One of the very best things about summer is the plentiful fresh produce that’s available. The warm summer months bring a multitude of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables that are bursting with sun-ripened flavor. However, there may be something that you’ve been overlooking when you visit your local farmers market or plant nursery.
Fresh herbs are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that can improve your health and their fresh flavors can enhance the taste of many of your dishes and drinks too. You may be used to dried, concentrated herbs in your recipes, but nothing is like the milder, fresher flavor of herbs in their fresh forms. In this way, they can be eaten in larger amounts similar to the way you might use other leafy green vegetables and with comparable health benefits.
There are so many great options to source fresh herbs, from local community gardens, farmers markets, or your own plants. Whether you have a backyard garden, balcony, rooftop, or simply a windowsill, most herbs are quite easy to grow and don’t require much maintenance. They are also quite versatile, growing well in either full sun or part shade and some herbs are perennial and can endure for a long time. You can choose to start your plants from seeds or opt for the easy method and visit a local plant nursery to stock up.
Experiment with adding fresh herbs to your dishes and you will find that they can dramatically change the flavor of any recipe. For delicious ideas on how to put fresh herbs to great use, we’ve added a few thoughts, but so many more can be found online and in recipe books, and you may just discover some new ideas of your own. The key is to experiment with different herbs.
Below is a list of commonly used herbs and some of their traditional or widely used dishes:
Parsley – Try a Tabbouleh Salad – perfect for picnics.
Cilantro – Mexican Salsa – say no more!
Oregano – Chimichurri Sauce adds delightful flavors to your grilled meats.
Rosemary – Toss it on vegetables with oil, salt, and pepper before roasting.
Thyme – Add amazing flavor to stocks, soups and stews
Basil – Offer a healthier alternative sauce for pasta with pesto sauce.
Dill – Homemade pickles of course! Discover even more health benefits with naturally fermented ones.
Mint – Enjoy a refreshing mojito drink – you deserve one!
Lavender – Infuse honey or simple syrup to add unique flavor to salad dressings, desserts or beverages.
Chives – Make quick and easy chive butter to top fish, steaks, vegetables, potatoes and more.
Tarragon – Add to salad dressings and marinades as it pairs well with lemon or vinegar.
Yet, herbs don’t require formal recipes. Simply chop them and add them to your green salads. Toss them into casseroles, soups, stews, or sauces. Slip them into sandwiches or sprinkle on your finished dishes as a garnish. Infuse water, add depth to lemon and limeade, or experiment with refreshing cocktails and mocktails. Steep healing herb teas, and use for sweet treats and desserts including cakes, cupcakes and fruit salads.
Remember to always begin all your recipes with the fresh, all-natural, filtered water that high-quality filtration can produce. Water plays a vital part in the preparation of your food, and rinsing your food and preparing it with Brita PRO filtered water not only helps to eliminate harmful contaminants, but clean filtered water also tastes better than standard tap water. Brita PRO’s whole home filtration improves the quality of water with a high-capacity system.
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