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What Does Anise Taste Like?

Anise/Anise seed is a flowering plant whose origin isn’t certain.

Some say it came from the Middle East, most probably from the plains of the Nile region in Egypt. Other reports say anise originated in the Mediterranean (Greece or Rome). Still others claim anise hails from Southwest Asia (India).

This particular herb was very popular in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Its sweet fragrance derived from its anethole content means anise works well in many food preparations. It blends perfectly with any dishes based on coconut milk.

If you’ve ever asked yourself what does anise taste like, today we’ll look at that and some other fun facts about this unusual seed.

what does anise taste like

Source: Essential Oil

A Few Facts about Anise

There’s differing opinion when it comes to the taste of this aromatic herb…

Some compare its flavorful tang to star anise. This is a similar herb which is often mistaken for the anise seed. Other studies report anise to be of comparable taste to black licorice and fennel seeds.

Anise was used as a form of currency in the past centuries, especially in medieval Europe where it was introduced in the 1500s. This shows just how valuable it was for people then.

This plant, also called Pimpinella Anisum, reaches heights of about 30 to 50 cm tall. It belongs to the carrot family (Apiaceae), which are plants with flowers in umbels (Umbelliferae).

Uses

what does anise taste like

Source: Herbal Supplement Resource

Anise is a flowering herbaceous plant. The seeds are used mainly in cooking dishes like soups, curries, desserts, rice cakes and puddings.

Its aromatic scent also adds more flavor to food and liquor.

Anise is also used in creams, insecticides, perfumes and soaps.

Through the centuries, this fragrant plant has been proven to be beneficial for certain ailments.

Health Benefits

Anxiety Attacks, Stress and Nervousness

Inhaling the sweet scent of plain anise seeds or oil gives a calming effect to the nerves and muscles. This is due to the sedative components alpha-pineno, eugenol, linalol and thymol.

Aphrodisiac

The smell of anise seed oil is said to increase sexual libido. You can also take crushed anise seeds in a glass of hot water nightly to achieve this goal.

GIT Problems and Stomach Upsets

Anise seed is a very good relief for gas and indigestion. During ancient Roman times, it was incorporated in their desserts to prevent any of these discomforts.

Halitosis/Bad Breath

Gargling anise tea as a mouth freshener is proven to alleviate bad breath, especially in the morning. Its sweet fragrance will make your breath smell great, too. Some toothpaste and mouthwashes nowadays also includes anise seed oil as an ingredient.

Headaches/Migraines/Muscle Pains

Anise essential oil or paste can remove these sorts of pains. Apply to the forehead and temples as well as on the affected body parts.

Insomnia

Anise seeds have narcotic effects that can help ease sleeplessness by merely inhaling some oil vapors.

Menstruation/Menopause

Drinking anise seed tea and rubbing in anise oil helps to eliminate cramps and pains brought out by these phases of a woman’s life. It can also assist nursing mothers in producing more milk.

Respiratory Issues

The oil extracted from anise seeds is very helpful to people who have asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, coughs and colds.

A simple inhalation of this product can help loosen the airways. Anise seed tea can also act as an expectorant to help you cough out any respiratory mucus that is causing itchiness and irritation.

Gargling or drinking hot anise seed tea is very useful for relieving sore throats, laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and itchiness. Mix the tea with a teaspoon of honey and 2 drops of apple cider vinegar for gargling.

Vitamins and Minerals

Anise is loaded with nutrients such as the B-Complex vitamins niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and thiamine. It also has minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. These are all very beneficial to your overall health.

Important Note: Put one teaspoon of crushed anise seed in a cup of boiled water to make some tea. Caution is to be exercised if you are allergic to anise. It can cause serious side effects like vomiting and even seizures.

Avoid overdosing: Anise contains narcotics which may lead to a coma if taken in extreme levels. Anise shouldn’t be used during pregnancy or in some cancer cases related to high levels of estrogen. It also interacts with birth control pills due to its estrogen contents. Taken in normal amounts, there’s no problem whatsoever.

Wrap-Up

Here’s hoping we have given you plenty of information about anise seeds and its contribution to the health and well-being of your family.

If you’ve ever wondered what does anise taste like, now you know!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact us. It’s always a pleasure to hear from our readers and we’re ready to help in any way we can.

All About Mint: Spearmint vs Peppermint

Mint is an incredibly versatile herb bursting with flavor and smelling absolutely delectable.

Whether you want to grow mint indoors or sprinkle it around your garden, mint is a cinch to cultivate pretty much year-round.

Confusion often crops up between spearmint and peppermint, though. Today we will make things easy for you when it comes to spearmint vs peppermint by looking at eight key ways in which these herbs differ from each other.

Never confuse the two types of mint again!

Mint: A Snapshot

Peppermint

spearmint

Peppermint is actually a hybrid of spearmint and water mint. These two mints rolled into one mean that peppermint has an extremely high content of menthol.

Due to the vitamins and nutrients it contains, peppermint has long been used for medicinal purposes. From runny noses and sore throats through to strained muscles, this handy herb has many uses. It can also be used as part of aromatherapy to reduce stress and tension.

Aside from the ubiquitous chewing gum, peppermint crops up in tea, ice cream and after-dinner mints. You’ll also find peppermint oil in a number of liqueurs where the subtle taste works wonders.

A combination of the appetizing scent and its cooling properties mean that peppermint is also a firm favorite for soaps, shampoos or body washes. It’s a staple for toothpaste and mouthwash too.

Health Benefits of Peppermint

Peppermint is often called the oldest medicine in the world and it has a wide array of proven medicinal benefits.

  • Dental Health: Whether it’s kissing goodbye to bad breath or general dental hygiene you’re after, the antiseptic properties of peppermint oil work wonders
  • Indigestion: A couple of drops of peppermint oil in some water is a wonderful way to aid digestion after eating. In some cases, it can help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Headaches and Nausea: Popping some diluted peppermint oil on your forehead can assist with getting rid of nausea or motion sickness. Where it is both anti-inflammatory and cooling, peppermint oil can relieve headaches, even migraines
  • Stress: Stimulating your mental activity, calming and refreshing, peppermint is a natural way to  combat stress
  • Breathing: With its menthol content, peppermint is an efficient expectorant that also clears the respiratory tract. It’s present in many cold balms and rubs
  • Nail Care: Peppermint oil can help to ward off fungal nail infection
  • Pain Relief: External use of peppermint oil can help to soothe certain pains. Its cooling nature means it can reduce fever. It’s termed a refrigerant for the intensely cold sensation it provides
  • Immune System: Peppermint oil is commonly used to help people with weak immune systems. Its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties and content of menthol, camphor and carvacrol means peppermint is popular in many alternative treatments to fight against lowered immune system

Spearmint

peppermint vs spearmint

Spearmint is a highly aromatic herb that appears naturally.

The chief use for peppermint is culinary. As with peppermint, it’s also a common ingredient in chewing gum and toothpaste.

With a sweet and mild taste, spearmint is used widely in many medicines. Due to its relaxing effect, spearmint can also help you to relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Health Benefits of Spearmint

As well as sharing the ability to help with digestion and respiratory issues, spearmint has several other key health benefits including the following…

  • Antibacterial: Menthol, along with other compounds found in spearmint, is antimicrobial and antibacterial. It not only keeps your breath fresh but can also help protect you from mouth and throat infections
  • Hormonal Balance: Spearmint can help manage this condition. The compounds in spearmint work with the endocrine system to optimize balance of hormones
  • Circulation: With one serving of spearmint you hit your RDA of iron. This helps with the blood circulating to your extremities, enhances your energy levels and helps with the healing of wounds
  • Heart: Spearmint is rich in potassium. As a vasodilator, potassium helps to stave off strokes and heart attacks

Spearmint vs Peppermint: How Do They Differ?

spearmint vs peppermint

Species and Botanical Name

Both mints are from different species. Spearmint is from the species Spicata while peppermint is Piperita.

Their specific botanical names reflect this, Metha Spicata (spearmint) and Mentha x piperita (peppermint).

Plant Facts

As mentioned, spearmint is a plant that occurs naturally whereas peppermint is a cross between species of spearmint and water mint.

The low and creeping peppermint is a real contrast with the straight and upright spearmint.

The way in which the herbs grow is also a point of difference. Spearmint will shoot up to around 3 feet in height. It will spread its way profusely and completely around the surrounding vegetation. Peppermint grows anywhere from 1 to 3 feet high. It does not spread widely, though.

Flower

While spearmint plants have pink or blue flowers, peppermint plants are crowned with purple blooms.

Leaves

Spearmint plants have small leaves that grow on the branches themselves. The little leaves are slightly wrinkled.

The peppermint boasts slightly larger leaves. These grow on the stems rather than the branches. These leaves are jagged in appearance.

Menthol and Cooling Properties

It might surprise some people to know that spearmint does not contain menthol at all. It gets its cooling ability from carvone.

Peppermint, on the other hand, has plenty of menthol. This is where it derives its cooling properties from.

Flavor

Spearmint has a far more delicate smell and taste than peppermint. It’s mild and somewhat sweet.

Peppermint tastes sharp and cooling while the aroma is much more intense.

Uses

The ways in which spearmint and peppermint are used is another area where they are quite different.

Spearmint

  • Tea
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Many therapeutic uses
  • Cocktails (mojito, mint julep)

Peppermint

  • Decongestants
  • Antiseptics
  • Scented oils
  • Medicinal and therapeutic properties
  • Candles

Wrap-Up

We hope you’ve enjoyed this examination of spearmint vs peppermint and are now clear on the differences between these two distinct types of mint.

Please drop us a line if you’d like any further information on this or any other aspect of gardening.

You’re always welcome to share our articles on social media if you find anything you think your friends would like – this in-depth guide to strawberries, for example.

Come back soon as our site is updated with fresh content several times a week.

1

How To Dry Parsley

Parsley, as our previous article outlined, is a special herb with many culinary and medical uses. Perhaps you are growing plenty and want to know how to dry parsley

We will look here at the principal ways to dry fresh parsley and offer you some handy hints on storing this wonderful herb so you always have access to it. Once you have done the groundwork by growing it, maintaining stock levels is the easy part.

As well as being used as a diuretic and a treatment for upset stomachs, parsley can be pressed into action in a wide range of recipes.

You should be aware that parsley will lose a little of its flavor when it’s dried. Drying herbs can be a surprisingly tricky task so we are here to strip it down to basics and make things simple for you.

We’ll show you how to dry fresh parsley using the following basic methods:

  • Air Drying
  • Solar Drying
  • Drying With a Dehydrator
  • Microwave and Oven Drying

In general, if you choose to dry with heat then more of the flavor will be removed. Any strong heat damages the essential oils contained within the herb.

The conventional approach to drying is not without its drawbacks either, though. Our ancestors would leave herbs hanging to dry for weeks but there are two things to note. Firstly, their homes were very different with much more space suited for this kind of task available. Also, the results can be mixed… By the time you realize something has gone amiss, the herbs could be unusable.

So…

We’ll look now at the four main ways in which you can get your parsley dried out nicely.

How To Dry Fresh Parsley

How To Dry Fresh Parsley

Air Drying

It’s perfectly possible to dry all herbs naturally in the air. You need to locate a warm and dry area first of all. The garage or attic are standard choices. You could opt for the kitchen pantry or even the kitchen itself (although make certain there is not too much moisture).

Bundle up your parsley and use some string or twine to hold it together in bunches. Rubber bands are another possibility. Use whatever you have to hand just secure it adequately.

Hammer a nail into the wall and hang your herbs up to dry out.

You can put the sprigs of parsley inside brown paper bags if you want. Cut slits in the bags if you choose this option. This allows plenty of air to circulate. The benefit of paper bags is keeping dust off the parsley and also preventing too much color being lost as the sunlight otherwise bleaches the herbs. The downside is that if left unattended, mold can set in. Make your decision and if you do use bags pay close attention to them to prevent this mildew and fungus spoiling your parsley.

After about 2 weeks, gather the bundles and place the dried herbs on some wax paper. Crumble up the leaves and get rid of the stems.

Pop the dry mix into an airtight container and you’re good to go!

Solar Drying

Taking advantage of the sun’s rays is a straightforward and economical way to achieve your goal of drying parsley effectively.

Wait until the weather is smiling on you. Avoid too much humidity and ensure that no rain is in the post. You want a window of opportunity with no moisture for several days so consult the weather forecast and be patient.

Pick some sprigs of fresh parsley from the garden. Wash off any dirt from the surface.

Get a sheet and spread it across a large table. You can use stones or bricks on the edges to prevent it from blowing away. A window screen is a great solar drying rack as these screens promote ventilation. Another alternative is a roasting pan.

Whatever your selected drying tool, place the parsley in a single layer. Pop it in the direct sunlight and leave the sun to do its work.

Turn the herbs on a daily basis and bring them inside overnight to eliminate the chance of moisture undoing your efforts.

When the parsley is crispy you are all set to store it for future use.

Drying With a Dehydrator

A food dehydrator is a highly versatile piece of kitchen equipment you can harness nicely for drying herbs.

They make use of hot air which slowly and gently gets rid of the moisture present in food. You will need a good few hours for best effects with parsley.

Whether rounded or box-shaped, dehydrators are a kind of stacking system and the mini perforations in the trays allow air to circulate ideally among your herbs.

They are not particularly cheap so analyze how much use you will get from a dehydrator and decide whether it’s the smart choice for you.

It really is a seamless procedure. Simply pop a single layer of parsley onto each tray. Refer to the instructions for time and temperature. Dehydrators are all different, much like microwaves, so make sure you get this step right.

A few hours later and the moisture will be removed, your parsley lovely and dry for your store cupboard.

Microwave and Oven Drying

Taking into account what’s been mentioned about a certain loss of flavor, you can nevertheless dry parsley without too much fuss in the microwave or conventional oven.

  • Microwave: Pop your sprigs of clean parsley onto a microwave-proof plate. Simply heat on HIGH for 30 seconds, turn them over and nuke them for another 30 seconds. Leave them to cool then pop them in an airtight jar
  • Oven: Set your cooker for 180 degrees. Spread your parsley evenly across a cookie sheet then bake for between 2 and 4 hours. Keep a very close eye on proceedings so the herbs do not burn

How Do You Store Fresh Parsley

How To Store Dry Parsley

Now that you have a few different approaches for drying your herbs, the next logical stage is storing them appropriately.

Get yourself some airtight containers. There is no need to spend a great deal of money. You can easily re-use old coffee jars or any plastic pots you have to hand.

Make sure your hands are clean and dry then cover a table with newspaper.

Scrunch up the dried herbs with your hands discarding any of the stems. Pour the mixture into your container.

Label them up accordingly remembering to include the date they were prepared.

If you want to freeze dry your parsley or other herbs – the tips in this article work equally well for other varieties – then place the dried mix into Ziploc plastic bags, squeeze the air out and put them in the freezer. Bingo!

Conclusion

There is no substitute for fresh herbs which is why we suggest keeping a stock of your favorites growing at all times.

It’s not an ideal world, though, and often supplies run down or things get overlooked. By drying and storing your parsley correctly, you can always enjoy pepping up your cookery or availing yourself of its medicinal properties even if you have none left growing.

Although it’s arguably the quickest method, avoid using a source of heat like the oven if at all possible so as to maximize the beneficial effects and lessen the loss of flavor in the drying process.

2

How Many Calories Are In Celery?

We are what we eat as the famous saying goes. A number of people want to know how many calories are in celery just like many other foods seen as miracle workers for weight loss.

Today we will examine the myth that this crispy and crunchy vegetable is a negative calorie food along with a look at its nutritional value and other health-related facts.

An Introduction To Celery

An Introduction To Celery

We are often asked about the best vegetables to grow organically at home. In an ideal world the answer would be all of them! There really is a very strong argument, though, for growing trench celery.

The two principal types of celery are trench and self-blanching.

Blanching is when you block the sunlight so that the stalks whiten.

With the self-blanching kind there are two varieties, the Standard (which have naturally creamy or golden stems) and the American green sort which truly needs no blanching at all.

Trench celery requires more commitment and is more problematic to grow but repays the effort with a superior taste.

When is celery in season then? Well, it is tricky to bring on as mentioned but the great news is that it can be grown from September to April so you can enjoy it for a substantial part of the year.

What Is The Nutritional Value Of Celery?

Most people think of celery as being extremely good for dieting but how many calories are in celery?

You might well have heard people claim that this incredibly healthy veg has negative calories. Put simply, this would mean that the act of eating it burns off more calories than are absorbed by the body after eating it.

There is no escaping the fact that celery is an extremely low-calorie option if you are watching your waistline, but this assertion of it having negative calories is simply untrue.

Each medium-sized stalk has around 6 calories. To put that into perspective, an adult male requires 2500 calories a day. Each stalk has about 1 gram of carbohydrates in total, 0.6 grams of which are fiber. Fiber is not properly digested or absorbed by the body.

The very slender number of calories in the form of fat, sugar and protein are made use of by the body, though. To give you an indication of how much sugar is in celery, it’s only 0.7 g in that same medium stalk.

The body uses about 1 calorie eating and digesting the stalk so, clearly, it’s ideal if you are on a diet but the urban myth about negative calories is just that: a myth.

How much potassium is in celery

Calories are only one part of a healthy eating plan. The nutrients are also important.

How much potassium is in celery, for instance?

Potassium is responsible for several crucial functions in the body. It works along with minerals like calcium and sodium to stabilize the fluid levels. This helps with everything from muscle contraction to keeping your heart thumping properly.

You’ll get over 100 mg of potassium in a single stalk which is wonderful news for your system.

Celery is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin K.

Juicing Celery

what are the health benefits of celery juice

Juicing is growing in popularity. So what are the health benefits of celery juice in particular?

Blitzing up some celery in your juicer can lower your risk of cancer, protect your cardiovascular system, help to enhance your skin and prevent inflammation or disease. It can be beneficial if you are stressed and can even aid sleep.

Some Quick Ideas For Using Celery

What are some other ways in which we can make use of this superfood?

  • Chop finely and add to chicken salad or tuna
  • Use leaves in salad
  • Smear stalks with peanut butter and eat raw
  • Add some celery to carrot juice for a tasty mixture
  • Throw into soups, stews, casseroles or stir-fries

Where Can I Buy Celery Seeds?

Where Can I Buy Celery Seeds

A few recipes, coleslaw in particular, call for celery seeds. We all understand that celery comes from seeds but what is celery seed itself?

Most of the seed which is commercially available to be used as a spice does not actually come from the celery that we eat but from a very close relative.

The miniature oblong seeds are light brown and can really pack quite a punch. The taste is like a highly concentrated celery in its regular form. It’s grassy and earthy with a somewhat bitter edge to it.

Celery seed is often chosen because you can enjoy all the flavor of celery itself without needing to chop up mounds of it for your dish.

With a wonderful texture rather like poppy seeds, it makes a fine addition to salad dressings as well as coleslaw.

A Few Pointers About Growing Celery

You should be aware that from the outset celery needs treating with care. It’s an extremely tender plant which cannot just be sown straight into the soil.

When the seeds are sown it’s a smart idea to germinate them on a heated mat. They should be thinly broadcast into seed trays and transplanted into 2 inch plugs once germinated.

They ought to be grown under cover until the weather is warmer and then hardened off outside for a week or two.

Celery is a very hungry crop so the ability of the ground to hold water will affect the success of your harvest. With all plants, some knowledge of its native habitat helps to determine how you should most suitably grow it. Celery occurs in Asia and Europe in boggy, marshy ground. Use any organic material to replicate these conditions and it should flourish.

One particular nuisance when cultivating celery is the slug. Pay close attention to your crop! Others pests such as carrot fly and celery leaf miner can also be a menace. Celery leaf spot is the other common health issue faced.

Conclusion

Set aside the fallacy that celery is a negative calorie food and focus on the fact that it’s extremely nutritious and very low in calories.

Take your time to research the best type to grow – we still say stick with the trench celery – and you can enjoy all the health benefits with that fantastic, distinctive taste alongside the added bonus of picking it fresh from your very own garden.

Enjoy!

How To Grow Parsley With Ease

Growing herbs, whether in your garden or indoors, is really remarkably simple. Today we will look at how to grow parsley with ease.

Originally native to the Mediterranean region, parsley (Umbelliferae) is now cultivated in many varieties.

We will first examine some background facts about this versatile herb then look at how to grow it fuss-free.

How To Grow Parsley With Ease

Plant Description and Cultivation

Parsley is a biennial. This classification is slightly less common than the usual annuals or perennials. Parsley will only come back after two gardening seasons.

Parsley in a pot

It grows up to 60cm on a very stout root.

The leaves are triangular with 3 lobes. They curl up at the end and have a slightly ruffled appearance.

Yellow flowers will bloom in the second year followed by oval seed pods which contain sickle-shaped seeds.

Parsley calls for rich and moist but well-drained soil. It likes a mixture of sun and shade. If you lack the requisite soil then try growing it in a pot.

This miraculous herb is propagated from seed sown in the late spring.

The flat-leaved French parsley is incredibly aromatic.

What Part of Parsley Do You Use?

The leaves and seeds are both put to use so you get maximum bang for your buck with parsley.

In the final year, even the taproot is edible. In fact, it’s the most potent and pungent part of the plant.

Active Ingredients

The seeds are most powerful in terms of medicinal properties. They contain up to 7% essential oil, flavonoids and glycosides.

What vitamins are in parsley? As well as vitamins A and C, this herb also contains many minerals. The leaves are very rich in iron and vitamin C.

Parsley has powerful diuretic and stomach-tonic uses. The 16th century botanist John Gerard said of garden parsley that, “It is delightful to the taste and agreeable to the stomach.” He added that it could neutralize poison, perhaps because of its strong aroma.

Safety Information

Take care if you are pregnant and avoid using the seeds medicinally. Watch out, too, if you have a history of kidney disease.

Using fresh leaves in cookery is perfectly safe.

How To Use Parsley: Culinary Use

How To Use Parsley Culinary Use

Parsley is extensively used as a flavoring in many different dishes. From soups and sauces to meat and fish recipes, egg and cheese or salad dressings, parsley can infuse your meal with a burst of aroma and tantalize the taste buds.

In the same way that salt seasons a dish, parsley helps to tie flavors together.

How To Use Parsley: Medicinal Use

A standard infusion of parsley leaves works wonders for indigestion. This is particularly useful if you’ve eaten a glut of rich food.

You can also call upon this herb if you are suffering from fluid retention or gout.

Parsley can help to stimulate the appetite and also aids the absorption and assimilation of nutrients.

Seeds are also used in herbalism but this is best left to the professionals. The seeds are not recommended to be used in this way at home.

So…

You might have asked yourself what is parsley good for and now you have the answers. Whether in the kitchen or for medical use, it’s a very flexible herb with myriad uses.

We will take you through some basic steps now so that you can grow parsley at home and enjoy these benefits for yourself.

Directions For Growing Parsley

First of all, decide which type of parsley you’d like to grow.

Flat-leaf parsley

Flat-leaf parsley

Curly leaf parsley

Curly leaf parsley

Flat-leaf parsley (Neapolitanum) is the choice of cooks due to its tremendous flavor and ease of chopping.

Curly leaf parsley (P. Crispum) is also extremely tasty and offers you a very striking display in the garden as an extra kicker.

How To Plant Parsley

When?

Parsley is straightforward to start from seed. Germination can take a little longer than with some herbs, though.

Sow the seeds straight into soil. Wait until about a month before the final frost of the year. If you want to speed things up, consider soaking the seeds overnight before you sow them.

If you prefer, start the parsley seeds indoors up to three months before the last frost to get off to a flying start.

How long does it take parsley to grow? Well, although it’s a slow starter – perhaps 2-5 weeks for the seeds to sprout – the good news is that harvest time comes around quickly.

Where?

How To Plant Parsley

Grow your parsley indoors or out in the garden with equal confidence.

If you have an indoor garden then put your pot near a window which gets ample sunlight.

For outdoor growers, one smart idea is to plant your parsley near rose bushes for added fragrance. Parsley is also the perfect companion for tomatoes if planted in containers.

Cultivating Parsley

There are 4 main pointers to think about here:

Sun

Soil

Water

Spacing parsley

Parsley can cope with either part-sun or full-sun environments. Indoors, you need to target sunny windows for best effects

Choose loamy and moist soil and take care to turn it well. Use some rich compost early on, ideally just as you are sowing your parsley

Parsley is extremely adaptable. It prefers moist soil but is also quite able to tolerate a drought

Thin out your parsley to about 10 inches apart if you are starting it off from seed. This same distance holds true if you are transplanting small plants or seedlings

When To Pick Parsley and Harvesting

As mentioned, parsley is a biennial. This means that its cycle of harvesting is slightly different.

In year one, harvest your parsley for its leaves. Pick the stalks which are farthest away from the center. If you leave both the inner stalks and the leaves, the plant will continue to grow nicely.

During the second year, you will notice the leaves become sparse and you’ll see the flavor drop in intensity. You can still use the leaves but let your parsley bloom.

Collect up the seeds so you can sow them in spring.

In the fall of that same year, it’s time to harvest the root. Shave this over salads for a penetrating burst of flavor and a delectable crunch.

Conclusion

The cultivation of parsley dates back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. They used it in many different ways, even to crown their athletes with.

Although it has a reputation as a fickle herb, parsley really isn’t tough to grow. If you ensure that the soil is of the correct quality and avoid overcrowding, you could very rapidly have some delicious fresh parsley to put to good use.

Be patient and press all parts (including the stem) into action.

Enjoy!

2

Herbs With Meat: 6 Great Ways To Use Herbs In The Kitchen

Growing herbs at home, whether in the garden or indoors, is a wonderful way to breathe some life into your diet.

Dried herbs are a poor substitute for the real thing. It does not take much effort to start a small herb garden. Choose the ones that you use most often when cooking. Save money and enjoy the benefits of an abundance of fresh herbs to set off any dish.

We want to outline some tasty and practical recipes to show you just how much taking the time to start a herb garden can pay dividends.

Cooking meats with herbs does more than just add fantastic flavor. Herbs help to stimulate your digestive juices through taste and smell before the food even enters your mouth. This assists absorption.

We will look today at 6 great herb recipes using some fantastic herb and meat combinations.

1) Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese sauce is an Italian classic sometimes called ragu.

Adding some strong and aromatic fresh herbs like oregano, basil and bay really serves to boost the flavor of the beef. While the meat forms the base of the sauce, the herbs also complement the garlic and tomatoes.

An added advantage of Bolognese is that it works best being simmered for a long time at a low temperature so it’s ideal if your dinner guests are slightly late!

Tip: Although this dish is almost always made with spaghetti, try using tagliatelle instead. This type of pasta is slightly thicker than spaghetti and works very well with the Bolognese sauce.

Ingredients

  • Fresh basil leaves (4)
  • Fresh oregano (3 sprigs)
  • Bay leaf
  • Extra virgin olive oil (3 tbsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Large onion finely chopped
  • Celery stick finely chopped
  • Streaky bacon (175g, diced)
  • Garlic (1-2 cloves, crushed)
  • Lean minced beef (400g)
  • Tomato paste (2 tbsp)
  • Canned tomatoes (400g)
  • Red wine (150ml)
  • Fresh Parmesan (1/2 cup)
  • Cooked pasta to serve

Directions

  • Heat your oil and fry up onion, celery and bacon on medium heat 3-5 mins stirring occasionally
  • Add garlic and minced beef. Cook until meat browned
  • Add tomato paste and stir in. Throw in tomatoes and wine. Stir into thick sauce
  • Season with salt and pepper, add herbs and bring to boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer 1 hour
  • Serve with the cooked pasta and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan

2) Lemon and Tarragon Poussins

A poussin is a delicate baby chicken.

The fragrance of fresh lemon and tarragon will set these tender birds off perfectly!

Ingredients

  • Poussins (2)
  • Fresh tarragon (4 sprigs)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Lemon rind
  • Lemon juice (1 tbsp)
  • Butter ( tbsp)
  • Garlic (1 clove, crushed)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Orange slices

Directions

  • Prepare poussins. Put breast-side down on chopping board. Cut them through backbone and crush them to break bones. Season with salt
  • Turn poussins over. Put sprig of tarragon under skin on each side. Brush with oil
  • Cook under pre-heated grill 15 mins. Turn them over halfway
  • Melt butter in saucepan, add lemon rind and juice along with garlic
  • Brush poussins with the glaze you just made and cook 15 mins more. Turn them once and brush regularly
  • Garnish with tarragon and serve with new potatoes

3) Pork, Sage and Cider Casserole

With strong-tasting meats like beef and pork, pungent herbs like sage are an excellent choice.

Fresh sage leaves have a peppery taste and bay leaves bring out the taste of the meat perfectly.

Sage adds a fresh and spicy undertone to this tried and tested combination.

Ingredients

  • Pork steaks (4)
  • Cooking apple Sunflower
  • Peeled, cored and chopped)
  • Large onion, finely chopped
  • Plain flour (50g)
  • Dry cider (450ml)
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

  • Remove fat from pork and cut into small pieces. Heat oil, cook pork cubes until brown then remove
  • Sprinkle apple pieces over the meat and place in casserole
  • Fry onion until soft, add sage leaves and flour and stir together
  • Pour cider over and stir until thickened nicely
  • Season with salt and pepper, stir everything together and cover casserole with lid
  • Cook 45 mins at 180 degrees
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans and mustard

4) Pan Fried Lamb With Rosemary and Garlic

Pan Fried Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic

Credit via www.epicurious.com

Do you ever fancy something special when you are home alone?

If so, consider this succulent lamb dish with the ingredients here for just one person. Scale them up if you are cooking for more and want to share!

Ingredients

  • Lamb chop
  • Bullet Point 2
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Garlic (2 cloves, crushed)
  • (75ml)crushed)
  • Single cream (30ml)

Directions

  • Rinse lamb chop under cold water and dry. Season with salt and pepper
  • Heat oil in pan and fry chop 5-10 mins on medium heat
  • Sprinkle rosemary leaves and garlic on top and fry 1 min turning chop once or twice
  • Pour the red wine over and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer 10 mins
  • Remove from heat, add cream and stir gently
  • Serve with some potatoes and fresh veg

5) Chicken With Tarragon and Cream Sauce

Tarragon has a very potent taste with an almost minty flavor.

Chicken tends to be rather bland so pep it up with your fresh tarragon. Choose free-range organic meat if you can find some and it’s within budget.

Ingredients

  • Chicken breasts (2)
  • Sunflower oil (2 tbsp)
  • Shallot, finely chopped
  • Garlic (1 clove, crushed)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp)
  • Single cream (150ml)

Directions

  • Wash, dry and slice chicken pieces
  • Heat oil over medium heat and add chicken. Turn them until browned lightly
  • Add garlic, shallot and season. Cook and turn 5 mins
  • Sprinkle over tarragon leaves and add lemon juice. Cook on low heat 10 mins
  • Remove from heat, stir in cream
  • Serve with baby new potatoes and steamed carrots

6) Pork Chops With Fennel and Juniper

Pork Chops With Fennel and Juniper

Credit via cook-coquus.com

This is a basic dish which can benefit strongly from the contrasting flavors of fennel and juniper.

Once again, you can really get some mileage out the herbs that you grow and transform even ordinary meals into something more special.

Ingredients

  • Pork chops (4)
  • Fennel (1/2 bulb)
  • Juniper berries (1 tbsp, lightly crushed)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • Orange rind and juice, finely grated

Directions

  • Chop the fennel bulb
  • Grind up juniper berries and mix with fennel, olive oil and orange rind
  • Score some fine cuts in pork chops
  • Place chops in ovenproof dish, add fennel and juniper mixture then pour over orange juice. Cover and marinate in fridge 2 hours
  • Cook chops under pre-heated grill 10-15 mins turning occasionally
  • Plate up and serve with salad and fresh bread

Conclusion

Whether it’s a complex and tricky meal or something simple like Bolognese, pretty much anything tastes better when infused with fresh herbs.

We hope you found something you’d like to try here and our following article will give you 6 more great ideas for cooking with fish.

If you want to use herbs in the kitchen then start growing some today!

Read more article for growing house plant​

Herbs With Fish: 5 More Ways To Use Herbs In The Kitchen

In our last article, we gave you half a dozen tasty recipes and showed you how herbs can work extremely well with meat.

For fish lovers, we have 5 more fantastic ideas today to help you really get the most out of your herb garden.

Fish can quickly and easily deliver you a meal rich in protein.

Grilling and frying are among the best methods for bringing out the most flavor.

1) Lime and Basil-Cured Salmon

This superb combination of herbs and citrus fruit will create light, tangy flavors which bring out the best in your fish.

It’s crucial that you use fresh salmon for this recipe. The salt and sugar will draw the moisture out from the fish and leave it raw but cured and packed with flavor.

This recipe takes some time but is very well worth the effort.

Ingredients

FISH

DRESSING

Fresh salmon fillet (900g, skinned)

Rice vinegar (200ml)

Fresh basil (5 tbsp, chopped)

Sugar (5 tsp)

Sugar (50g)

Lime rind (1, finely grated)

Sea salt (50g)

English mustard (1/ tsp)

Lime rind (2, finely grated)

Fresh basil (3 tbsp, finely chopped)

White peppercorns (1 tsp, lightly crushed)

Japanese pickled ginger (1 tbsp, shredded)

Mixed salad leaves (150g)

Directions

  • Check salmon for bones, wash and dry
  • Place salmon in large bowl. Sprinkle evenly with sugar, basil, sea salt, lime rind and peppercorns. Cover and chill 24-48 hours turning occasionally
  • For dressing, put rice vinegar and sugar into small pan. Stir gently over low heat until sugar dissolved
  • Bring to boil and simmer 5-6 mins until liquid reduced by one-third
  • Remove from heat, stir in lime rind and mustard
  • Remove salmon fillet from marinade and slice thinly
  • To serve, stir chopped basil and ginger into dressing. Toss salad leaves in then add salmon

2) Herb-Crusted Haddock with Tomato Salsa

A lovely salsa adds a controlled kick to the haddock.

Either make your own or buy the best quality pre-prepared one you can find.

For the pesto sauce, check out our previous article here for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • White breadcrumbs (115g)
  • Fresh parsley (2 tbsp, chopped)
  • Lemon juice (3 tbsp)
  • Haddock fillets (4)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Tomato salsa

Directions

  • Put breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, pesto sauce, parsley and seasoning in a bowl. Mix well
  • Line grill pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil. Put haddock fillets on foil, sprinkle with remaining lemon juice, add more salt and pepper then cook under pre-heated grill 5 mins
  • Turn haddock fillets over, spread herb and breadcrumb mix over
  • Cook 5-10 mins until haddock is tender and crust golden brown
  • Serve with tomato salsa

3) Trout with Almonds, Lemon and Parsley

Trout with Almonds, Lemon and Parsley

Credit via www.cookstr.com

Lemon goes nicely with most fish. Trout is sweet and mild so the lemon offsets this perfectly.

Parsley adds the finishing touch and shows once again just how valuable it is to grow your own herbs.

Ingredients

  • Fresh trout (2)
  • Salted butter (55g)
  • Flaked almonds (55g)
  • Fresh parsley (2 tbsp)
  • Fresh lemon juice (3 tbsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Selection of steamed vegetables to serve

Directions

  • Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper
  • Melt butter in large pan and fry trout on each side 6-8 mins. Make sure it’s golden brown and cooked right through
  • Remove fish to heated serving dish and place in warm oven
  • Add flaked almonds to frying pan and turn until golden brown. Add parsley and lemon juice and combine into a wonderful sauce
  • To serve, put trout onto plates and spoon over the sauce. Choose some fresh vegetables for a healthy and tasty treat

4) Mediterranean Cod Steaks with Thyme and Marjoram

Mediterranean Cod Steaks with Thyme and Marjoram

Credit via www.bbcgoodfood.com

This herb recipe is extremely easy to bake in the oven.

The tomato in this dish goes hand-in-hand with the aroma of thyme and marjoram.

Your mouth will water while this is cooking and when you taste it you’ll once more understand why growing herbs at home is such a sensible thing to do.

Ingredients

  • Cod steaks (4)
  • Fresh thyme leaves (1 tbsp)
  • Fresh marjoram leaves (2 tsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Garlic (2 cloves, crushed)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (30ml)
  • Tomato paste (1 tbsp)
  • Canned tomatoes (400 g)
  • Green olives (2 tbsp)
  • Boiled rice and salad to serve

Directions

  • Put cod steaks in a casserole and sprinkle with lemon juice
  • Heat oil in large pan. Fry onion until soft then add garlic and tomato paste
  • Add tomatoes, herbs, olives and seasoning
  • Cook on medium heat 10 mins then pour over sauce over the fish
  • Put lid on casserole and bake on top shelf of oven 25-30 mins at 190 degrees
  • Serve with rice and salad

5) Herrings with Orange and Tarragon Stuffing

Herrings with Orange and Tarragon Stuffing

Credit via www.efooddepot.com

If you enjoy herrings, why not try these on the BBQ?

​Wrap them in foil and revel in the way the orange and tarragon complement the taste to give you something truly special. Dishes like this make growing herbs at home well worth the time and trouble.

Ingredients

  • Herrings (4, cleaned and gutted)
  • Spring onions (4)
  • Fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs (50g)
  • Fresh tarragon (1 tbsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Oranges (3)
  • Light brown sugar (1 tbsp)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Tarragon sprigs
  • Green salad to serve

Directions

  • First, make the stuffing. Grate rind from half the orange. Peel and chop orange flesh
  • Mix together orange rind and flesh along with spring onions, breadcrumbs and tarragon in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper
  • Divide stuffing into 4 portions and use it to fill the body cavities of the fish
  • Place each fish on a square of foil and wrap so it’s enclosed
  • Barbecue 20-30 mins over hot coals
  • Peel and thickly slice oranges and sprinkle over sugar. Drizzle some oil over
  • As the fish are almost cooked, put orange slices on barbecue and cook 5 mins
  • Garnish with sprigs of tarragon and serve with green salad

Conclusion

We hope that you have found some inspiration with these delightful fish dishes.

Whether you get your fish from the market or the store, look out for bright and shiny scales to indicate the quality.

Remember: If you opt for frozen fish, thaw it completely before cooking.

Enjoy the freedom and check for updates here with more herb recipes.

1

How To Grow Herbs From Seeds

We will take a look today at how to grow herbs from seeds.

Last week we looked at some of the background which you need to prepare yourself for growing indoors.

Be prepared and do some general reading.

The more you understand, the easier it will be. Ultimately, too, you will enjoy more success.

The focus here will be on growing herbs indoors.

Many people are strictly limited for space. If you live in an apartment or a terraced house then perhaps you have no outside space.

Don’t let that stop you!

Everyone likes the good news so here it is…

Supplies

Firstly, it’s time to get some basic essentials laid in.

You will need:

  • Planters
  • Bleach
  • Bucket
  • Seed-starting mix
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic film
  • Permanent marker
  • Heat mat
  • Shallow tray
  • Masking tape
  • Fluorescent light (this is optional)

Growing Herbs From Seeds: An Easy Method

Here is a simplified, step-by-step guide to bringing your herb garden indoors.

  • You need to dip your planters in a bucket to sterilize them. Use a solution which is 90% water to 10% bleach. Do not be heavy-handed with the bleach. Let them dry naturally
  • Put some potting medium into the planters. Fill it so that it’s just under an inch from the top. Make sure you prepare a pot for each herb that you want to grow. Look for a dedicated seed-starting mix. This will hold the correct amount of moisture. Its texture is lightweight and tailor-made for your purposes
  • Pop 2 or 3 seeds into the mix. Look at the diameter of the seed. Push it into the mix so that it’s about twice as far down as this measurement. Cover up the seeds with your soil mix
  • Remember to label your pots. Either uses some masking tape and write on the pale background or directly on the planter itself
 label your pots
  • Use room temperature water and mist the pots until they’re damp. Wait for the excess water to drain through the bottom. Use some plastic film to cover the pots. This will aid in trapping humidity
  • Time to choose the perfect location. Aim for somewhere which is 21 degrees or so. A consistent soil temperature speeds up the sprouting process with herbs. This is where a heat mat comes in handy. Simply place your pots on top of the mat and take the guesswork out of things while enjoying optimum results
  • On a daily basis, you need to check for sprouts and also to monitor the moisture level. Mist your herb seeds when required. The key is to have a damp mix but to avoid making it too soggy
  • When sprouts start to show, remove your planters from the heat mat and tear off the plastic film. One option is to move the fledgling herbs into a window which enjoys plenty of indirect sunlight. The other choice is to invest in a fluorescent light. Aim for 8-12 hours of light a day. Herbs will differ in their needs so check out the recommendations on the packet
  • Once you see your seedling starts to develop proper leaves, it’s time to thin them out. Put one in each pot. Obviously it pays to save the seeds which look most healthy. If any show signs of discoloration, have poorly shaped leaves or appear leggy, be brutal and thin them out
  • If the top of the soil feels dry, it’s time to give your herbs some water. Take care not to get water on the seedlings. You can quite easily avoid this. Fill a shallow tray with water and place your planters into it. When the soil on top starts to feel moist, remove them. Allow the surplus water to drain and the job’s done!
  • Feeding is the final stage now that your herbs are starting to come on nicely. Water them normally three times and on the fourth occasion use a fertilizer. A 10-10-10 soluble version is a smart choice. Again, herbs have varying needs so pay close attention to the packet and do your homework so that you get the fertilizing right

As you can see, there is no science or technical stuff involved.

Growing herbs from seeds is extremely straightforward and rewarding.

In addition to giving yourself a plentiful stock of delicious herbs for all your cooking needs, growing herbs indoors is a wonderful way to infuse your living space with their welcoming fragrances.

Top Herbs Can Be Grown Indoors

We looked here at 7 commonplace herbs which do very well inside. Basil, chives, oregano and parsley cope perfectly and are real kitchen staples. Rosemary, sage and thyme are also a breeze to grow.

Here are 5 more classic herbs that you should consider adding to your arsenal…

1) Lemongrass

Lemongrass

This delectable and versatile herb barely even need growing in the conventional sense. You don’t need to plant it in soil. Visit your local market and pick up some stalks. Be certain that their bases are intact and that there are ample stems. To prepare, trim the top off a stalk nicely. Pop it into a few inches of water. Roots will go down and new shoots will form in abundance. It smells as good as it tastes!

2) Mint

Mint

Whether it’s peppermint or spearmint, both types of mint grow profusely and without much fuss. Watch out though: mint is highly invasive. Be careful that this abundant herb doesn’t choke out the rest of your indoor garden. Peppermint is the wisest option if you are growing with space limitations inside. You’d require far more spearmint to get the same minty effect. Start it from seed rather than leaf cuttings. Mint will cope admirably in shaded conditions but try to ensure it gets at least some light each day.

3) Coriander

Coriander

Coriander comes from the cilantro herb. If you opt for the Vietnamese version, you’ll find it much simpler to grow than the regular variety. It’s highly reliable and extremely hearty. Coriander can be used in a wide range of dishes so it’s well worth considering giving this a try.

4) Chervil

Chervil

Chervil is often known as French parsley. This annual herb has a slight taste of anise. It’s easy to harvest and is a wonderful and subtle flavor to add to your favorite dishes. Just snip off the leaves back to the level of the soil at harvest time and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

5) Marjoram

Marjoram

This native of the Mediterranean is from the oregano family. It’s got a more delicate and sweeter flavor to it, though.

Sweet marjoram flourishes indoors.

Opt for Italian marjoram – O. x majoricum – which is very similar but also spicy.

So…

For their smell and use in so many staple recipes, treat yourself to a healthy range of fresh herbs.

Not having a garden is no excuse to compromise.

Look in forthcoming articles for some great recipes with fresh herbs.

Enjoy your cookery and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any gardening queries.

How To Grow An Indoor Herb Garden

Many people today want to know how to grow an indoor herb garden.

Growing indoor plants is a challenging task especially since plants need enough sunlight to make them grow. It is, though, much more fun to have them inside the house!

Damaging weather conditions, whether it’s the harsher seasons such as winter or natural disasters like typhoons, makes it harder to maintain them outdoors. The soil used in indoor plants does not harden during winter. The leaves will also be more protected from possible frost. Animals and pests can add to the hazards of growing them outside.

Herbs in particular need thorough maintenance since some of them cannot easily adjust to indoor atmospheres. A proper source of sufficient sunlight is often an issue with planting herbs indoors. Leaving the pots beside the windows sometimes does not compensate enough and give an adequate amount of sunlight needed for each plant.

Watering the herbs is not much of a problem indoors as long as you have a decent supply of water and you know the proper way of watering them.

There is a great deal to learn about growing herbs indoors so let us tackle the things any plant growers need to know if they plan to grow their herbs inside the house…

How To Care For Herbs Indoors?

Firstly, Know What Herbs To Plant

First, you have to pick those that are already growing. Do not start from seedlings as they require more sun and rainwater.

It is essential to know which herbs you can grow indoors.

 which herbs you can grow indoors.

Certain herbs simply need too much caring and might not be able to survive even with ample attention. We will discuss these herbs later in this article.

Space

One very important thing to note is the place in the house where you wish to put the pots. There should be enough space that is specially reserved for the plants. Beside the window is the best part since the sunlight can get through it. Be sure, though, that there is nothing that is blocking the sun's rays like a wall or another house.

If there is no adequate space then you may put up a cold frame or vine house. Vine houses are mini structures built to fit into limited spaces inside the house where you can place your pots. Or you may just simply place the pots at the kitchen where the herbs will be often used.

Light

Every living thing needs sunshine to grow and live. Therefore, it is important to ensure good sunlight exposure. If this is not available, buy a growing light or fluorescent light to help sustain the amount of light needed by the herbs. This can work out a little expensive though and uses large amounts of electricity.

led griw light for indoor plants

You will need to let the light get to the plants for 14 hours as that is the equivalent of a 6 hour sunlight. The south, east and west portions of the house are the best areas to obtain proper sunlight as the sun stays for longer in those directions.

Extra tip, though: you need to turn the pot a few times while the sun is touching the herb as it has a tendency to grow where the sunlight reaches it and thus will make the other parts smaller if it’s not turned.

Water

As mentioned above, there is not so much of a water issue if you have a good supply of it. All you need is proper regulation when watering the herbs.

Do it in the morning and afternoon only and do not put introduce too much water. Some herbs enjoy dry soil.

When it rains, if you have time, try taking them outside for a little natural shower or perhaps fill a bucket with raindrops. Your herbs will surely enjoy the rainwater a great deal as some of them tend to be sensitive to tap water due to its chlorine or fluoride content.

Fertilizer

As the herbs won't benefit from the outdoor climate, it is necessary to feed them with liquid fish fertilizer weekly as they grow, monthly when they are fully-grown. Stop during winter as there really is not much growing activity at that time of year.

What Herbs Can Be Grown Indoors?

Basil

Pesto

Probably the most famous among herbs that grow indoors. This type of herb loves the sun and humid weather. It is a bit tasky maintaining basil during the winter as it prefers hot temperatures. It's best to place it to the east in the morning and west in the afternoon for the optimum sunlight source.

Chives

Chives

Chives smell like onions. They need 6 hours of sunlight everyday. If you have no sufficient source of the sun's rays indoors you need the help of a growing light. This type needs constant watering (though not too much so as to drown the plant).

Oregano

Oregano

This herb is a remedy for coughs and is one of the most used herbs in pizza. Oregano is an easy herb to plant indoors as it only needs watering once weekly because it prefers its soil to be a bit dry and it's not too particular about the sun's light.

Parsley

Parsley

As with basil, parsley also loves to enjoy full sunlight so it's best to place it at the east and west windows. It also needs 6 hours of sunlight but it can grow at average room temperature. Watering takes place every two weeks.

Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary gives out a long lasting, sweet aroma. It does not smell minty like other herbs. Just like parsley, it can handle room temperature. And as with the other herbs mentioned, the soil needs to dry up before it has to be watered again.

Sage

Sage

One of the easiest herbs to plant indoors. It can also tolerate room temperature and this herb will not die even if you forget to water it for a full month and the leaves start to wilt. With a mere sprinkling of water, the plant will immediately recover from dryness. Place it at a south-facing window.

Thyme

Thyme

This herb that is used along with meat and bread also loves a full 6 hours of sunlight but can survive too at average room temperature. Place it at the east and west-facing windows. Thyme (as well as sage) is resistant to drought. Its light pink to lavender colored flowers can be used as tea: just dry them naturally.

Conclusion

You have seen here just how easy it is to plant herbs indoors and have a good choice of different plants to try.

Continue checking out our site for all your gardening and planting needs!

6 Of The Best With Basil: How To Use Basil In Cooking The Right Way

When summer comes around, many people want to know how to use basil in cooking.

With over 60 types of basil to choose from, it truly is a versatile garnish. The king of herbs goes well with just about anything. Whether it’s a sauce or salad, dessert or the classic pesto, a dose of fresh basil leaves can enhance your dish sublimely.

The most common kinds used are sweet basil (for Italian flavor), Thai basil (prevalent throughout Asia) and Purple Opal (superb for cocktails).

To enjoy the best, fullest flavor, you generally add your fresh basil right at the end of cooking. Of course, this varies with some recipes but as a rule it will go in last.

So…

How is basil used?

Read on. Get some food for thought and 6 fantastic recipes!

But before you start, a quick handy hint: Instead of cutting up the basil leaves, simply rip them roughly for the optimum effect.

1) Pesto

Pesto

Pesto is a highly flexible recipe that can be made with just about any kind of herbs. Basil, though, is the herb which we immediately associate with this Italian staple.

No selection of basil recipes would be complete without including this bona fide classic.

It’s straightforward to make. Do yourself and your meal justice. Sidestep the pre-prepared version and make your own.

Ingredients

  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 tbsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • Fresh Parmesan (1/2 cup)

Directions

  • Put all the ingredients together in a food processor. Purée to your desired consistency
  • Season to taste and serve! It’s really that simple

2) Tomato, Basil And Fresh Mozzarella Salad

Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Salad

This tried and tested tricolore salad has a base of pesto.

A salad like this is the ideal way to kick off a three-course Italian meal. It works well at any time of year but is particularly refreshing in the summer.

Ingredients

  • Red tomato (12 slices)
  • Yellow tomato (12 slices)
  • Fresh mozzarella (1/2 cup)
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

  • Prepare pesto sauce as above
  • Arrange the tomato slices on a plate
  • Tear up the mozzarella and interweave with tomato
  • Drizzle pesto sauce over the salad
  • Top dish with the remaining fresh basil, season and serve

3) Salmon With Basil Sauce

) Salmon with Basil Sauce

Simplicity is the way forward with most fish, especially one as delectable as salmon.

A light, lemon-infused sauce with fresh basil is a wonderful way to accompany salmon without overpowering it.

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 cup)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh basil (1 cup)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Fresh lemon juice (2 tsps)

Directions

  • Drizzle olive oil over salmon fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, set aside to stand for 10 mins
  • Put half the olive oil and remaining ingredients in food processor and blend finely
  • Heat a large, non-stick pan or skillet on medium high
  • Sautée salmon 4-5 mins each side then plate up
  • Heat reserved basil sauce in the pan
  • Pour sauce over the salmon and serve with fresh veg of your choice

4) Chicken And Basil Stir-Fry

Chicken and Basil Stir-Fry

Freshly cooked food does not need to be complex or time-consuming.

Many people rely on fast-food claiming that they are too busy to cook. This is not a valid excuse.

This dish can be given entirely different flavors by using sweet basil or Thai basil. Why not try it both ways?

Get this delicious and nutritious stir-fry on your plate in just 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 Skinned chicken breasts, halved
  • Fresh basil leaves (3 cups)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh basil (1 cup)
  • Garlic (1 clove)
  • Fresh ginger (1 tbsp)
  • Hot chili flakes (1/4 tsp)
  • Chicken broth (2/3 cup)
  • Soy sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Cornstarch (2 tsps)
  • Rice

Directions

  • Rinse the chicken breasts. Pat dry. Cut into thin strips
  • Cook some rice as per packet
  • Heat a large, non-stick pan or skillet on high. Add oil, ginger, garlic, chili, and chicken
  • Stir-fry 3-4 minutes until chicken cooking and no longer pink
  • Mix broth, soy sauce and cornstarch in a bowl so it’s smooth
  • Add sauce to pan and stir until it boils (about 1 min)
  • Add basil leaves and stir in until they wilt (30 secs)
  • Season to taste and serve with rice

5) Grilled Tuna With Basil Butter And Tomato Sauce

Grilled Tuna with Basil Butter and Tomato Sauce

With two contrasting sauces, this dish appears complicated but is actually deceptively simple.

One of these sauces is a simple mix with basil. The tomato sauce is achieved with a rapid sautée.

Impress your guests with a sophisticated meal prepared quickly and easily. Show them how to use basil in cooking. The proof of the pudding is in the crust…

Ingredients

BASIL BUTTER:

  • Fresh basil leaves (3/4 cup)
  • Butter (2 tbsps)
  • Fresh lemon juice (1 tbsp)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Salt (1/4 tsp)

SAUCE:

  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tsps)
  • Finely chopped red onion (1/2 cup)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Cherry tomatoes (3 cups)
  • Dry white wine (1/2 cup)
  • Capers (3 tbsps)
  • Balsamic vinegar (2 tbsps)
  • Sugar (1/4 tsp)
  • Fresh parsley (1/4 cup)

TUNA:

  • 4 tuna steaks
  • Salt (1/2 tsp)
  • Black pepper (1/4 tsp)
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 basil leaves

Directions

  • Heat your grill
  • Combine the ingredients for basil butter. Blend nicely in a food processor
  • Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan or skillet on medium high
  • Sautée onion and 2 garlic cloves (3 mins) then tomatoes (2 mins)
  • Stir in the vinegar, wine, capers and sugar. Bring to boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer (5 mins) while occasionally stirring
  • Add parsley and set aside
  • Coat your grill rack with cooking spray, season tuna then cook (5 mins each side)
  • Serve with sauce and basil butter garnished with fresh basil

6) Lemon Basil Shrimp With Pasta

Lemon Basil Shrimp with Pasta

Pasta and basil go together hand-in-glove.

This is an extremely rapid and mouth-watering main dish that will impress your guest and demonstrates yet another great way to use basil in cooking.

Ingredients

  • Pack of your preferred pasta
  • Large shrimp peeled and deveined (1 pound)
  • Fresh basil leaves (1/4 cup)
  • Drained capers (3 tbsp)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (2 tbsps)
  • Fresh lemon juice (2 tbsps)
  • Baby spinach (2 cups)
  • Salt and black pepper

Directions

  • Bring some water to boil in pan and cook pasta as per pack instructions
  • Add shrimp and continue to cook (3 mins)
  • Drain and place in large bowl
  • Stir in basil and all other ingredients except spinach
  • Place spinach on plates and serve up pasta mixture

Tip

The pesto sauce would go very well with this dish. Enjoy!

Conclusion

If you are stuck for time or ideas and want to know how to use basil in cooking then take advantage of these recipes. All of them are quick and basic.

Remember to use your hands instead of a knife when preparing basil. Get a rustic look along with optimum flavor.

Whether it’s Italian cookery or Asian dishes that you are looking for, this herb adds a nice kick of flavor. It’s well worth the time to grow some fresh basil at home. Check out here just how easy it is!