How often do you use fresh herbs in cooking?

My former self almost never used them. I thought a handful of dried herbs from an Italian seasoning mix would do everything.

Now I am the owner of a vertical, indoor garden known as “The Tower” and I have been growing my own fresh herbs all winter. I’ve discovered that fresh herbs and spices are packed with flavour and they brighten up even ordinary dishes in ways I ever thought possible. Here are a few things I have learned about cooking with fresh herbs:-

  1. They are rich in nutritional content – especially antioxidants, which our bodies need to protect against oxidative stress.
  2. Using many different herbs will provide your body with a broad spectrum of nutritional support. Basil is rich in vitamin A, which has been shown to support healthy vision, sage is high in folic acid, which pregnant women are encouraged to consume, tarragon has high levels of the important minerals calcium, manganese and iron. Dill is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C.
  3. Some basic combinations of herbs that work well together:-
    1. basil/thyme/oregano
    2. dill/chive/parsley
    3. cilantro/sweet marjoram/thyme
    4. lemon/mint/chamomile
    5. parsley/thyme/laurel
  4. Cilantro is a particularly good spice in fish dishes, as it enhances detoxification of mercury, which is often concentrated in fish, particularly larger fish with a longer life span.
  5. When substituting fresh herbs for dry herbs in a recipe use one tablespoon of fresh, finely cut herbs to one teaspoon of crumbled dry herbs.
  6. Dry herbs can be added early in the cooking process, but fresh herbs cannot – the last 45 – 60 minutes for longer cooking dishes like stews.

Learn to experiment with different combinations of fresh herbs and spices in your recipes. Not only will you give your taste buds something new to try, you will expand the variety of health promoting nutrients in your body.

 

 

Source:  Aggarwhat, Bharat, Yost, Deobrah: How To Use 50 Everyday And Exotic Spices To Boost Health and Beat Disease, 2011