LICORICE ROOT POWDER
Licorice root powder is a surprising spice with great possibilities in the kitchen! It was once used as the base of black licorice, the sweet, sticky sweet, but cheaper alternatives are now used, leaving the spice very much underused. It’s remarkably sweet, up to fifty times sweeter than refined sugar, and for that reason is an excellent sugar substitute for diabetics and weight watchers. A small amount in tea or coffee makes for an interesting change, and an infusion makes for a lovely, cooling tea. However, it contains glycyrrhizin, which gives its characteristic sweetness, and it shouldn’t be used in excess.
COOKING WITH LICORICE POWDER
A pinch used in baking or in dessert sauces will impart its sweetness and distinct anise flavour. Try it in your panna cotta recipe or as an ice cream for an interesting change. Licorice root powder works well with sour foods like raspberries or rhubarb, and with gamey meats. If you plan on a pork roast any time soon, rub a blend of salt and licorice powder into the scored skin. It takes the crackling to a whole new level of deliciousness!
LICORICE HEALTH BENEFITS
Like all spices, licorice has its place in traditional and herbal medicine. The health benefits of licorice are many and varied; from digestive problems to food poisoning and viral infections. No more than 70 to 150 grams should be consumed per day, and if you’re pregnant, you should avoid it until you’ve had your babe.