Herring, and more respectfully, herring is a very tasty and healthy fish that is caught in the northern regions of two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic. Without it, it is difficult to imagine a traditional feast, and dishes from this fish are simply excellent. But what do we know about the benefits of herring and what unexpected harm does it hide?
We tell everything about herring in a new article!
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Herring is a very oily fish, so it may seem that it should not be eaten by those who are on a diet. Well, what kind of nonsense? In fact, herring contains such an amount of protein and other nutrients that it is simply irreplaceable in proper nutrition.
Let’s take a closer look at the composition of herring and its calorie content.
100 g of herring contains 240 kcal.
The nutritional value, of course, depends on the type of fish, the method of its preparation, but here are the average figures for 100 g of herring:
- 19.5 g fat;
- 17.7 g proteins;
- 4.2 g fatty saturated acids;
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, as well as E, D and PP;
- Minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, iron
Here you see? The composition of herring says so: “I’m healthy, eat me!”
Of course, herring, like any other product, is useful in reasonable quantities. But a small piece of herring with mashed potatoes or rice is just lovely.
Health benefits of herring
Now that we know how many calories are in herring and what nutrients are in her meat, let’s study how it is useful. The Swedes believe that if you eat a little herring every day, your health will be really strong. And they are somewhat right.
Herring contains omega‑3 fatty acids, so it is indispensable in the fight and prevention of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. The substances contained in herring help to form “good cholesterol” in the blood — these are high-density lipoproteins that do an excellent job of preventing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
Omega‑3 is an indispensable assistant in studies. Fatty acids improve memory and help the brain cope better with stress. Therefore, if you have constant stress and you cannot cope with it, or if you have a responsible job that requires active long-term mental effort, be sure to include herring in your diet. And one more plus: due to the high content of Omega‑3, herring improves vision.
Herring fat helps to reduce the volume of fat cells in the body. This means that fish helps reduce the risk of developing complex and dangerous diseases, in particular type 2 diabetes.
Antioxidants contained in herring contribute not only to weight loss, but also help maintain youthful skin and hair.
Herring is rich in vitamin D, so eating it daily will help strengthen bones, and where strong bones are, there are strong nails, hair and teeth. Also, unexpected? This vitamin helps improve kidney function. And vitamin D brings the most benefit to children, since it is an ideal means of preventing such a dangerous disease as rickets.
Those who are actively involved in sports and physical education cannot do without herring either: it is the richest source of protein — 200 g of herring will cover the daily protein intake of an adult. Here is such a useful herring!
Why doctors recommend eating herring in winter
Dutch scientists recommend eating as much herring as possible during the winter. They are sure that this simple fish contains substances that help a person stay alert and healthy, despite low temperatures, lack of sunlight and vitamins.
All of the above applies to almost all types of herring, the main thing is that the fish is not thermally processed. A rich source of vigor, strength and health are pickled, salted and cold smoked herring.
It turned out that in Dutch families in which herring is present on the table every day, children are distinguished by good health, and there are practically no cases of “chronic fatigue syndrome” in adults.
Then the researchers paid close attention to the herring. It turns out that a few pieces of herring are able to provide the body with a daily amount of Omega‑3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, which is responsible for the normal functioning of sex hormones, the prevention of atherosclerosis and the elimination of free radicals.
In addition, herring proteins are absorbed by the body much better than meat ones. Regular consumption of lightly salted herring improves the functioning of the pancreas, gallbladder and liver.
Nutritionists make an exception only for people with chronic kidney disease and hypertension — a daily herring diet is contraindicated for them.
Harm of herring: who should not have it
Not everything is so rosy. Herring is a specific fish, and you should treat it very carefully, do not abuse it, of course. There are those for whom herring is contraindicated:
- people with chronic kidney disease;
- people suffering from edema.
It’s all about the salt. Herring contains a large amount of salt, therefore it is able to retain fluid in the body for a long time, increase the load on the heart. It doesn’t end well in some cases. As they say, use responsibly!
Herring while breastfeeding
Every nursing mother knows that you need to be very careful with food, because everything that she eats, the baby also receives with breast milk. Therefore, many doubt whether it is possible to eat herring while breastfeeding. Indeed, for a nursing mother there is a strict ban on the use of everything pickled and especially exotic. Is herring included in this list?
Yes, breastfeeding herring is on the list of foods to eat with caution and avoid if possible. The fact is that it can cause severe allergies: fish protein is the strongest allergen, almost the same as honey. If you did not have an allergy to herring and the baby’s father does not have it either, then with a high degree of probability your child can also eat this fish. But doctors still advise to refrain from eating herring while breastfeeding.
So, is it possible, for example, salad “Herring under a fur coat” while breastfeeding? It is worth considering another dangerous moment. In the first months of a child’s life, his gastrointestinal tract is only maturing and can react very aggressively to herring. Herring is a heavy product, so diathesis may develop.
Still salted herring during breastfeeding can cause a change in the taste of milk. The baby may refuse to breastfeed.
Herring during pregnancy
Is it possible to eat herring during pregnancy? Why do you want herring during pregnancy? And how much of this very herring can a future mother eat? These questions concern so many pregnant women.
I want herring during pregnancy for several quite common reasons:
- The level of progesterone in the female body increases. This hormone is able to lower blood pressure, and salty foods increase it. Consequently, the body of a pregnant woman begins to demand “salty”.
- And during pregnancy there is a lack of calcium. If the mother does not drink additional vitamins, the baby begins to take calcium from her body, and the body itself requires foods that contain the most of this mineral; herring is one such product.
But is it possible for pregnant women to have herring? In the second half of pregnancy — not recommended. Salted herring retains fluid in the body, which can cause additional swelling. In the last stages of pregnancy, you can’t eat herring!
But in the first months of pregnancy, you can treat yourself to a fish. If during pregnancy you want herring, choose a whole fish, not pre-packed sliced. Herring should be beautiful, fresh, from a trusted supplier.
In general, during pregnancy, it is worth eating boiled or fried herring, but not salted. If you want salted herring, you should limit yourself to a couple of slices a week.
Can children have herring?
At what age can you give herring to a child? It would seem that this fish is useful, it has a lot of vitamins. So is it possible to give herring to children?
If your child has an allergy or has a tendency to it, herring should never be given. It is a highly allergenic product and can cause diathesis or bring other unpleasant consequences.
Not all children can pickle herring because of its salinity. Fish can disrupt the functioning of the kidneys, stomach, intestines … In a nutshell: excess salt can cause serious problems in the functioning of organs and systems. In addition, if you decide to give your baby a piece of fish, it must be perfectly fresh.
Of course, observing all the precautions, you can give herring to a child. But what?
- Herring baked, fried or cooked on fire can be introduced into the diet of a child from 2 years old in a small portion without stones.
- Salted herring is given to a child after 3 years.
- Whole salted herring is better suited for baby food.
- The optimal first serving of herring is half a teaspoon. Follow the reaction! In case of allergies, take immediate action or call your doctor.
- Herring can be given to a child before dinner, as it improves appetite. It is not for nothing that mincemeat is prepared from it — an appetizer that is used as a “warm-up” before the main set of dishes.
How to choose a herring
So, how to choose a good herring for the family table? To begin with, let’s agree that we all know that not all herring is equally tasty and healthy. Do not buy already chopped herring in plastic containers. Such a herring can harm:
- Due to improper salting or salting with chemicals that dissolve fish bones.
- Due to the fact that it has simply deteriorated at the salting stage, and spices (of which, as a rule, there are a lot in such fish) hide the smell of decay.
It is best to buy fresh herring and salt it yourself.
But how to choose the best herring? There are three important rules:
- The gills of the fish should be elastic, dark red and smell like fish, not rotten.
- The eyes of a fat and fresh herring are bright and clean, red. Herring, inside which there is caviar, will be with cloudy eyes.
- In a good herring, the body will be elastic and shiny, without plaque, cracks, cuts or any other damage. Do not buy herring with “rust” on the body — this is a sign that the fish is stored incorrectly.
Try to buy herring in outlets that provide good storage conditions and are kept clean. You should not use herring bought somewhere in the underpass or at the station.
How to store herring
Properly store herring in your own brine or marinade. Only in this way will it retain its taste and aroma. In the marinade, fish can be stored for about 5 days, but without it, much less. It is reasonable not to store the herring in brine if you immediately use the whole fish for cooking.
To keep herring for a long time, clean it, cut into pieces, put in a freezer container and place in the freezer. So the fish will live without loss of taste for up to 6 months.
In no case should herring be stored in plastic containers, since such containers are easily oxidized under the influence of depressurization and brine or oil, which is filled with fish. Transfer the fish to a glass or porcelain dish. Now, if the fish was originally sold in glass, you can not mess around.
How to pickle herring at home
So, how is it right, and most importantly, tasty to pickle herring at home? We will share with you the secrets of making the most delicious homemade herring.
What you need to know for the perfect salting of herring
- Use chilled (not frozen!) Pacific or Atlantic herring.
- Choose your fish carefully, do not buy carcasses without a head or with damaged fins. If possible, immediately, on the spot, cut the fish and check if everything is in order with it.
- If you want to pickle frozen herring, you need to defrost it in the refrigerator in a ceramic dish. The defrosting process should not be accelerated: this will only make the fish lose its taste.
- Use regular (not iodized) coarse salt. It is optimal for the correct salting of fish.
How to pickle herring with spices
This recipe is suitable for beginners: it is simple, does not require special skills, and the fish turns out to be very tasty.
- 2 whole herrings;
- 1 liter of clean water;
- 1 Art. l. Sahara;
- 2 Art. l. salt;
- 4 bay leaves;
- black peppercorns, allspice, clove buds
Gut the herring, wash and dry.
Bring water to a boil, dissolve salt and sugar in it, add spices to taste and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan with the marinade from the heat and let it cool under the lid.
In an enamel bowl with a lid, pour the herring with brine so that it completely covers the fish. If there is not enough brine, press down on the fish with oppression so that each piece is immersed in liquid.
Keep the herring in brine at room temperature for 3 hours, then move the dish with the herring to the refrigerator and marinate under the lid for at least 2 days.
How to pickle herring at home without brine
Without brine, herring can also be salted, it’s even easier.
- 1 whole herring;
- 1 st. l. coarse salt;
- 1 h. l. Sahara;
- 0.5 tsp ground black pepper
Clean the fish, gut, rinse and dry.
Mix salt, pepper and sugar in a convenient container and rub the prepared fish evenly.
Prepare a sheet of cling film and tightly wrap the grated fish in it. Put the fish in a film in a plastic bag, put it in a convenient dish and keep it in the refrigerator for at least 2 days.
How to eat herring milk
Is it possible to eat herring milk? Yes. They are as useful as herring meat. But because of the specific taste, not everyone likes them. If you like milk and herring caviar, there are no contraindications and you are over 3 years old, eat healthy. But the main rule here is to watch what you eat.
Check milk and caviar before use for the presence of living creatures and parasites. They usually live very well in these parts of the fish, and start if the herring was not stored correctly.
Useful properties of herring milk:
- strengthening the cardiovascular system;
- thickening of the vascular walls;
- lowering “bad” cholesterol in the blood;
- strengthening bones, teeth, nails, hair;
- replenishment of vitamin deficiency;
- improvement of vision, memory, attention;
- improvement of the thyroid gland;
- calm during stress;
- recovery after illness;
- normalization of blood sugar levels;
- improving the potency and quality of sperm in men;
- strengthening immunity;
- relief of discomfort and pain during menstruation;
- improvement during menopause;
- skin regeneration;
- brain stimulation.
Who should not eat milk
In no case should herring milk be eaten by those who are diagnosed with obesity, overweight. Herring milk is a high-calorie product, so those who are on a diet should be careful with it.
Salted herring milk has a high salt content, so in no case should they be eaten by those suffering from gout, as well as those prone to edema.
Milk should not be given to children under 3 years of age and people with allergies.
You can’t eat herring milk for those who have gastritis, liver and kidney diseases, as well as hypertension, atherosclerosis.
What to cook from herring?
Fresh herring is great for steaming, baking in parchment or grilling. Herring is also smoked, salted, pickled. No matter how you cook this fish, you should not add a lot of fat to it: herring does not like this. Smoked herring is great in salads and appetizers. Marinated and salted fish are used to prepare complex dishes, in particular salads, and are also served as an independent snack.
Traditionally, potatoes are served with herring, but dishes from any root crops, leeks, green apples are also suitable. The taste of herring is well emphasized by dill, parsley, gherkins and pickles, onions, lemon, juniper berries, bay leaf. As an addition to herring, bittersweet sauces harmonize well.
Brandade from herring
Cooking time: 1 h 30 min.
For 4 servings:
- 800 g potatoes
- 500 g smoked herring fillet
- 250 ml milk
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 lemon
- salt pepper
Heat the oven up to 180ºС. Put the unpeeled garlic in a heat-resistant form and bake for 30 minutes. Cool the roasted garlic and peel.
Peel potatoes, wash and boil in salted water for approx. 45 min.
Peel the lemon to the pulp and finely chop.
Cut the herring fillet into pieces and cook in milk over low heat for 10 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaf. Throw the finished herring into a colander and transfer to another bowl. Collect milk.
Grind the boiled potatoes in mashed potatoes, adding milk from under the herring. Add boiled herring, baked garlic and lemon, pour in oil and beat the mass well with a whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the finished brandade on a plate. Serve with toasted white bread and a green salad.
Marinated herring with rice vermicelli
Cooking time: 1 hour
For 4 servings:
- 8 fresh herring fillets
- 6 art. l. vegetable oil
- 6 art. l. medium hot soy sauce
- 1 st. l. dry white wine
- 1 h. l. Sahara
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 onions
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 150 g rice vermicelli
- fat for frying
- salt pepper
Cut each fillet into 3 pieces. Dissolve sugar in wine. In a deep bowl, sprinkle the fish with lemon juice, pour soy sauce, wine with sugar and half the vegetable oil. Marinate herring at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Peel the onion, chop finely and fry in a small amount of fat until it becomes golden and crispy. Transfer the onion to another bowl.
Wash cilantro, dry and chop coarsely. Cook rice vermicelli in boiling water for 30 seconds, drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
Remove the herring from the marinade, lightly dry and fry in the remaining vegetable oil on all sides until golden brown (approx. 3 minutes).
Pour the marinade into the hot skillet, bring to a boil and remove from heat.
Mix vermicelli with cilantro and arrange on portioned plates. Put the pieces of fish on the vermicelli, pour over the hot marinade and sprinkle with crispy onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Herring marinated in oil
- 500 g fresh herring
- 2 onions
- 2 carrots
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 15 black peppercorns
- 5 cloves
- sunflower oil
Gut the herring, wash and dry. Put the prepared herring in a deep bowl with a lid.
Wash thyme and pat dry. Peel the onion and cut into thin rings. Peel the carrots, wash, dry and cut into thin circles. Put the prepared vegetables and thyme to the herring. Add all the spices and pour the fish with vegetables with sunflower oil so that it covers all the products by 1 cm.
Cover the dish with a lid and marinate the fish in a cool place (for example, in the refrigerator) for 1 week.
Marinated salted herring
- 1 salted herring
- 1 bulb
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2–3 bay leaves
- 1–2 garlic cloves, peeled
- a few peas of black and allspice
- vegetable oil
Peel the herring, remove the head and spine, cut the fillet into 4 parts. Peel the onion and cut into thin half rings. Coarsely chop the pepper. Rinse and dry rosemary.
Put the fish in a deep dish and sprinkle with onions. Add rosemary, bay leaf, pepper. Pour in enough oil to completely cover the fish, and place the dish with the fish in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Do you like to eat herring and herring milk? The answer is in the comment.