Caraway (Carum carvi)
Caraway Spice are the seeds from the caraway plant which have a slight crescent shape. These seeds have a very strong flavour which is very similar to anise or liquorice. When cooking with this spice it is usually used whole.
It is used in many varieties of foods and really has a big kick for seeds this size. These seeds are fantastic when used with some vegetables and can really add great flavour. They can be used in different ways. They can simply be sprinkled onto some foods, or can also be used wrapped in muslin cloth and boiled with cabbage.
Aids digestive health- The seeds from this spice are a good remedy for digestive related issues. Because of their high fibre content they are effective in the relief of constipation, gas and bloating.
Anti cancer properties- These seeds are rich in antioxidants which reduce chronic disease. They are known to help prevent cell growth that can cause colon cancer. According to studies they can also be effective in reducing growth of tumour cells in the breast and also other cancers.
Vitamins- A, C, E, Folates, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thaimin.
Minerals- Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Zinc, Potassium.
These seeds can be found readily available online as can ground caraway seed powder. They usually come in a handy jar or bottle that fits into the spice rack at home. Caraway seeds and powder generally have a good storage life.
Cooking with caraway seeds can really enhance and add a tasty flavour to your food. Try them with apples. They can be used on a simple apple cut into pieces and lightly sprinkled with the seeds. Or try them on baked apples which is delicious.
These seeds are also commonly used in the seasoning of rye breads, by simply sprinkling them over the bread. Also they make roast vegetables very tasty, again simply sprinkle them over the vegetables.They also go great with cheese and are delicious stirred into cream cheese or dips.
I really enjoy eating caraway in a soup made with carrots. This is simple to do and very tasty. This soup is great to eat with some fresh bread or simply on its own.
Serves 4 people
700 grams of peeled chopped carrots
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic chopped fine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons crushed caraway seeds. I use a pestle and mortar
1/2 litre of chicken stock
Small bunch chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Get a large sauce pan and put it on to a medium high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the diced onions and sauté until they go soft or start to change colour. Now add the garlic and stir whilst cooking for a minute.
Add the carrots and stir whilst cooking for 5 minutes. Then add the chicken stock and bring to the boil turning the heat down to simmer.
Add the crushed caraway seeds and cook until the carrots are soft - around 10 minutes.
Blend the soup using a stick blender or blender. Once smooth add the salt and pepper to taste.
Bowl up the soup and sprinkle with parsley and serve.