Yes. The trick is to be selective when your saffron is harvested. It has to be mature and clean, which means not on a plant. This is most effectively done by placing it in a glass of water and leaving it there for a couple of days to dry. It is a relatively easy process, even at home, but you need to use plenty of water as your plants will be exposed to moisture just like any other plant and need to be hydrated frequently to avoid waterlogging. If you do not have a glass of water lying around then the easiest thing to do at home is to cut off the top stalk and let it dry between the water line and the floor. Then use a fine mesh sieve to filter the water through the dry stalk. This will allow you to remove the dried stem, leaving you with the mature saffron. After drying it, gently spread it onto a small tray or bowl to dry. You may choose to do this in a warm room or in a dry place. To ensure a good drying, you may want to leave it out overnight, but to be safe, put it in the sun. You can use these to make saffron lamps which will work well for the whole family. You could even use saffron in your own wine as it has been shown to be non-toxic.
Will it damage my plant? Yes, this is one potential negative. The leaves of a mature saffron plant can be quite long and as they contain a higher concentration of oil than an immature plant they will dry out faster. But after a few weeks, the leaves should be a smooth black colour and the oil should be absorbed and not be visible on the skin.
Also, do not leave your saffron unattended as it will attract insects and pests like fleas and scale. A couple of hours out of the room will probably do you good.
What about using saffron as an ingredient in cooking? Saffron has been used in India for over 7000 years and it is still used in the preparation of spices. The spice blends used in some popular dishes are made from saffron. The saffron is usually used for its flavouring, not for its medicinal properties as it is quite alkaline. It might also come in handy when making a tea or making a drink.
Can I use saffron for baking? Yes, though baking may not be the best option. Saffron has high levels of gluten and
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