Have You Heard About Harissa? Learn Its Health Benefits and How It’s Used

Perhaps a health-conscious friend briefly mentioned it over coffee. Maybe the chef on your favorite cooking show used it as an ingredient. You may have possibly chanced upon it at the supermarket in a jar, can or even a tube.

Are you fascinated with harissa and its popularity that seems to grow day after day? Well, read on. Below you will come across some of the most important matters that you need to know about it.

The Background

Harissa came from the Middle East and Northern Africa. It’s actually a form of paste that is commonly mixed with a little water or oil. After which, it can be used for a variety of purposes. Sometimes it’s employed for whipping up stews and soups. Other times it’s used as a dip and dressing.

In Libya, harissa is known as a highly versatile condiment. People there use it just like mustard and ketchup, which means that it is usually added to a bunch of stuff, such as hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches.

Various Ingredients Used

Traditionally speaking, harissa is something that is made up of only four ingredients. Harissa won’t be complete without dried hot chilis in it. Needless to say, the presence of these ingredients gives the condiment its characteristic hotness. By the way, those hot chilis are usually dried by smoking.

Garlic is another important harissa ingredient. The same is true with olive oil. The presence of these couple of ingredients is a true testament that harissa is one of the healthiest condiment that you can find out there.

There are also a handful of spices that are added to harissa, and they are coriander seeds and caraway seeds. Both of them contribute to the overall taste as well as nutritional profile of harissa.

Do take note that it’s possible for the ingredients used for making harissa to change slightly. It all depends on where it’s made, or which recipe is preferred by its maker. This only means that you may notice some very slight taste differences among harissa products that you can get your hands on.

Health Perks Offered

Because of the fact that only healthy ingredients are used in making harissa, it’s quite obvious that this condiment is good for you! And that’s why incorporating it in your diet on a regular basis can offer you so many benefits.

Those dried hot chilis in harissa contain the chemical called “capsaicin”. Medical experts say that it’s something that packs superb anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, it helps in making your immune system strong. Harissa can come in handy especially if you are battling an infection, like the common cold or sinusitis.

Garlic contains allicin that is capable of zapping microbes and thinning the blood, thus lowering a person’s risk of heart disease. The same heart disease risk-lowering benefit can be obtained from olive oil that’s added to harissa.

Coriander seeds help protect your heart by supplying your body with potassium. Everyone knows that the said mineral helps in warding off high blood pressure. On the other hand, caraway seeds are good for your GI tract. They help facilitate digestion as well as save you from excess gas and abdominal distention.

Modes of Usage

Since harissa is a versatile condiment, there are so many ways that it can be employed on a daily basis. Other than using it for making stews and soups heartier, harissa can be added to many of your favorites, from burgers to hot dogs.

Adding healthy oil (such as avocado oil) or water to it makes its consistency perfect for dipping as well as for dressings. Indeed, you are only limited by your imagination. Needless to say, harissa is not only one of the healthiest condiments around, but also one of the most versatile.

Do you have a jar, can or tube of harissa at home? How do like to use it? Feel free to share below!

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