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Tarragon, dried (raw?, organic?)

Dried tarragon is an aromatic kitchen spice. It contains a lot of potassium and aids digestion. Raw? Organic?
Macronutrient carbohydrates 62.6%
Macronutrient proteins 28.38%
Macronutrient fats 9.02%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.7g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 3g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 1:4

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 0.74 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 2.96 g = 0.25:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 0.74 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 2.96 g = 0.25:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Tarragon ( Artemisia dracunculus ) is mainly used in dried form as a spice. After conventional drying, it is often no longer raw , but it is available in organic quality.

Use in the kitchen

Two varieties of the widely used herb tarragon are particularly well-known: French tarragon (also known as real tarragon or German tarragon; Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa ) and Russian tarragon ( Artemisia dracunculus var. inodora ). They can be distinguished both by taste and appearance. While French tarragon has a spicy, strong, delicate taste that is reminiscent of anise and a little of basil , Russian tarragon tastes slightly bitter and tart, but lacks the anise-like note. Visually, the varieties differ in size and leaves: the Russian variety grows taller and has larger, greener leaves than the French variant. 1,2

Tarragon can be used fresh, dried and frozen. This article focuses on the use of the dried herb. You can find out more about fresh tarragon in the related article.

In France, tarragon is a highly valued herb. It is used to refine mustard and sauces such as bearnaise and hollandaise. Along with parsley , chives and chervil , tarragon is part of the classic French herb mixture "Fines Herbes". 2 It is also good for flavouringherb vinegar and seasoning pickled cucumbers or carrots . Vegan gravies, cream soups (e.g. with mushrooms) and omelettes also benefit from the spicy taste. There are also many tarragon recipes for dishes with vegetables (e.g. vegetable stew with cauliflower , yellow bell peppers , tomatoes and sugar snap peas ), pasta (e.g. made into pesto), potatoes and rice . A particularly recommended, healthy and vegan recipe with tarragon is stuffed onions with hazelnuts and broccoli .

Dried tarragon can be used to create tasty dressings and spice up all kinds of salads, such as cucumber salad, spinach salad with asparagus and radishes , rocket salad or lentil salad. The dried, aromatic kitchen spice also tastes excellent in dips for raw vegetable sticks.

Tarragon, which tastes like anise, also adds that special something to desserts such as fruit salads, sorbets or creams. In Slovenia it is an ingredient in the traditional pastry called potica (rolled yeast dough pastry). Tarragon is used in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Estonia and the Ukraine to flavour a sweet, non-alcoholic soft drink. In Georgia it is called tarchuna or tarkhuna. 1

Dried tarragon is not easy to replace because of its unique flavor. However, the best dried herbs to replace it are rosemary (along with a few fennel seeds ), chervil (with a littlepepper ), oregano or parsley .

Since too much of the herb suppresses other flavors, tarragon spice should be used sparingly.

Is dried tarragon raw? Depending on the drying and processing method, dried herbs can be of raw food quality. The maximum temperature during drying should not exceed 42 °C. If nothing is stated for conventionally dried herbs, it is likely that they are not raw products. If you grow tarragon, you can dry it yourself after harvesting, making sure it is of raw food quality.

Drying tarragon yourself

Tarragon should not be dried upside down in bunches like other herbs, as the aroma will then migrate to the stems that are not used after drying. So you only dry the leaves - either in the air or in the oven. 3

In the air: To do this, spread the plucked leaves on a surface lined with a tea towel in an airy, dry place without direct sunlight. High humidity should be avoided due to the risk of mold formation. 3

In the oven: Place the leaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place it in an oven preheated to 30-40 °C (raw food quality). The oven door should be left slightly open, e.g. by using a wooden spoon wedged between them. 3

The drying process should be completed after one or two days in the air, or after a few hours in the oven. Before filling dried tarragon leaves into screw-top jars, they should be allowed to cool down well. Dried tarragon will keep for a long time if kept in a dark, airtight container.

Vegan recipe for tarragon mustard

Ingredients (for 1 jar; approx. 300 g): 100 g yellow mustard seeds , 50 ml apple cider vinegar , 50 ml white wine (dry), 20 ml agave syrup , 2 tsp dried tarragon (preferably raw and organic), 1 tsp salt , ½ tsp turmeric .

Preparation: Place the mustard seeds in a bowl and cover with water. Cover and soak in the fridge for two days. Drain the mustard seeds, let them drain and then mix with apple cider vinegar, white wine, agave syrup, tarragon, salt and turmeric using a food processor or hand blender. Add more salt if necessary. Pour into a sterilized screw-top jar and leave to mature in the fridge for at least one day. If sealed airtight, the vegan tarragon mustard will last for one to two months.

Tea preparation

ingredients (for 1 cup): 1 heaped teaspoon dried tarragon (preferably raw and organic), 250 ml water .

Preparation: Bring water to a boil. Pour boiling water over dried tarragon, cover and let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the tarragon tea and enjoy.

Vegan recipes with tarragon (dried) can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Most supermarkets (e.g. Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , Billa ) offer dried tarragon all year round. You can find it cut, shredded or ground in spice jars or small bags. You can also buy dried tarragon in organic quality at organic supermarkets (e.g. Denn's Biomarkt , Alnatura ).

The availability of tarragon (dried) varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. You can find our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries above under the ingredient image - and by clicking you can see their development at various suppliers.

Storage tips

Dried tarragon can be stored for several years if protected from light, dry and hermetically sealed.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Here we realistically show you the ingredients of spices and herbs per 1 g (instead of per 100 g as usual).

1 g of dried tarragon has a calorie content of 2.95 kcal. The carbohydrate content is 0.5 g/1g. The dried plant contains 0.23 g/1g of protein and hardly any fat. 4

0.08 mg of manganese are contained in 1 g of the dried herb. Dried thyme (0.08 mg/1g) and dried coriander leaves (0.6 mg/1g) have a similar content. Dried parsley and dried basil contain slightly more manganese at 0.1 mg/1g. 4

The iron content in 1 g of dried tarragon is 0.32 mg/1g. This is similar to that of dried rosemary (0.29 mg/1g) and dried oregano (0.37 mg/1g). Dried thyme contains even more iron (1.2 mg/1g). 4

Dried tarragon contains a lot of vitamin B 6 (pyridoxine) with 0.02 mg/1g. Slightly less can be found in dried rosemary (0.017 mg/1g) and slightly more in dried wild garlic (0.028 mg/1g). Brewer's yeast contains an even higher content with 0.044 mg/1g. 4

Also potassium (30.2 mg/1g), calcium (11.39 mg/1g) and folate (2.74 µg/1g) are abundant in dried tarragon. 4

The complete ingredients of tarragon (dried), the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

Tarragon ( Artemisia dracunculus ) contains biologically active secondary plant substances such as essential oils, alkamides, coumarins, flavonoids and phenolic acids, which have pharmacological properties. These include antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Antidiabetic and thyroid-regulating properties have also been demonstrated. In addition, studies have shown that tarragon has antioxidant, immunomodulatory and antineoplastic effects (effective against malignant tumors) and protects the liver and stomach. It can also be used to prevent and treat epileptic seizures and depression. 1,5,6,7,8

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Two main components of tarragon essential oil, estragole and methyleugenol, have been shown to be toxic in some rodent studies. Other studies on mice have not confirmed this toxicity. It has also been found that the estragole content in the essential oil of the French and Russian varieties differs, with Russian tarragon containing less estragole than French tarragon. Compared to ethanolic extracts, water extracts (of both varieties) contain very small amounts of estragole and methyleugenol, which is why they are considered safer. 1,8,9

The toxicity risk for humans is considered to be low, as the amount of dried tarragon consumed (mainly as a spice or tea) is usually less than 10 g/day, which corresponds to safe amounts of estragole and methyl eugenol. 1 However, you should pay attention to the recommended dose and duration of use and not exceed these values.

During pregnancy, you should avoid using tarragon and its extracts. 10,11

Folk medicine - natural medicine

Tarragon is used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, but often to improve a poorly functioning digestive system (digestive) and to relieve digestive problems. 1,11 In traditional Asian medicine it is used as an analgesic, hypnotic (sleeping aid), antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic, and to treat worm infections. 5 Tarragon is used for toothache and rheumatism. Due to its menstruation-stimulating effect, it is used when periods are absent. 10,11

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

The CO2 footprint of a food depends on various factors. The type of agricultural production (conventional vs. organic), average or seasonal or regional production, domestic production or import by truck, ship or plane, different types of packaging and whether the goods are fresh or frozen all play a decisive role.

If you only need small amounts of herbs occasionally, it is best to use dried herbs - these have a long shelf life and therefore lead to less waste. It is more environmentally friendly to buy large refill packs instead of buying a new spice jar or tin every time. 12 Also look for organic products that have not been transported over very long distances.

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

The area of origin of tarragon is Siberia and Mongolia. It is widespread in western North America, Eastern and Central Europe and most of temperate Asia. Tarragon is cultivated worldwide, but mainly in southern Europe, Russia and the United States. 1,5,10

Industrial production

Demand for tarragon is constant throughout the year, but fresh leaves have a very limited shelf life. Drying is the most commonly used method for preserving food, including tarragon. This not only extends the shelf life, but also reduces the weight of the product, which results in less storage space required and lower packaging and transport costs. 13,14

The most traditional method of drying herbs is drying them in the shade or in direct sunlight. Industrially, herbs are usually dried using hot air in ovens or on belts. In recent years, microwave and freeze drying have become established as alternative preservation methods due to their advantages (shorter drying time, cost-effectiveness). 14

A 2022 study analyzed the influence of different preservation methods on phytochemical, optical and taste properties of French tarragon. Of the preservation methods studied, freezing and shade drying were best at preserving the essential oil content in tarragon leaves, while freeze-drying and oven drying at 60 °C caused the greatest loss. Freezing, drying at 40 °C and freeze-drying were able to preserve most of the green color of the tarragon leaves, while the greatest color change was observed when drying in the oven at 60 °C and in the microwave at 250 W. Each of the methods studied also resulted in completely different taste experiences. 14

Further information

Tarragon ( Artemisia dracunculus ) is a plant species from the daisy family (Asteraceae). It is closely related to wormwood and mugwort (Artemisia family).

According to Pliny the Elder (1st century AD), the plant was given the species name A. dracunculus because of its snake-shaped rhizomes. Dracunculus is a diminutive of the Latin word "draco" (dragon) and means little dragon. Tarragon was supposed to protect against snake bites when worn on the body or consumed as a drink. The name A. dracunculus could also be a distorted version of the Arabic name for tarragon (tarragon), namely tharchum, from which the synonyms tarchon, tarcon and torchun are derived. 5

Alternative names

The following alternative names are known: Biertram, Bertram, Drachant, Dragon, Dragun, Dragackel, Dragunten, Eierkraut, Escadronkraut, Fieferkrott, Kaisersalat, Traben and Zittwerkraut.

In English, dried tarragon is called dried tarragon.

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