The good old common and garden herb is Cool again. I always knew this because my grandma told me that to cook properly and to be healthy, good witches use herbs. (We weren’t witches, no, really!), but I was into fairy stories at the time, (still am in truth).
Herbs are brilliant. Hooray for Herbs!! Not only do they add flavour to everything, from sauces, to stews and casseroles, salads and vegetables, meat and fish, but they are Nutritious and Healthy. In fact, recent studies have found that their nutritional values are much greater than previously thought and their benefits to our health are enormous.
Wherever possible, I use fresh herbs as these are the most nutritious and have a much cleaner flavour than the dried variety. However, even the dried ones can perk up a meal and both fresh and dried can be used as seasoning mixed with lemon juice instead of using salt, or as a garnish to aid digestion and help boost the immune system.
My top seven fresh herbs are Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Oregano and Coriander. These herbs can cover all dishes, so are versatile as well as tasty. From those seven I probably use Parsley, Basil and Coriander the most because these are extremely versatile and taste good raw, chopped and sprinkled on food.
The thing to do with herbs is experiment, but if in doubt this link is a good starting place:
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware
A quick look at some of the benefits of why herbs are so good for us:
- High in antioxidants
- High in essential vitamins and minerals
- Contain essential oils
- Help reduce blood sugar levels – excellent for diabetics
- Help reduce cholesterol
- Contain anti-inflammatory properties
- Help prevent artery disease
If, like me, you find yourself using herbs more and more, and find that supermarket prices are a little high, well you will also find that they are very easy to cultivate in pots on window ledges or in containers on your patio.
So, get out your chopping board and fandango with the fish, shimmy with the salad and va va voom the veg.