Daily fasting is an integral part of my life. Since fasting has now become a lifestyle, I find it relatively easy to do most of the time. However, that doesn’t mean I never experience hunger. But, unlike in the past, I now know the difference between “limbic hunger” (the emotionally-triggered craving for food) and true hunger. When limbic hunger strikes, I drink saffron tea.
Saffron tea is a double whammy to hunger. Saffron itself is a natural mood enhancer that, among other benefits, is proven to boost serotonin levels. White tea is the least processed of all teas known for it’s ability to act as a mild appetite suppressant. Together, white tea and saffron provide a powerful anti-hunger concoction for the most ferocious of appetites. The tea can be made in just a few minutes. Here’s how…
A little saffron goes a long way. You’ll need just a few threads for a small cup of tea or about a pinch of saffron for a large mug or a few cups. Be sure to purchase saffron from a reputable source. I’ve purchased my saffron from Whole Foods on occasion (about $14 per bottle) and from online sources for much less. Although saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, there are places you can purchase small quantities at reasonable prices. (Tip: Check out the gourmet food section of Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Ross. I’ve found small jars of saffron tucked away there on several occasions).
Once you have your saffron, follow a few simple steps to make your saffron tea.
1. Crush the threads of saffron against the side of your cup until they become a fine powder. Essentially, you’re using your spoon and cup like a mortar and pestle to grind the saffron. Although the powder version of saffron is available, I prefer to grind it myself because I know exactly the quality I’m getting.
2. Take hot water (not boiling, but just boiled) and place the white tea bag in the water with the crushed saffron.
3. Steep tea for about two minutes, remove the tea bag, add more water to taste and stir. The tea will be golden in color.
4. Sip on the tea and enjoy diminished hunger from the beverage known as “liquid sunshine.”
If you’ve never tasted saffron in paella or in Middle Eastern dishes, you might be wondering what it tastes like. This exotic spice is mildly earthy, something like turmeric, very palatable, and you’re likely to enjoy the flavor in tea.
I’ve yet to have anyone who’s tried this say that it didn’t affect their appetite. Give it a go, and let me know what your experience is with this amazing tea.