Herbal medicine and traditional cures from plants have been used for centuries by herbalists. Herbs provide more than just adding flavor and colour to your dinner – they heal, restore, and replenish with some awesome powers.
‘Herbs’ refers to a large variation of plants or parts of them. This means grasses, flowers, berries, seeds, leaves, nuts, stems, stalks, and roots which are used for medicinal and health enhancing properties.
I could sit here all day and give you the run down on every single herb – but let’s be real, you aren’t going to go search high and low for a herb and spend days ringing every single nursery in Brisbane to see if you can grow it yourself.
We are going to talk about our most common used herb, what they can do for your health and how to include them in your diet more – oh and how to store them!
Why add more fresh herbs to your diet?
Not only will they give your dish a burst of flavor you never knew existed, it will help you cut back on salt without sacrificing taste.
Most commonly used herbs have great amounts of essential vitamins A, C and K. The most exciting healing power of herbs though comes from the amount of protective polyphenols, these provide potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds in herbs help battle diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more.
How to store herbs?
If you are anything like me – I never use all the herbs at once. Cooking a meal for one person usually means I am left with ¾ of a bunch of herbs and no idea what to do with it.
Fresh herbs are fragile – so we need to store them properly in order to not waste and have them on hand for next time.
My go to is freezing them in ice cubes trays with olive oil, then when it comes to making a tomato based sauce, stir-fry or anything else, I can simply pop in a cube of my favourite herb and let it melt down. My tip is make sure you label the containers if you do several herbs.
If I have planned out my week of meals and know I will use them up in the next few days or so, I simply store them in a wet cloth inside an airtight container – it does the trick!
Which herb to use? Here are some of my favourite herbs and how I like to use them best.
BASIL: Basil is God’s gift to tomatoes, especially in tomato based sauces, amazing in a fresh pesto but easily compliments peas and zucchini.
CORIANDER:Going for a theme for dinner? Parsley is delicious in Mexican, Asian and Caribbean inspired dishes. Think salsa!
PARSLEY:Probably the most common used, I prefer flat leaf parsley as it is stronger in flavour. Perfect in salads, tabouli and one of our additions on our Autumn menu at Miss Bliss – chimichurri.
DILL:SALMON! or any type of fish that is. A great addition to cottage cheese, yogurt dressings, or even cashew cheese spreads.
MENU: Autumn 2017
DISH: Carnivore bliss burger, seasonal salads
1 bunch parsley
2-3 cloves garlic
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
Salt + pepper to taste
Optional: Fresh chilli
Blend all ingredients in a blender till it forms a paste like consistency.