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Stellaria average,properties and uses in the kitchen. How to recognize it and all the information on thestellar: nutritional properties and natural remedies.
Often called Common Centocchio, the Stellaria average it is a very common herb: it grows spontaneously throughout Italy and is harvested in the winter season for its multiple uses. The centocchio, in the kitchen, it is very popular both cooked and in salads.
Stellaria media, how to recognize it
Recognizing stellaria is easy but since it is an edible plant, better be careful not to get confused! The stellaria has semi-prostrate stems: only the terminal part of the stem is erect, which is why theaverage stellarforms light green lawns that are enriched with small white flowers during flowering (this is why it is called white centocchio).
The flowers appear at the top of the stems, are very small and consist of 5 pestals and 10 tips (each petal has two tips). Another feature of the plant is the elasticity of the internal plant fibers: if you try to tear away a stem by pulling it slowly with your hands, you will notice that the external part of the stem breaks while the internal one remains attached to the plant and stretches.
We give you these details because theaverage stellarcan be confused, by the inexperienced eye, with themordigallina, botanically known asAnagallis arvensis. Mordigallina is considered by many experts to be a toxic plant. The flowers of the two plants are very different from each other (that of the mordigallina have 5 petals and 5 points), moreover the underside of the leaves of the Anagallis arvensis generally presents some specks or purple dots.
Stellaria media or Centocchio in the kitchen
The most common use of theaverage stellarinvolves the use of florets to prepare salads. Just collect the florets, wash them and dress them and then enjoy a fresh salad. Raw stellaria tastes ratherwildso you can mix it with other vegetables such as rocket, chicory or dandelion.
Stellaria can also be eaten cooked. Thecentocchioit is very delicate, which is why it must be cooked in a very short time: just blanch it for 2 - 4 minutes. Young florets that have grown in the shade are much more tender than flowering tops, so increase cooking times to 5 - 7 minutes if you have chosen older buds.
The use in the kitchen is not limited to the green parts of the plant. A very rare flour is obtained from the seeds. Collecting stellaria seeds is not easy, so finding producers of this flour is quite rare. The seeds should be collected when the plants are dry: just shake your forehead to see the seeds come out of the capsules. For the production of flour, the seeds must be ground with a simple coffee grinder, the common stellaria flour is perfect to use as a thickener in soups, soups and velvets.
Common stellaria, nutritional properties
Therecommon stellarit is very useful in winter, when fresh vegetables are scarce. In order not to buy out of season products, it is possible to collect wild stellaria (better defined as spontaneous). Stellaria is an excellent source of micronutrients, providing good levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin D and the much desired (especially by vegans) Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. Therestellarit provides rutin, biotin, choline, inositol and beta carotener. Among the mineral salts, stellaria is rich in magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, copper and silicon.
Stellaria, beneficial properties
Therestellarit is popular for its manifoldvirtue: it is considered a refreshing, disinfecting and decongestant food. It is recommended as natural remedy for constipation and a sluggish intestine. It is an ancientgrandmother's remedyin case of arthritis or alimentary anemia. It has diuretic properties, which is why it is an excellent natural remedy in case of water retention. Useful for detoxifying and purifying kidneys and liver.
Among the grandmother's ancient remedies for skin disorders, stellaria was reduced to mush and used fresh as a poultice.