Growing an Herb Garden for Cooking and Medicine
Growing an herb garden for cooking and medicine is a great place to start if you want to learn. There are so many benefits to having a summer garden and herbs are among the easiest to grow. You have the satisfaction of growing your own food, finding new and exciting recipes, developing new hobbies and its a good source of exercise. Even if you don't have the space to plant outside, you can have a beautiful indoor garden in your kitchen. My favorite type of indoor garden is to plant an herb garden. Its quick and easy, not to mention adding fresh herbs to healthy dishes can add health benefits and amazing flavor. his blog on growing an herb garden for cooking and medicine is a great read.
Once your herbs are ready to be used, you have numerous options. You can cut and use what you need for a particular recipe, they can be cut, wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored up to a week in the refrigerator, frozen as ice (or white wine) cubes or even dried and stored for future usage.
Some of my favorite kitchen herbs are not only flavorful, but also fragrant and a beautiful and natural addition to my kitchen.
We all know parsley as a garnish used to brighten up a meal in a restaurant. However, this versatile herb is also a natural breath freshener and a diuretic. Making a tea with this herb can help combat the swelling and water retention that many of us experience during the hot and humid summer months.
Oregano is one of those herbs we all know and love that is commonly found in tomato or marinara sauces. What many people don't know is that this herb is a very medicinal herb. It is used to make oregano oil or you can make in into a tea. Oregano is known to have natural antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic properties in its makeup. You can add this to your Italian inspired dishes, boiled to make a tea, or you can purchase it as a therapeutic oil (make sure its added to a small about of organic coconut or olive oil as it can burn).
CAT GRASS or WHEAT GRASS:
For those of you, like me, that have fur babies at home, its a good idea to have a plant for them to call their own. Not only will it help to keep away from you other herbs or house plants, but this also offers health benefits as well. It is very good for an animals digestive system, as well as helping them to breakup those pesky hairballs.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can cut a hand full and juice it with a bit of lemon or ginger. It is a powerful antioxidant and can help to alleviate inflammation.
Peppermint is such an underutilized herb. We often see it as a garnish on desserts, we move it to the side of the plate and forget about it. My advise....EMBRACE this herb, CONSUME this herb, LOVE...this...herb! Our new favorite herb can be added to a beautiful fresh berry salad, made into a tea, added to water with a couple frozen strawberries or rub a couple leaves between your hands and inhale for a quick stress relief. In addition to a stress reliever, peppermint can also sooth the digestive tract/IBS, combat nausea and combats bad breath.
Thyme is one of those herbs we all but never seem to know what to do with it in our kitchen. This particular herb has a bit of a lemon flavor to it so it is perfect to add to salads, vegetables, chicken or fish. I love to freeze it in an ice cube tray with water, white wine or olive oil for quick and easy portions to add to a pan when I'm cooking. Thyme can be your respiratory systems best friend during cold and allergy season too!
We've all heard of sage and have all seen it in our grocery and health food stores. We look at it, we wonder what to do with it and then we move on to something more familiar. I want to encourage you to not be afraid of this beautiful herb. Sage can be a powerful antioxidant and can help support healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is also a very sacred and spiritual herb that can aid in mental alertness and promoting positive energy.
1-2 zucchinis (can also try bell peppers or eggplant)
1 c cooked quinoa
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sage
Sauté onions for 2 minutes. Add seasonings and sage. Add bell pepper and carrots. Sauté until tender. Stir in quinoa and mix all together. Cut zucchini (or alternative vegetable) lengthwise de-seed. Fill zucchini (or alternative vegetable) with quinoa mixture (ok if it overflows). Bake in oven at 350' for 25 minutes or until tender.
Check out my instructional workshop on How to Grow Your Own Indoor Herb Garden in our self-care webinars section. Follow us on social media to watch the growing stages, and to see if my garden takes effect.