Bay leaves are used in cooking as a spice , a condiment that goes well with any dish and with different flavors . The use of bay leaf in cooking has become frequent, as it has countless properties that help our body. Its scent is intense, fresh and sweet, with a balsamic and slightly bitter taste. The bitter aftertaste is eliminated when the leaves undergo the drying process . Meats, fish, legume stews, vegetables and risotto benefit from it on a culinary level. In addition, bay leaves can be used to make marinades, oils and vinegars thanks to their multiple qualities.
Bay leaves: “they are worth gold”! Here’s how to use them in the kitchen
In addition to its aromatic contribution, bay leaf is a source of important micronutrients for the body, as it is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, as well as antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and selenium . It is also a natural diuretic, it helps eliminate toxins and fight against water retention. Bay leaves have historically been used to treat inflammation . However, although there are no scientific studies that prove it in humans, some studies carried out on rats have demonstrated the existence of this property. This led scientists to believe that it could also have the same effect on humans.
Bay leaves have been observed to improve blood sugar and lipid profile , as well as insulin sensitivity . This can be very useful, for example, in a diet whose aim is to control appetite . Consumption of this herb has also been linked to a decrease in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
Bay leaves: put them in the oven, then use them in your recipes
Bay leaves are usually used when its leaves are dried, as their flavor is more delicate, although fresh leaves can also be used (these leaves have a stronger flavor with bitter touches). These leaves combine very well with other herbs such as oregano, parsley and thyme. It is recommended to store bay leaves in a jar or paper bag. Another good option is to dry bay leaves , these can be kept for more than a year.
To dry bay leaves and use them later in cooking, simply place them on a lined baking tray and dry at 150°C for 20 minutes. Once you have obtained the dried bay leaves, you can use them in cooking and add them when cooking your food.
You can add a few bay leaves at the start of cooking so that they release all their flavor as they cook slowly, but remember that the leaves must be removed after cooking and before serving the dish. Bay leaf works well, especially in simmered preparations : meats, legumes, rice, vegetables, stews, soups and creams. In addition, it is used in the preparation of fish and shellfish, to flavor oils and vinegars, in the preparation of marinades and preserves. In any case, remember that it should always be used in moderation.