Food and Safety

herbalbowlUsing herbs in food can add many health benefits provided it is done the right way. Whether you use fresh herbs or store-bought, using herbs cans surely enhance any meal.  They not only flavor food and bring a great aroma to any home, but herbs also contains antioxidants that may help protect you against such diseases as cancer and heart disease.

Basil

It is said that Basil can be used to aid in digestion, and can also ease stomach cramps and constipation. Basil is a  member of the mint family, basil is also said to have a slightly sedative effect and has been recommended by some herbalists for use in anxiety. Others also claim that basil is a helpful in memory enhancement. Although these uses has not be proven many people swear by it.

Rosemary

How wonderful is the smell of Rosemary!  Did you know that this herb often used to flavor meat dishes? It is also used in cosmetics and soaps.

Other uses for rosemary include infusions being used to enhance memory, and as a mild analgesic to relieve headaches and other minor body aches and pains. This aromatic herb often used to flavor meat dishes, also lends its zesty aroma to cosmetics and soaps. Traditionally, rosemary infusions have been used to enhance memory, and as a mild analgesic to relieve headaches and other minor body aches and pains.

Planting Herbs

If you if want to plant an herb garden Horticulturists recommend planting herbs after the last day of frost in the spring to avoid losing plants to a late freeze.

Substituting Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs

If you are going to use fresh herbs in a recipe use 3 times as much of the fresh herb as you’d use a dried herb. It’s better to substitute fresh herbs for dried herbs, rather than dried for fresh.

When to Pick or Purchase Herbs

Try to purchase the herbs as close as possible to the time you plan on using them. If you are growing herbs in your own garden the best time to pick the herbs is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets too hot. This helps ensure you get the best flavor and it will last a little longer when you store it.

Storing Herbs

Store fresh herbs in an open or a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer for a few days. If you can’t find those commercial perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a regular plastic bag.

If you want to extend the freshness of your herbs, be sure to snip off the ends of the stems on a diagonal. Place the herbs in a tall glass with an inch of water, like you would cut flowers. Don’t forget to cover them loosely with a plastic bag to allow for proper air circulation. Place them in the refrigerator and change the water daily. Herbs may last  you a week or more if stored in this way. Try not to store the herbs too long as they will tend to lose their taste.