Caper - unblown buds of a caper, a wild-growing shrub reaching 1 - 2 meters in height. The plant is so unpretentious that it easily tolerates the absence of soil, splashes of sea waves, heat. Thorny bushes grow even on bare rocks. Distributed in North Africa, America, Asia, India, Crimea, arid regions of the Mediterranean and the Caucasus.
Due to the healing properties and delicate taste, capers are used in folk medicine, cosmetologists and the food industry. A decoction based on color heals wounds, strengthens the heart muscle, quenches painful sensations, and stimulates appetite.
World caper suppliers - Iran, Morocco, Turkey.
Food lovers claim that smaller buds have a much richer taste than larger ones.
Caper is a low-calorie diet product. There are 14 calories per 100 grams of fresh buds, 23 calories canned. Due to their low energy value, they can be consumed by obese people.
The leaves of the capers are whole, elliptical, petiolate, waxed, light green in color. Perennial shrub blooms from May to October. The buds open in the morning and close by noon. Flowers are solitary, on long stems of a lilac shade. Fruits are fleshy, green, oval in shape, and contain brown kidney-shaped seeds.
How do buds turn into delicacy?
Processing of caper flowers is a laborious and lengthy process. Collecting buds is a ritual. The procession begins early in the morning. Capers are torn from the bush by hand, sifted, selected the best specimens, then dried under the open sun. After that, they are pickled in alcohol, olive oil or wine vinegar. Turning inedible buds into a gourmet meal takes 3 months.
Kidney collection occurs in May-June, fruits - July-August, roots - September-October.
Capers do not require special care and financial costs, while the best varieties give the same income as grapes. One mature plant "brings" 3 kilograms of buds per season. The greatest value is provided by small dense ovaries, not more than 1 centimeter in length. Fresh caper berries resemble the taste of watermelon, juicy and sweet, pickled - sour, tart, spicy, slightly bitter.
In cooking, they are used to add notes of piquancy to first courses (soups, hodgepodge, borsch), salads, sauces, meat and fish, desserts.
Useful and harmful properties
Capers have hepatoprotective, hepatostimulating, laxative, diuretic, astringent, antiseptic and analgesic effects.
The product exhibits the following properties:
- positively affects the work of the cardiovascular system;
- normalizes cholesterol;
- improves brain function;
- calms the nervous system;
- strengthens the immune system;
- maintains the water-salt balance is normal;
- improves the absorption of nutrients;
- prevents the development of iron deficiency anemia;
- cleanses the intestines from decay products;
- relieves of neurosis and hysteria.
Caperberry buds are used to treat paralysis, rheumatism, allergies, diathesis. A decoction of the bark of the bush is used for toothache, colds, diseases of the spleen. Juice from flowers has a healing effect. A decoction of the leaves is indicated for jaundice, neurosis, brucellosis, scabies, hypertension. The fruits of caper are used as a natural anti-inflammatory agent for diseases of the thyroid gland, teeth, gums and flatulence. If a headache occurs, it is recommended to chew the seeds of the plant, they will relieve unpleasant sensations.
Infusion of a caper bark
To prepare a healing potion, pour 15 milliliters of boiling water over 15 grams of dry crushed bark, cover the container with a towel, leave for 2 hours, then strain the infusion. Method of use: 100 milliliters before a meal three times a day.
Decoction of caper roots
Combine 15 grams of dry plant roots with 200 milliliters of water. Put the resulting mixture in a water bath, heat for 15 minutes. Cover and insist half an hour. Strain. Take 15 milliliters in the morning, at lunch, in the evening.
Decoction of caper leaves
Chopped leaves of the plant (5 grams) pour purified water (200 milliliters), boil for 6 minutes, then leave for 2 hours. After the specified time, the resulting broth is filtered. Drink 30 milliliters before meals 3 times a day.
In large quantities, caper buds cause bloating, nausea. A direct contraindication to the use of plant flowers is an individual intolerance to the product. Prickly bush buds are not recommended for people with increased sexual excitability, suffering from constipation or hypotension, since they exacerbate the course of these diseases
Capers are rich in organic acids, fiber and nutrients.
The seeds of the buds contain 35% fatty oil, the stem contains mustard oil, and the flowers contain 25% protein, vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, iodine, magnesium and 3% triglycerides.
Any heat treatment kills all the nutrients in the product.
Capers are used in canned form. They are used as a flavoring addition to fish, salads, meat, fish. In addition, the buds are added to cold, hot appetizers, marinades, pizza, pasta, sauces. Canned capers are used to give an acute taste to olive oil. The crushed and crushed flowers of the plant are added instead of spices and seasonings at the end of cooking.
|Components||Content per 100 grams of product|
|Calorie content||23 calories|
|Mono- and disaccharides||0.41 grams|
|Alimentary fiber||3.2 grams|
|Saturated fatty acids (myristic, palmitic, stearic)||0.233 grams|
|Monounsaturated fatty acids (gadoleic, oleic, palmitoleic)||0.063 grams|
|Polyunsaturated fatty acids (arachidonic, docosapentaenoic, linoleic, linolenic)||0.304 grams|
|Name||Nutrient content in 100 grams of product, milligrams|
|Ascorbic acid (C)||4,3|
|Pantothenic Acid (B5)||0,027|
|Beta Carotene (A)||0,083|
|Folic Acid (B9)||0,023|
Interestingly, capers contain 12 times more ascorbic acid (vitamin C) than raspberries. Plant buds are an excellent aphrodisiac that stimulates sex drive. In addition to nutrients, capers include essential oils, enzymes, pectin, which normalize metabolic processes in the body.
For food, flower buds, young shoots and caper fruit are used. Fresh buds have a bitter, unpleasant taste, which softens after prolonged heat treatment. Pickled and salted capers acquire characteristic sharp, sour, tart notes that go well with meat and fish dishes. The oil of the seeds of the prickly shrub has a bright smell, a viscous consistency and is used for dressing salads. Capers enhance the aroma and taste of food.
In cooking, plant buds are rarely used as a whole. As a rule, they are crushed, triturated with salt, herbs for even distribution throughout the dish. Capers are added at the end of cooking. So they retain their taste and aroma as much as possible.
Pickled buds are removed from the marinade immediately before use, then soaked or washed extensively under cold water to remove excess salt.
Canned capers are in harmony with anchovies, fish, meat, cheeses, pasta, seafood, olives, tomatoes, dill, onions, eggs, butter, vegetable oil, sweet pepper, celery, tarragon, pickles. It is an ideal ingredient for creating cold and hot appetizers, dressings, sauces. Sometimes it is added to cocktails, pastries.
How can capers be replaced?
Seeds and buds of nasturtium have a similar taste.
The principle of preparation of "economy" delicacy:
- Rinse, dry unopened buds and immature seeds of nasturtium.
- Add salt.
- Close the container with a lid, place in a dark place for 24 hours.
- Arrange the seeds and buds in jars.
- Prepare the marinade: 50 grams of granulated sugar will be needed per liter of boiled water, 6 milliliters of table vinegar, 15 milliliters of salt, 10 grams of salt, bay leaf, allspice and black pepper.
- Pour nasturtium with marinade. Close the jars, clean for 14 days. After 2 weeks you will receive a ready-made piquant seasoning for the first and second courses.
The classic recipe for pickling capers:
- Mix olive oil with thyme, rosemary, oregano and heat in a water bath.
- Drain the marinade from the capers.
- Rinse and drain the buds, add them to the fragrance-oil mixture.
- Leave the capers to marinate for 2 to 3 days. After 48 hours, they will get rid of the characteristic factory shade, acquire a piquant traditional taste, aroma.
Interestingly, capers are one of the ingredients in the classic Olivier salad, which over time has been replaced by pickles.
- The greatest nutritional value are small buds of capers, with a diameter of up to 6 millimeters.
- The best way to store the color of the plant is marinade, the bottom is second place - pickling.
- Keep moderation in the use of capers, they can cause bloating and vomiting.
- To preserve vitamins, macro- and microelements, as well as essential oils, add fruits immediately before the end of cooking.
- To stimulate your appetite, eat 2 capers before a meal.
- If you add fruit during the cooking process, do not salt the food.
- Before buying canned food, read the composition, capers should come first, then spices. If the label says that the product contains nasturtium, it is better to refuse to buy such a product. It's a fake copy. Under the guise of an expensive delicacy, they are trying to sell you a cheap version of capers "for the poor."
- Store the buds in the marinade, rinse before use. The shelf life of an open can with capers is 2 months. Do not use a stale product, as it can cause indigestion, upset stomach, intoxication, and flatulence.
Capers are natural antioxidants that support the body's youth. This is a storehouse of useful compounds: they contain fatty acids, glycosides, enzymes, pectin, quercetin, kapparidin, dietary fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, essential oils, saponins. The plant buds contain vitamins A, B, C, E. K and minerals - potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, manganese, selenium, iodine, zinc, copper.
Caper juice accelerates wound healing, infusion and decoction of branches, young leaves of the plant improves the condition of patients with diabetes mellitus. Bark from fresh roots helps with toothache, the presence of inflammation in the oral cavity. In addition, capers lower blood pressure, relieve symptoms of neurosis, and normalize cardiovascular activity.
The shoots, fruits, buds of the plant are added to food to enhance the aroma and taste of meat, fish dishes, sauces, marinades, dressings, and hodgepodge. They add pungency and acidity to the food.