Herbs are a way to give every meal its own unique fingerprint. A knowledgeable cook who builds recipes has a talent for uniting these flavors to create works of art specifically for the taste buds, but what about those who are just beginning to learn? An important part of understanding what goes into crafting a great flavour demands time and practice, but to get started properly, an understanding of some of the herbs and how they are used can give some major insight on where they will be the most beneficial for both flavour and health.
This herb might not be at the top of your list when you are thinking about cooking, BUT you will be surprised to know that dill is often a spice used to bring boldness to a dish. Dill seed is similar to its cousin caraway but with a slightly stronger presentation. Dill is great for sauces and fatty meats. Dill is also great for the stomach. Boiled water can quickly become a stomach soothing tea that will help you be able to relax and focus.
Basil is one of the most popular herbs in the world. It makes for great pairings with both sweet and salty foods and dishes of all kinds. Italian foods have always showcased this herb, but many other cultures have made a wonderful use of the herb. Some Asian dishes use it to bring a new dimension to many of the spicy dishes. Basil has been used medicinally and an anti-inflammatory for hundreds of years. These properties make it an excellent herb for respiratory aid. Basil can even be applied in the form of a poultice to bring down inflammation at the site of a wound.
There are many types of mints, but there are some that are favored among the family. For the most part, people tend to go with spearmint, but you might have a different taste in your mint. It can take some experimentation, but it’s worth it to have a good understanding of the differences. Mint is great for making cocktails, and for your infused water recipes. It also makes a great addition to tea, and other hot drinks. Mint is another herb with a lot of properties that help your stomach. Part of this is due to its ability to stimulate bile production. It is also associated with a calming effect.
Thyme is a Mediterranean herb with a variety of uses from dietary, ornamental and with dietary and medicinal, Thyme oil, flowers, and its leaves, have been used to treat a range of symptoms such as stomach upset, diarrhea, bedwetting in children, skin disruptions, and parasites. It is packed with vitamin C and is a really great source of vitamin A. thyme is also known for suppressing the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme, in a manner similar to resveratrol, the chemical linked with the health benefits of red wine. Thyme compliments many different vegetables, including tomatoes and roasted potatoes. Tyr adding it to your poultry, oven roasted veggies, fish recipes and other meats. It pairs well with sage and rosemary.
This is one herb that has grown on me deeply!! With its amazing benefits for the respiratory system. This is definitely a culinary herb, used for the flavor of its leaves. It is amazing with pastas, salads, roasted vegetables, and most animal proteins. It has an amazing warm aroma with a slightly bitter taste which tends to vary in intensity especially when dried. In the Mediterranean it is popular as herbal medicine to help treat a number of different aliments including aching muscles, skins sores, asthma, acne, athletes’ foot, dandruff, canker sores, toothaches, warts and gum disease to name a few.
If you are not yet using herbs in your meals, this is a good guide to get you going and start reaping their benefits. They are super easy to keep alive throughout the winter months in a planted pot in a bight window and use year-round. Oh, and before I forget, they also flavor water nicely as well, throw in an herb of choice and infuse with other herbs or with fruit.