Sunday, October 4, 2015


If you have never had the opportunity to smell and taste the wonder of fresh grown herbs I strongly recommend you
 consider the benefits.

 I have picked these as my top five favorites, mostly for their versatility. They are wonderful with vegetables, or add great flavor to meat and casserole. They can be planted in a simple container and harvested as needed.  They grow easily, require minimal care and the best part? You trim off a Basil leaf or Rosemary twig and a new one grows in it's place.  I love to use my very sunny dining room bay window to keep these herbs healthy.   It makes it very convenient to choose from my possibilities when I want to add a touch of unique taste to dinner.

Basil is so fragrant, and taste just as wonderful.  It may typically be associated with pesto, or marinara sauces but you add a touch of fresh basil and mushroom to a simple white rice and you've got a quick and easy side dish.  Sprinkle some dried basil with a touch of salt and pepper over pork steak and it's a whole new flavor.  There is also (although limited) research that shows Basil may  help relieve stress.  I'm sure it has something to do with the comforting smell and taste.

Thyme is a very potent herb so you want to make sure and use it sparingly.  Once you've mastered the art of using it you'll want to add it to soups and your favorite meat dishes.  A small amount of Thyme added to the crock pot dinner will leave the house smelling wonderful by the time you return to check on it.

Thyme is said to have fungal and antiseptic healing benefits.  Preparing a Thyme tea (Thyme twigs boiled in water) and soaking nails in the mixture after it has cooled is said to help keep them healthy.  Swabbing the same tea lightly on a rash is said to help prevent it from spreading.  I just know it looks, tastes and smells superb.
Sweet Mint

Mint oh wonderful Sweet Mint....Most associated with a nice hot cup of tea or coco don't limit your imagination.  Dried mint added to chocolate chip cookie dough adds a touch of flavor that's hard to resist.  Turn fresh vegetables into a masterful flavor treat and add a few fresh leaves of mint.  A  fruit salad is even better when you add fresh mint.  Mint has always had a stand out reputation for clearing sinuses and soothing sore throats.  A warm cup of fresh mint tea does wonders for an irritable tummy too.  It happens to be one of my favorite ways to relax.

 Cilantro is simply one of those herbs you love or hate.  Personally I really like the flavor this one adds.  It's not just for salsa or guacamole.  Although it does add a very defining flavor it does have other benefits.  Any soup or casserole will have a new touch of wonderful with fresh Cilantro.  If you love a good stir fry you won't believe what Cilantro can add to it.  Any fish is unbelievably good when you steam it with some Cilantro.

You won't want to forget that Cilantro is high in many essential oils and vitamins.  While extremely low in caloric value it is uncharacteristically high in vitamins A and K.


Rosemary is another fragrant herb that adds  new flavor to any dish.  Great with meats or vegetables it turns soup into a bowl of comfort.   Rosemary, like Thyme can be fairly potent so don't over do it.  A small amount of finely ground Rosemary adds a wonderful flare to almost any meat or vegetable dish.

Rosemary has a reputation for being a wonderful healer.  The extracted oil is said to work well as a topical remedy for skin ailments.  A little rosemary in your favorite lotion will not only enhance the smell, but the natural oils are reported to benefit complexion as well.

These herbs are not only easy to grow, but treated right and they just keep on giving.  It's always nice to go to my dining room and pick my choice of fresh herbs for dinner.  It just makes cooking more adventurous.