I am not a fancy cook. I like to keep it simple and easy. But there’s something about adding a few fresh herbs to a dish that makes me feel like a real chef! Toss in a little basil here. Sprinkle on some rosemary there. Throw some mint into a smoothie or chop up thyme for a soup. See, just like that, I feel fancy!
Herbs are the perfect solution for anyone trying to reduce the consumption of sugar and salt in their diet. No one wants to eat bland food. While dried herbs work fine, fresh is best!
Herbs start to lose their nutrient value the minute they are harvested. That means the herbs you buy at the store, well, they aren’t nearly as good for you as the ones you grow in your backyard. Weeks can pass between the time herbs are harvested then packed, shipped, distributed and put on display. Think of what that does to the flavor and the nutrients.
You don’t have to have a big backyard or even a green thumb to grow your own herbs. All you need is a little sun and a few pots and Bam! You are a gardener! Herbs you grow yourself taste better, are better for you and there’s no chance they are covered with chemicals that can be used on herbs grown commercially.
What’s that old saying? Variety is the spice of life! And herbs help make it a healthier life. So this spring/summer why not grow your own pharmacy?
Health benefits of Herbs:
Cumin/Coriander: Coriander seeds are great for diabetics. They help stimulate insulin secretion to help lower blood sugar levels. Coriander has also been found to lower bad cholesterol.
Rosemary: Rosemary is believed to boost memory and relieve stress. It can also ease heartburn and indigestion. Topically you can use rosemary to give your skin a natural glow. Try this Rosemary sea salt body scrub.
Parsley: Parsley has high levels of apigenin. In one study on rats with breast cancer, apigenin blocked the creation of new blood vessels required for tumors to grow and multiply. I love using fresh herbs on fish! You can make your own variation of my wild flounder with fresh herbs.
Thyme: Thyme has the second highest amount of antioxidants of all herbs. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C as well as iron and dietary fiber. I use a lot of herbs on my crockpot chicken recipe found in my newest cookbook the Thankful 30 Crock Pot Edition.
Sage: Sage is known for being an excellent memory enhancer. It also helps reduce inflammation in the body. It’s believed to help ease hot flushes for menopausal women.
Oregano: Oregano helps fight inflammation. It is also a rich source of vitamin K which is important for helping the body fight off infections. Oregano is also a good natural insect repellant.
Mint: Mint contains menthol which is a natural decongestant. It can be especially effective when combined with tea for relieving sore throats. It is a calming herb that can aid an upset stomach or ease indigestion. I love it in smoothies!
Now that you have a good list of WHAT to grow, here’s HOW.
Generally speaking herbs need about 6 hours of sun light a day. Avoid planting them in ground where water stands or run when it rains. If you are using a pot make sure there are holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage.
And don’t forget to get your kids involved! Teaching children about where food comes from often makes them more interested in eating it! Besides, kids love dirt. Let them help plant, water, and weed! Of course ,when it’s time to harvest they’ll be so excited to help. And you’ll be excited to see them be excited. Spending time outdoors in the sunshine is a great way to spend time with your kids. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
Who knew growing your own fresh herbs would make you a fancy chef, a gardener and a parenting expert!?