Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Since the start of time, Mother Earth has provided us with the enchanting gift of herbs to benefit our natural health. Yet many of us shy away from that mysterious section in the produce department.

Most fine chefs are probably much less interested in the medicinal qualities of fresh herbs. Nonetheless, they all rely completely on these little treasures to create their culinary triumphs.

The Roman Emperor Charlemagne may have summed it up best when he said, “The herb is the friend of the physician and the praise of cooks.”

Becoming acquainted with herbal cooking is a simple and smart choice. Here’s why.

THE HEALING POWER

If you knew that cooking with herbs would lower cholesterol or help fight cancer would you do it?

Rosemary, sage and thyme all contain flavonoids that help Vitamin C work more efficiently as an antioxidant. According to Dr Winston Craig, Professor of Nutrition at Andrews University in the United States, this process mops up the free radicals that cause cancer.

Garlic is known to reduce bad cholesterol, helping to prevent heart attack or strokes. Garlic is also a proven immune booster, stimulating cells which attack invading organisms.

Cooking with fresh herbs will reduce the need to add salt, fat or sugar.

To learn more about the impact of fresh herbs on your well being go to http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net or http://www.healthyherbs.com

MAKE MEALS MOUTH WATERING

Are you ready to WOW your guests? Need to pump up the volume on the children’s vegetables? Eager to hear the question “This is so good, what did you put in this?”

Using fresh herbs to turn ordinary dishes into gourmet meals is easy. Remember to garnish. Here are some simple tips to get you started:

For roasts, stews and soups use BASIL, BAY LEAF, ROSEMARY, MARJORAM, and/or THYME.
For Italian and pizza use OREGANO, GARLIC, and/or FENNEL.
For steamed carrots, use ANISE.
For salads use CHIVES, TARRAGON, PARSLEY and/or DILL.
For roasted vegetables use ROSEMARY, MARJORAM and/or GARLIC.
For fish use TARRAGON, DILL and/or GARLIC.
For sour cream dips, use PARSLEY, DILL and/or CHIVES.
For Mexican dishes use CILANTRO and/or CUMIN.
For poultry use TARRAGON, SAGE and/or BASIL.
For peas, tea or ice cream use MINT.

Garnish meat platters with sprigs of ROSEMARY.
Garnish stuffing bowl with SAGE leaves.
Garnish Mexican dishes with CILANTRO leaves.
Garnish ice cream and dessert plates with MINT leaves.
Garnish cucumber side dishes with DILL leaves.
Garnish bowls of chili or soup with chopped PARSLEY.
Garnish tops of sour cream dips with chopped CHIVES.
Garnish iced tea glasses with a sprig of MINT.
Garnish Italian dishes, pasta and tomatos with OREGANO leaves.

GO GREEN

Easy Herb Garden

In one (1) large clay pot, plant herb starters. Keep soil moist and provide about four (4) hours of sunlight per day.

Impress the Kitchen Helpers

Fill clear vase or bowl with crushed ice and water. Line inside walls with citrus slices or empty a bag of fresh cranberries into ice water. Tuck an assortment of herb bunches into the center of the ice water. Pinch or snip as needed while cooking or for plate presentation.

Save for Soon or Save for Later

Fill labeled baggies with a moist paper towel and fresh cut herbs. Cut a slice to allow air to escape. Keep in refrigerator.

Or, finely chop fresh herbs, distribute into ice cube trays and add water. Transfer frozen cubes into labeled freezer baggies and keep frozen.

YOU’RE THE BOSS

Fine chef’s spend hours experimenting with fresh herbs to create new culinary masterpieces. You can too!

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