WHAT IS FENUGREEK?
This savory herb is both bitter and sweet and is a great way to give some flavor to a bland dish. It’s especially popular in Indian cuisine as well as in homeopathic remedies. The name fenugreek originally meant “Greek hay” and both the leaves and seeds can be used (dried or fresh). It’s a dependable ingredient when your curry or salad needs a dash of flavor. In terms of general recipe applications, it’s somewhat similar to cloves. But while both are pungent they have very different flavors.
WHY IS FENUGREEK GOOD FOR YOU?
Basically when used occasionally to add flavor to a recipe it’s fine. And this herb is a good source of minerals such as iron and magnesium. But people with peanut allergies are often allergic to it. And in larger quantities fenugreek has abortifacient properties. Also it can interfere with anticoagulant drug prescriptions and slow down your bodies ability to absorb sugar (helpful for diabetes). In homeopathic remedies it’s often used topically for eczema. Or when eaten it’s said to help with menstrual cramps and digestive issues.
WHEN IS FENUGREEK IN SEASON?
This plant favors warm to hot environments and is a late summer to early fall harvest.
HOW SHOULD FENUGREEK BE STORED?
So there are a number of options here. You can blanch the leaves on the stem, then remove the stem, pat dry and freeze. Or you can put in your refrigerator with a wet paper towel in the bag and they’ll keep for a few days. Another technique is to salt and cook them briefly in oil before refrigerating them for several months.
IS MY MAPLE SYRUP ACTUALLY MADE FROM FENUGREEK?
This herb has a caramel-like flavor similar to burnt sugar and is cheap. This has lead to it being a popular ingredient in artificial maple syrup.