the contemplative Christmas rush! Conflictfood wishes you a great St. Lucy’s Day!

The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit! 

More recipes

Freesotto

We’ve already experienced how variant risotto can be with our last recipe for saffron risotto. Now we want to introduce another variation. We’ll switch from risotto rice to our organic Freekeh from Palestine, that you can now order in our online shop. The smoky taste of the grain will give a very special note to the dish.

 

Preparation Time:

35 minutes

Servings:

4 Portions

Ingredients

 

250 g Conflictfood Freekeh

2-3 onions

250 g mushrooms

½ bunch of parsley

150 ml vegetable stock

50 g butter

olive oil

freshly grated parmesan

salt & freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

 

Start by boiling a litre of water in a big pot. Add a pinch of salt, a dash of olive oil and the Freekeh, then let it cook for about 25 minutes. Cut the onions into little cubes and put them into a hot pan with a little olive oil. Then add the cut mushrooms and stew it in the pan until the liquid is evaporated. Continue to add the cooked Freekeh and the smoothly chopped parsley. While stirring steadily, add the vegetable stock, until the consistency becomes creamy. Finish the dish with a little piece of butter and some freshly ground pepper. If you prefer your dish to be vegan, just leave those ingredients out. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper at the end: enjoy!

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Snack-Attack: Saffron–Popcorn!

The popped corn is indispensable in the cinema – but for a year or two it has also been ‘popping’ into German kitchens more often. Popcorn is the new snack trend! Is it due to the many flavors, the lack of gluten or the charming sound in the pan? We do not know it exactly.

Also, the question of whether to enjoy it sweet or salty, splits the Conflictfood Team.

Because of this question, probably many couples have missed the movie because they couldn’t decide on a flavor. And how about you: Are you Team Salt or Team Sugar?

For both variants: Freshly popped is already half the battle. And with saffron, the queen of spices, every puffed corn becomes a hammer snack attack!

Ingredients:

 

One handful of popcorn kernels

2 tbsp oil (i.e. sunflower oil)

1 tbsp olive oil or butter

2 tsp powdered sugar or 1 tsp salt

0,1 g Conflictfood Safran, freshly ground

1 big pot with a lid (i.e. a wok pan)

 

Preparation Time:

10 minutes

 

Portions:

2 Portions

Preparation:

Mix the corn kernels well with the sunflower oil, spread them flat and evenly on the bottom of a large pot. A layer of grains is enough! Quickly put the lid on it, because immediately it will start making the following sounds: Ping! Peng! Popp!

Move the pot continuously, until the popping slowly decreases and stops. Now pick up the lid and add all the spices and oil / butter. Put the lid back on and shake and jiggle the pot until you feel like every puffed grain has been neatly dressed with the spice mixture.

Now, lift the gorgeous gold-colored popcorn from the pot into a bowl. You can also sort out any corn kernels that didn’t ‘pop’, they will all accumulate on the bottom of your pot.

Your snack attack is done – enjoy!

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Taboulé with Freekeh

Who can relate? You are coming home after an exhausting day of work, starving, but you have no motivation what so ever to hit the kitchen and cook. We’ll help you out! Why not just prepare a delicious Freekeh Tabouleh Salad the day before. You can keep in the fridge and still eat it the next day.

Time to prepare: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

 

250 g Freekeh

1 cucumber

2 tomatoes

1 red pepper

2 shallots

1 bunch fresh, smooth parsley

1 bunch of mint

2 ts olive oil

salt & freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

 

Cook the Freekeh in a pot with water and a dash of salt. Reduce the heat and let it cook for another 30 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove, let it cool off and pour off the excess water. Now it’s time to get chopping: cut the cucumber, tomatoes, pepper and shallots into small cubes and after that chop the parsley and the mint. Add all the ingredients into a big bowl and mingle with the Freekeh. Finish the dish with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ready to enjoy!

Tip: The salad can be stored in the fridge so you can easily prepare it the previous day. It will give the flavour time soak through.

Read more about recipes

 

Fabulous Freekeh Breakfast

Whether you are an early bird or a late riser, a good start in the day only works right with a balanced breakfast, that will fill you up with energy for the entire day. Your imagination knows no limits. Top your breakfast with everything your fridge has to offer: fruits, berries, nuts or raisins. There is no better way your day could start than with the energy booster we call Freekeh.

Ingredients

 

250g Freekeh

1 l almond milk

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

Toppings, as colourful as possible:

Bananas/apples/pears/grapes/peaches

Berries

Nuts/raisins

Coconut

 

Time to prepare:

40 minutes

Servings:

4 Portions

Instructions:

 

Mix together the Freekeh, almond milk and cinnamon in a pot and let the mixture boil. Reduce the heat and let it then cook for another 25 minutes, until the consistency is similar to a mush. Try to stir every now and then to avoid the Freekeh to stick to the bottom of the pot. Remove the Freekeh from the stove and sweeten it with a little honey or maple syrup. Enjoy your breakfast either warm or cold. Get creative with the toppings. Seasonal fruits, berries and nuts are good energy providers and will give your breakfast your very personal note.

More recipes

 

Freaky Fruit Salad

Finally the time has come, the wait is over! Now available in our online-shop is Freekeh. Time to include it into our daily cooking habits! We will start this off by preparing the fruity and fresh Freekeh-Mango-Salad, which will make us look forward to summer even more.

Ingredients

 

200 g Freekeh

2 tsp sugar

1 mango

100 g walnuts

50 g honey

1 lemon

50 g raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1 pinch of salt

 

Time to prepare:

40 minutes

Servings:

4

Instructions:

 

Put the Freekeh into a pot of water and let it cook for 30 minutes. Mix the sugar into a bowl of lukewarm water and wait until it dissolves. Strain the Freekeh, add it to the sugar water and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Remove the excess water. Cut the mango into small pieces and chop the walnuts as well. Afterwards mix the ingredients with the Freekeh. To finish add honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the salad. Aaaaand… Done!

 

In case you want your salad to be even more fruity or you have some seasonal fruits left, go ahead and pimp your salad the way you want to. Weather with apples or pears for a sweet variation or grapefruit, pomegranate, kiwi and lime for a fresh-sour version, get creative, experiment with everything and find out what you like the most.

Here you can buy our Conflictfood Freekeh

Fasting, Religion & Health

Artwork by Daniel Spoerri

An excursion into the world of fasting

Detox and body cleansing are concepts which you can read about all over the place these days. Fasting it seems, is coming more in fashion especially in the West. Even the alleviation of chronic diseases is said to be part of fastings positive energy. Many doctors and alternative practitioners are therefore very positive towards therapeutic fasting. To cleanse your body and to get rid of old eating habits is however not a new concept. Fasting is a very old ritual practiced by many religions throughout the world and an alternative method of therapy at the same time. But what does fasting has to do with the big religions of the world? And how is fasting seen from a medical viewpoint? Does it have consequences on the psyche? A little excursion into the world of fasting should bring some clarity into this.

 

Fasting in the various religions

Fasting is indeed an integral part of most religions. Through fasting the believer is meant to concentrate more on his faith again and through this get closer to god. All big founders of religion went through a phase of abdiction. Mohammed has been fasting before the Koran was revealed to him, Moses climbed up mount Sinai and fasted for 40 days before he received the word of God and Jesus retreated into the desert for 40 days to fast before his official appearance in public. In all major religions there are times of fasting up until today .

Christianity

For the Christians the periods of fasting or Passiontide lasts from Ash Wednesday until Good Friday. During those 40 days the person is meant to reflect upon himself through abstinence, do penance and to find the connection to God. During fasting Christians reflect mainly upon their believe and their way of living. They deliberate about what they could do better in the future and how they could help others who are worse off than themselves. Today there aren’t any firm rules anymore or they differ quite a bit from region to region. Everyone can decide for himself if or how he wants to go about the fasting period. For many years now e.g. the Evangelical Church is calling up to take part in their initiative “ 7 weeks without”. No matter if one decides to go seven weeks without meat, alcohol, nicotine, sweets or TV, the people are encouraged to use the time to reflect upon their way of living and to find new perspectives.

Gernot, one of the co-founders of Conflictfood fasted for 7 weeks. We asked him about his experience:

How did you fast?
The plan was to quit alcohol and sugar.
Did you succeed?
To quit alcohol was easy for me. In regards to the sugar I was very strict initially. I even avoided hidden sugars in yoghurts and things like that. Unfortunately I gave up after just a few days and sugar was quickly on my list of foods.
Why did you fast?
In my childhood it was common before Eastern to quit meat and alcohol. But I wanted to try and see if I could stick to a goal which I decided for myself and to work towards it. This year I only succeeded in parts but I will try it again for sure.

Islam

In Islam fasting is a divine precept and one of the five pillars of the religion. Fasting takes place during Ramadan, the ninth month of the islamic lunar year. Here fasting has the character of a penance. The soul is meant to be chastened and purified as well as the connection to God and the people around you should be consolidated. 30 days Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink or smoke during the time between sunrise and sunset. Also intercourse is not permitted. The fast-breaking in the evenings takes place in larger groups so that Ramadan has a strong character of bringing families together and fostering community ties. Also hospitality and generous donations to the poor are an important part of Ramadan. These 30 days also serve as a time for reflection: you reflect upon the past 11 months, as well as having a try at living with more mindfulness.

Salem, the co-founder of Conflictfood is fasting since many years during the month of Ramadan. We asked him about it:

How do you fast?
I fast every year for 30 days. From sunrise to sunset I don’t eat or drink.
When exactly is Ramadan?
Because the islamic calendar orientates itself to the moon, the month of Ramadan moves through all seasons. Since a few years it’s a particular challenge because the summer days are so long.
Why do you do that?
To not eat and drink are only the external characteristics of fasting. Ramadan has a far deeper, spiritual dimension to it. Self- control and the abdication of consumerism are also very fundamental aspects of it. Material things take a back seat. Not only is it a part of my believes it also strengthens my character and my willpower and benefits my body and soul.

Artwork by Daniel Spoerri

Buddhism

Looking at Buddhism, Buddha was teaching somewhat of a middle path. Self-chastisement he refused. Neither overindulgence nor hunger are therefore recommendable. To eat less however helps in meditation and to reach inner peace and enlightenment. Because of that buddhist monks and nuns quit eating altogether every day after 12 o’clock lunch time. Besides that there are other monthly days of fasting.

 

Judaism

In Judaism Jom Kippur is the biggest day of fasting and reconciliation. On that day it is neither permitted to eat, drink or smoke. You also don’t wash, have intercourse or go to work. All sins committed prior to that date should be atoned on this day. Besides that there are another five general days of fasting on which Jews are commemorating tragic events in Jewish history. On those days it is also not permitted to eat or drink.

 

Fasting as a healing method

Looking at fasting from a medical point of view you will find many studies and guide books which attribute fasting a positive impact on the entire human body. Therapeutic fasting influence significantly the processes in our body. One of the most important impacts is the strengthening of our immune system. Whereas during our normal eating habits our immune system is deeply involved in digestive processes, during fasting it can concentrate on eradicating disease causing intruders. Therapeutic fasting is therefore also called as your own, inner doctor. Due to this it is also perfectly healthy if you don’t feel like eating when you are sick. Another nice side effect of fasting is the sensitisation of your taste buds. Even the slightest smell of certain unhealthy foods can in some cases already repulse you during the fasting period.

Purification of the mind

On top of all of this, therapeutic fasting does also have a not to be underestimated impact on our psyche. After the first, sometimes difficult days of fasting are over, an enormous energy momentum is kicking in. That not only increases the mental and physical performance it also shoots up the good mood. Many times fasting as a healing method allows us to be more aware of ourselves and to step back from everyday stress. In that way long held thinking barriers can be resolved or entirely new ideas pop up in one’s head. Even though these positive effects are proven by many studies you shouldn’t just start fasting without any prior arrangements. Healthy people can in general fast at home without any problems but there are some rules you should consider beforehand, whilst you are fasting and afterwards.

If you are curious now and want to convince yourself of the healing powers of fasting, what are you waiting for? Go and inform yourself through some reliable sources and try it out yourself.Artwork by Daniel Spoerri

Go to the Shop here

Why is freekeh such a health booster?

An article provided by our guest author Stinamy Jørgensen, BA in Nutrition and Health

Freekeh is an ancient grain first mentioned in a cookbook from Bagdad in the early thirteenth-century. It is a durum wheat, harvested young and roasted over an open fire. As the grain is still young and very moist, it does not burn. This process results in a delicious grain with a nutty and smoked flavour.

According to an old story, a village in the Eastern Mediterranean was afraid of being attacked and therefore decided to harvest and to store their crops early. Despite their efforts, the storage of green durum wheat was set on fire. But soon they discovered that the grain was not only still edible – it was actually very delicious! Later we found that this process in fact creates the high amount of nutrients in Freekeh! As harvested early, the amount of nutrients is higher than in a later period of ripening. Freekeh is a “nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for your health and well-being” – some even call it a superfood!It has several benefits and is unique in its high amount of fiber. It contains two times more than quinoa and even four times more than brown rice. Your daily intake of fiber should be 30 to 38 grams if you are a man and 21 to 25 grams for women. As Freekeh consists of up to 16,5% of fiber, it can surely boost your fiber intake!

Freekeh might not be well known here – yet. Neither is fiber recognized as a healthy and important nutrient. But still, they have an important influence on you and your body!

Fibers help you to keep a healthy body weight. They are filling and keep you full for a longer time. Additionally, fibers help controlling your blood sugar level by slowing down the absorption of sugar and they maintain your bowel health. In addition to that, Freekeh has a low glycemic index. This leads to carbohydrates being broken down and being absorbed slower, providing your body with longer lasting energy.It is also a good source of protein. Among other things, proteins are used by our bodies to produce enzymes and hormones. Your body cannot store proteins as it does with fat or carbohydrates. Therefore, it is important to have a regular intake. Freekeh contains 15,8 grams per 100 grams. In comparison with brown rice, which only contains 7,6 grams. Even though Freekeh is high on proteins, it is still low on fat, with less than 1 gram per 100 grams. On top of this, Freekeh is high on calcium, iron and zink

Preparing your dish with Freekeh is not complicated at all – you simply boil it in water! It takes about 40 minutes and only 20 minutes if your Freekeh is already grounded!

You can use it as a side dish instead of rice or make a soup, salad or stew! You can even use it for baking! There are numerous ways to prepare your dish with Freekeh. And all of them are delicious. Here you will find some recipes!Sources: freekehlicious.com , nutritionfacts.org

Here you can buy our healthy Conflictfood Freekeh

Winterly Freekeh-Salad with Brussels sprouts

A winterly warm salad with Freekeh!

 

Today we will cook a truly simple but ingenious meal! A winterly warm Freekeh salad with Brussels sprout! It serves as a great savoury lunch or just as a tasty side dish with chicken, halloumi or smokey tofu.

Ingredients:

 

1 Cup of Conflictfood Freekeh

3 Cups of water

300 g Brussels sprout

3 TS Olive oil

1/2 Onion

1 Clove of garlic

1 TS Coriander seed

1 Lemon

Salt

Pepper

(Optionally 2 TL of sugar)

Instructions:

 

Start by putting the Freekeh into water and bring it to boil with a pinch of salt. Let it simmer for about 40 minutes at a low temperature, until the water is absorbed by the Freekeh.

Meanwhile, simmer the halved Brussels sprout in the oven with finely minced onion and garlic for about 20 minutes together with oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle it with finely grounded coriander.

Then it’s time to fold the Brussels sprout carefully into the Freekeh. Add a splash of lemon, a little salt and pepper – and your dish is ready to be served!The light bitter taste of Brussels sprout matches the full-bodied and nutty Freekeh flavour. Even though simple, it is an ingenious and complex dish.

Those who want to go a step further: caramelize the Brussels sprout halves with 2 TS of sugar in the pan!

It goes perfectly together with grilled chicken, smoked tofu or slices of grilled halloumi. Enjoy!

The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!

Here you find our delicious Conflictfood Freekeh

Freekeh stuffed peppers

Friday is stuffed with Freekeh!

It is Friday which means we will be providing you with another protein booster to withstand the weekend parties. These Freekeh Peppers can be enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans and provide a warm feeling of home for all who indulge in this oven-baked classic!

To make this recipe you will need:

2 yellow peppers, halved

200 g of Freekeh

100 g of minced soy

1 tomato, chopped

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

500 ml vegetable stock

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 bouquet of parsley, finely chopped

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place the halved peppers on a baking tray.

Bring vegetable stock to a boil. Add tomato paste and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to your tomato sauce and taste. Meanwhile wash the freekeh well in fresh water.

Take the tomato sauce and pour half of it in the baking tray with the fresh peppers. With the other half of the sauce mix in the minced soy, freekeh, chopped parsley and tomatoes. Now it is time to fill the peppers with the mix.

Now you will need to cover your baking tray. If you do not have one with a lid like we have here in this picture, you can simply cover it tight with foil. You will need the steam to cook the freekeh. Bake for 40 minutes and try with a spoon a bit of the freekeh to see if it has cooked through. If it needs more time return to the oven for 5-10 minutes.

Serve the deliciously stuffed peppers with some of the warm sauce surrounding the peppers. Enjoy with tabbouleh salad or yoghurt.

If you want to get more ideas on how to use freekeh read up on new inspiration and recipes on our Conflictfood Blog! New recipes will be posted regularely.

This is where it all happens. So let us plant the seed of peace together!

The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!

Here you can buy our delicious Conflictfood Freekeh

Autumnal Freesotto

Let’s make Freesotto!

 

How did you like our saffron risotto? For the preparation last time we used risotto rice.

To cook Freesotto we do it differently: Instead of rice, we use Freekeh! It is a Syrian and Palestinian specialty, green harvested wheat roasted over open fire. Unfortunately it is not well known in Europe and not easy to get – yet! Conflictfood brings this special antique rain of organic quality from Palestine to Europe.The Conflictfood team invited three friends today: Kavita, founder of Street Food Thursday at Martkhalle Neun in Berlin and her husband Thilo, as well as Somar, a genius cook from the café-restaurant Prachtsaal in Neukölln.

Together we prepared, cut, stirred and enjoyed our food. What a nice evening. Don’t miss out on that! No hesitation needed – just do it! And the best thing: We show you step by step how you can enjoy delicious risotto with Freekeh –Freesotto – together with your friends!

What you need for Freesotto:

 

500 g freekeh

100 g butter or olive oil

200 g onions

500 g champignons

50 g parsley

200 ml vegetable stock

Salt and pepper for seasoning

And if you like, Parmesan

Instructions:

 

Let’s get started by boiling one litre of water in a big pot and add a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. Meanwhile, put the raw Freekeh grain on a smooth and bright underlay and have a closer look. Sometimes there are a few little stones hiding in between. Unfortunately, lots of times this cannot be avoided during the production process. If you find one, just take it out.

As soon as the water starts boiling, stir in half a kilo of Freekeh, cover the pot and let it boil for about 30 minutes.

Now it is time to start cutting vegetables. Take the onions first: cut them into little dices and place them in a frying pan with olive oil. Add the roughly chopped mushrooms and let it sweat briefly until the liquid evaporates. The next step is to fold in the Freekeh and the finely chopped parsley. While stirring constantly, we add vegetable stock until the consistency becomes nice and creamy.

If you like, you can add some butter and Parmesan. But if you prefer a vegan dish, you just skip those ingredients. A bit more of stock makes the consistency nice and smooth.

In the end, season the Freesotto with salt and pepper and voilà – your delicious dish is ready to be served!

The team from Conflictfood wishes you Guten Appetit!

Here you can buy our Freekeh

Saffron lemonade – a return of summer with every sip

Let’s make saffron lemonade!

 

Saffron in your lemonade? Oh yes! With this easy and brilliant recipe we created a real summer hit in our office. The sirup is prepared quickly and you can fill it up with still and sparkling water – whatever you like.

This Indian inspired drink is fruity and sweet with a touch of lemon and an earthy flavour of the saffron. Also this amazing drink is a feast for the eyes – it’s unique golden sunny colour comes from our Conflictfood saffron. With this drink, summer returns – at least in you glas!

What you need for the saffron lemonade

 

200 g sugar

200 ml water

Juice of 5-6 lemons or 100 ml lemonjuice

0,2 g of Conflictfood saffron

1 tsp ground cardamom

a pinch of salt

a resealable bottle 

Makes 1/2 liters of sirup for approx. 4-5 liters of lemonade

Duration: approx. 20 minutes

Instructions:

 

Fill the water into a pot and together with the saffron threads, heat up gently. Like this, the saffron slowly releases its aroma and colour into the water. Add the sugar while stirring until its completely dissolved. Now, here comes the cardamom: slowly sprinkle the powder into the saffron water. Let it boil up briefly and then take the pot off the heat to let it cool down.Now you need the juice of 5-6 lemons. Slice them in half and squeeze them – done! In case you are in a hurry, just buy bottled lemon juice. Stirr the juice into the cooled saffron drink. Add a pinch of salt – et voilá – the lemonade sirup is ready to use!

Finally, fill the liquid in reusable glas bottles and cool them down. Inside the frigde it stays fresh for at least two weeks. You can serve the sirup with cold still water, soda or champagne – just as the fancy takes you!

Cheers!

The Conflictfood team wishes you ‘Cheers’!

You can buy our Saffron here

Conflictfood cooks saffron risotto

Let’s cook saffron risotto!

 

Saffron is probably one of the most exotic and rare spices, and we know that not everyone knows how to use the king of spices properly.

We want to change that! Invite 2-3 friends and cook one of the Italian gourmet classics, the saffron risotto. Grab a wooden spoon and start! We guarantee your guests and you will be thrilled!

Ingredients:

200g risotto rice
1 glass of white wine (or grape juice and a squeeze of lemon)
2 shallots
0.1g Conflictfood Saffron
400ml vegetable stock
60g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
+ freshly ground pepper, strong olive oil, salt

 

Preparation Time:

ca. 45 min

 

Portions:

4

Instructions:

 

Put 0.1g of saffron (approx. half a teaspoon) in a glass, pour a shot of hot water over it and set aside. This way the red threads have time to develop their full flavor and its deep-yellow color.

Sweat the chopped shallots in a saucepan on a lug of olive oil. Don’t shy away from using a bit more oil. After all the risotto is an Italian dish!

Add the rice and pour in the glass of wine. Then add bay leaves and thyme and stir for 2-3 minutes.

In a second pot cook vegetable stock – this is either homemade, from root vegetables, leek and spices, or ready-made, depending on how much you want to impress your guests.

Pour the stock gradually into the rice and keep stirring. Whenever the rice is too dry, add a cup of stock. Up till now this has taken a quarter of an hour.

So it doesn’t get boring, your guests should join you in the kitchen, share the rest of the wine / grape juice and gossip with you.Shortly before the end of cooking it gets really exciting: Take the glass with the saffron and slowly stir it in the rice. Make sure that your guests also see how the white rice mixture is gradually becoming golden yellow and your whole kitchen full of saffron scent!

Saffron has a wonderfully smoky, earthy flavour such as tobacco, slightly bitter but at the same time plump and full-bodied. The taste is not easy to describe, but when you’ve had the king of spices on your tongue, it is unforgettable.

Now it’s turn to finish off with the grated parmesan, salt, pepper and even a drizzle of olive oil. At the end, sensibility is needed again: Depending on the consistency pour another shot of broth or let it thicken for one more minute.

Serve the risotto on flat, white dishes, so the fantastic color stands out. If you have something green in the house, garnish the dish with thyme, chives, or whatever you like.

The team of Conflictfood wishes you ‘Buon Appetito’!

More recipes

Saffron

Saffron, jewellery of gods, kings and heroes

 

A legend in Greek mythology says that Zeus slept on a bed made of saffron. The Phoenicians already used saffron as a medicinal and an aromatic agent. They had probably encountered it through the Indians, and saffron was a luxury item already in the ancient times.

In ancient Egypt saffron is mentioned in the “Ebers Papyrus” and the Old Testament’s “Song of Solomon” praises saffron as the most precious spice.

At the court of the Sumerian king Gilgamesh only the court nobility wore saffron-dyed clothes. These clothes also belonged to the typical costume of Persian kings.

It is undisputable that in many cultures it used to be the custom to dye the wedding veil with saffron yellow. Rich Romans sprinkled saffron on their wedding beds.

Upon his arrival to Kashmir Alexander the Great set up camp in an area covered by lush grass plane. At dawn he discovered his army in a sea of lilac flowers which had blossomed overnight, even in the tents. The flower pistils dyed his clothes golden. He believed in witchcraft and so retreated without a fight. At least, that’s what the legend tells.Through the fabled east-west route, the Silk Road, Afghanistan being one of the most important hubs, reached the spice Europe together with gold, precious stones and precious fabrics. There reigned the Dark Ages, as caravanserais already prospered and matured.

People of different ethnic and religious backgrounds: Pagans, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Buddhists and Muslims later lived in harmony on the trade routes in Central Asia. All sorts of wondrous goods were handled, endless stories were told at campfires thus creating the tales and legends of 1001 Nights.

The saffron plant

 

Saffron, from the Arabic / Persian زعفران, Za’faran, “Safran” – the botanical name being Crocus Sativus – is of a crocus genus and comes from family Iridaceae.

The bulb sprouts in fall, in early November it is ripe, and endures in the ground for the rest of the year.

The plant cannot produce a seed and multiplies only by dividing the bulbs.Approximately every four years the bulb needs to be replanted to produce a good harvest.

When mature the saffron plant reaches a height between 5 cm and 25 cm. The flower itself consists of six lilac petals. Within the flower there is a light yellow pistil, which divides into three red stigmas. These three sweet, aromatic, and fragrant threads are removed from the flower through laborious manual work producing the precious dried spice – saffron.

The “Red Gold”

 

As long as people can remember, the hard work which saffron production requires has been looking for a match with no luck. The harvest is extremely tedious and time-consuming. To harvest a kilo of “red gold”, incredible 150.000- 200,000 flowers have to be picked. The daily harvest begins very early in the morning, so that the threads are not exposed to harsh sunlight. On the same day, the threads must be carefully removed and dried. It takes the pickers a whole day to produce a maximum of 80g of saffron.

Another barrier for the large farms is that saffron plants are only blooming once a year for a length of only two weeks. The rest of the year pickers have to exercise patience – the fields cannot be used in any other way. These are all reasons why saffron is the most expensive spice in the world.

Opium for children

 

Saffron is not only used as a spice, it is also used for pharmaceutical purposes in Ayurvedic medicine and in Chinese medicine. Saffron can help circulation, boost the metabolism and act as an antispasmodic. Saffron is also rumored to have an aphrodisiac and antidepressant effect.

In ancient times saffron was used as a sedative for children. It was prescribed even for cough and intestinal colic. And as Paracelsus once said: “a cheerful and good blood saffron brings.”This combination of effects – antispasmodic, analgesic and mood-lifting – is characteristic for another very special substance: Opium! Drug connoisseurs from times long past described saffron as a substitute for opium or as “opium for children.”

A dose of five grams of saffron has a narcotic effect and twelve grams can already cause death. Therefore, it is a real drug. These pharmacological effects have landed this unassuming crocus thread a place in gourmet dining: saffron is fun! Thus it explains our willingness to spend a lot of money for this product.

Saffron – the spice for gourmets

 

Saffron enjoys great popularity with gourmets: its intense yet light taste takes many dishes to the next level. In addition, the saffron dyes the dishes a beautiful yellow color – and simply by spreading cheerfulness it stimulates appetite.In Persian and Afghan cuisine saffron is used in many rice dishes and desserts.

Its delicate flavor and the bright yellow color lend the cake something very special! And from the Spanish cuisine you would certainly know this spice, especially in the paella.However, saffron is a very intense and strong spice – therefore you can always expect be asked to use only minute amounts of it in the recipes, otherwise the dishes will quickly become bitter! In principle, it should not be cooked long – its flavors are from the most part “volatile”, so it is best only to add a little to an almost finished dish. It is also used for fish soups, risottos and for all kinds of pastries and even to refine liqueurs.One should pay attention to the following rules when cooking:

Do you want your dish to have a particularly yellow color and is the aroma rather unimportant to you? Then you should maybe start cooking with ground saffron first.

Do you want to enjoy the special saffron flavor in a dish? Then you should add the threads to the cooking process a little later, as previously described.

But enough of the theory. In the next post, there is a brilliant recipe for you to try!

Here you find our Saffron

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