Topic: Home Environment
Find your Spot for Fresh Herbs
I encourage everyone, wherever you live, to find a spot to grow something fresh for your family.
The easiest things to grow in a pot are fresh annual herbs. I keep my perennial herbs—like thyme, sage, oregano, assorted mints, etc. growing in beds in the garden. But annual herbs are often more fragile, so I have taken to growing these in pots, kept near the house, where watering is convenient and they can quickly be moved if weather is particularly harsh, like some of our intense thunderstorms can be.
Using fresh herbs during the growing season is one of the classic culinary joys of Summer cooking. Plus- snipping them (and using immediately) assures that their health benefits are “alive and well.”
Some reported health benefits of fresh herbs include:
Rosemary and Mint Family: increased cognitive performance
Thyme and Sage: antioxidants, “anti-aging”, memory enhancers, anti-anxiety
Basil: liver detoxifier
Parsley: anti-cancer properties, vitamins A,C, and K
Peppermint: anti-inflammatory properties useful for Irritable bowel syndrome
Cilantro: high fiber and heavy metal de-toxifier
This is a short list—there are many resources available to consult regarding medicinal herbs and plants. However, even if they had no additional health benefits, fresh herbs contribute to increased savoriness of foods and culinary art and for “foodies” that makes fresh herbs essential!
Because annual herbs germinate and grow quickly, you'll have these herbs ready to snip daily in a few short weeks. You may even want to try some of the more exotic herbs, like the pots of Thai Basil seen in my picture above. Wait until that herb is combined with chicken in an Asian inspired chicken salad, or tucked into fresh Spring rolls.
You don't have to wait for your tomatoes to create a super Tomato-Cannellini Bean salad shown below.
I used a large can of petite diced tomatoes (drained, use that tomato juice in a soup or stew or ?) and 1 can of cannellini beans (rinsed and drained) with 2 chopped carrots and 1 small chopped onion. Then snip a large handful of basil and parsley, chop and add to salad. Dress with equal parts of lemon juice or red wine vinegar and olive oil, to which you've added salt and freshly ground pepper. As usual, toss thoroughly, then refrigerate until serving.
And doesn't that salad compliment the plate of Mushroom Lasagne and cooked Green Beans with butter and dill very nicely?