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All about “Laurel”, a flavouring with many benefits

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Laurel is a flavoring that is found in many dishes of French cuisine. It is part of the famous bouquet garni that is found in many dishes in sauce. Native to the Mediterranean basin, we find laurel all year round on our stalls.

Characteristics of laurel:

  • Source of antioxidants;
  • Low in calories;
  • Replaces salt in low sodium diets;
  • Antiseptic;
  • Antibacterial.

What is laurel?

Laurel identity card

  • Type: Herbal;
  • Family: Lauraceae;
  • Origin: Mediterranean basin;
  • Season: All year round;
  • Green color ;
  • Flavor: Pronounced.

Characteristics of laurel

Laurel is an evergreen annual plant that can be 15 to 10 meters tall. Its leaves are green and have the shape of a spearhead. In spring, it also has small yellow flowers and black berries.

Differences with nearby foods

Do not confuse the oleander sauce, which is the edible plant, with the oleander which is a poisonous plant and only ornamental.

Word from the nutritionist

Herbs are usually not consumed in large quantities. Used as seasonings, they cannot therefore provide all the health benefits attributed to them. However, adding herbs to food on a regular and significant basis makes it possible to contribute, if only in a minimal way, to the antioxidant intake of the diet. On the other hand, consumption of herbs alone cannot meet the body’s antioxidant needs.

Laurel leaves are an interesting flavor to integrate into your favorite dishes. They have properties similar to other herbs. To avoid adding salt, do not hesitate to use fine herbs to cook tasty dishes.

Nutritional values

For 100g of bay leaf:

Nutrients                                                             Quantities                                                              
Protein 7.61 g
Fat 8.36 g
Carbohydrates 48.67 g
Water 5.44 g
Fibers 26.3g
Vitamin C 46.5 mg
Vitamin B9 180 µg
Beta carotene 3708 µg
Potassium 529 mg
Magnesium 120 mg
Phosphorus 113 mg

4 benefits of the food: why eat it?

  1. A study carried out in 2009 demonstrated that the consumption of 1 to 3 g of laurel leaves per day for 30 days reduced blood sugar, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol (1). Of course other studies remain to confirm these claims, but it is a promising flavoring in people with type 2 diabetes.
  2. The essential oil contained in bay leaves has antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. It can in particular be used for mouth ulcers and dental abscesses.
  3. Used in infusion, it has sedative properties and rebalances the nervous system in case of anxiety or anxiety.
  4. Laurel essential oil is also antispasmodic. In particular, it helps relieve muscle pain.

Choosing the right laurel

Choose the bay leaf with dark, shiny green leaves. It is most often found in dried form.

Keep well

The dried leaves will keep for a year, ideally protected from air and light, in an airtight container.

Preparation of bay leaf

How to cook it? How to match it?

Laurel leaves are used to flavor dishes. They are most often dried. They can be added to dishes as is or crumbled. As they are very fragrant, often a single leaf is enough. It can be added to soups and soups, sauces, casseroles, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, legumes, terrines, pâtés, marinades, stuffings, etc.

The bay leaves are also part of the popular bouquet garni, accompanied by parsley and thyme.

You can put a leaf in a bottle of olive oil to flavor it.

Bay leaf can be used to flavor pasta or rice cooking water. Just put a sheet or two in boiling water and let it brew during cooking.

In herbal tea, put a few dried leaves in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

History of laurel

The laurel is native to the Mediterranean basin.
It has a strong symbolism since it is a sign of victory since Greek-Roman antiquity. It was braided and worn in a crown like the laurel wreath worn by Julius Caesar.
He is also the symbol of Apollo. It represents the immortality acquired by victory.
Finally, it is the symbol of peace.
In the French language, we owe him the word “baccalaureate” because we gave to students finishing their medical studies bay laurel (bacca laurus), to congratulate them.

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