Katie’s Healthy Bites: Discovering Star Anise

by in Uncategorized, July 19, 2010

star anise

Spices are an important factor in healthy cooking, since they have the power to add abundant flavor without adding calories. Widen your spice-cabinet horizons this week with the unique flavor of star anise. This spice’s shape emulates a star with 5-10 pointed tips radiating from a central seed pod. Rust colored with a tough texture, star anise comes from an aromatic evergreen tree. It can be purchased whole or ground and its licorice-like taste is similar to (but more pungent than) its anise cousin.

Medicinal Properties
In alternative medicine, star anise has been prescribed as a digestive aid and has been used to ease colic in babies.  For years it has flavored medicinal teas, but more recently has been used as an ingredient in Tamiflu, an antiviral drug used to fend off the avian flu.

Purchasing, Storage, and Preparation
Look for star anise at specialty supermarkets.  I like to buy it whole, because it lasts longer than the pre-ground seeds. Stored in a dark, sealed container, pods will save for several months before the flavor fades. To grind your own seeds, you can use a mortar and pestle, an electric grinder, or even a  (thoroughly cleaned) coffee grinder will work.

Culinary Uses
Popular in Asian cuisine, it is one of the quintessential components of Chinese Five Spice. In Vietnamese food it fuses the flavors of the simmered soup, Pho. And in American cuisine, emphasize itscitrus-y sweetness by accenting vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, and fennel.  Try star anise for yourself in your summertime meat rubs and homemade barbecue sauce; or pair it with cinnamon, chocolate, or fruit preserves to create decadent desserts.

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie’s full bio » This post was co-authored by Amanda Frankney.

More posts from .

Similar Posts

10 Time-Saving Kitchen Hacks

True, time in the kitchen can be relaxing and therapeutic — but that doesn’t mean efficiency is a bad thing. There are lots of shortcuts that make cooking a healthy meal quicker and simpler. Here are ten favorite tricks of the trade. • Pomegranate seeds are like gold — especially if you have to takeRead more

Comments (243)

  1. … [Trackback]…

    [...] Informations on that Topic: blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2010/07/19/star-anise-basics [...]…

  2. sodomie says:

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other blogs, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  3. free sex says:

    Title…

    This is my Excerpt…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>