The most important thing about food is its flavor. Different and interesting flavors are created when using a variety of culinary herbs and spices.

I try to use fresh herbs in my food as much as possible. There are a lot of different options when adding flavor to our food. Culinary herbs let us reduce the daily salt intake. Even in small quantities, some of the herbs enrich the food with useful vitamins like and mineral salts.

Let’s get to know some of the most famous herbs, their benefits and where to use them.

Culinary Herbs & Their Benefits @homelifeabroad.com #herbs #recipes #garden

Basil

Mostly used in Italian cuisine. It’s used for different sauces like pesto and it goes very well with tomato sauce. It’s commonly used fresh and added at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. Basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Leaves are an excellent source of iron.

Basil recipes

Laurel

It’s used widely in different Mediterranean recipes. Laurel is perfect for marinades, meat, fish, and vegetables. Bay leaves should be removed from the food before serving as they may cause different injures. It has diuretic and appetite stimulant properties. Laurel can also be used as antiseptic.  Pregnant women should avoid eating in excess as it may cause abortion.

Laurel recipes

Oregano

It’s the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. Oregano is one of the few culinary herbs that is stronger when dried than when fresh. Goes well with meat, fish, cheese, eggplant and tomato. Gives flavor to pizzas. Oregano is high in antioxidants, it’s antibacterial, a good source of fiber, a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids and stimulates digestion.

Oregano recipes

Parsley

 It is widely used in European, American and Middle Eastern cooking. Gives flavor to fish, meats, vegetables and soups. Parsley is a source of antioxidant nutrients, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and folic acid. It should not be consumed in excess by pregnant women. Parsley is a culinary herb that might help stimulate the appetite, improve digestion and reduce spasms. Parsley recipes

Rosemary

It’s used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine. The leaves are used to flavor stuffings, lamb and chicken dishes, roast meats and tomato sauces. Rosemary has a very old reputation for improving memory. It’s high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Rosemary is used for stimulating hair growth and support the circulatory and nervous systems. It is also believed to cause miscarriage.

Rosemary recipes

Thyme

It is widely used in Italian and French cooking. Goes well with sauces, stews, stuffings and marinades. It is a common component of the bouquet garni. Thyme is significant anti-oxidant and its oil is an antiseptic. It stimulates appetite, protects throat and may be beneficial in treating acne.

Thyme recipes

Who knew that culinary herbs are useful in so many ways!

Do you have any favorite herbs and how do you use them?

*Unedited image by Suzette Pauwels / CC BY