Time to herb up!

Aug 27th, 2017

Time to herb up!

Start cooking with fresh herbs and reap their health benefits

These days, we’re fortunate that a wide variety of fresh herbs is available all year ‘round. Fresh herbs don’t just enhance the flavours in our foods, they also have hidden health benefits for our bodies. In this article, I’ll show you 6 simple recipes — from food to beverages — that will help you start using fresh herbs in your daily meals in order to reap their benefits!

 

Mint

Digestion: Mint is both a great appetizer and a palate cleanser, and it also promotes digestion. It soothes the stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation. Next time you have an upset stomach, get yourself some fresh mint from the market. Give it a quick wash, then pour boiling hot water over the leaves. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes, then enjoy a cup of fresh mint tea to soothe your tummy ache.

 

The strong aroma of mint is also very effective in clearing up nasal congestion and irritations in the throat and lungs, and gives you relief from the discomfort of asthma and the common cold. As mint cools and soothes the throat, nose, and other respiratory channels, it relieves the irritation that causes chronic coughing.

 

How to use mint in food:

Try this refreshing summer watermelon, feta, and mint salad or, if you fancy a refreshing drink in this warm weather, try a virgin cucumber and mint mojito!

 

Basil

We all love pesto and its strong basil flavour, but basil can do a lot more than pasta sauce! See my previous articles about basil here.

 

Getting the most out of basil

Choose fresh basil whenever possible, since many of its health benefits come from antioxidant compounds and essential oils, which can be lost during the drying process.

 

How to use basil

One of my favourite Thai dishes is Pad Ka Prao (spicy Thai stir-fry minced chicken with holy basil), and it’s definitely at the top of my list of ways to use basil. Or if you fancy trying a drink with basil, try this strawberry basil lemonade for your barbecue weekend!

 

Oregano 

Oregano and its sibling marjoram are both from the Mediterranean. They’re both versatile herbs used often in cooking because they don’t have overwhelming flavour (when used in moderation, of course). Still, these herbs give meats and vegetables a lot of flavour! And besides just being versatile in cooking, oregano has great health benefits, too.

Oregano is often used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract complaints. It can be also applied topically to help treat skin conditions such as acne and dandruff.

 

How to use oregano

One of my favourite ways to use oregano is in a traditional Greek salad dressing. Or my other favourite recipe is roast chicken with lemon and oregano, a perfect weeknight healthy dinner. Be sure to roast two chickens at the same time and save the second one for another lazy night.

 

I hope my delicious and healthy recipes inspire you to use to include fresh or dried herbs in your cooking. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and stay tuned for more yummy and healthy cooking ideas!

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