The most important thing about food is its flavour. Different and interesting flavours 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 flavour 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.
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.
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.
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 flavour to pizzas. Oregano is high in antioxidants, it’s anti bacterial, good source of fiber, natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids and stimulates digestion.
It is widely used in European, American and Middle Eastern cooking. Gives flavour 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
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 to stimulate hair growth, and support the circulatory and nervous systems. It is also believed to cause miscarriage.
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.
Who knew that culinary herbs are useful in so many ways!
Do you have any favorite herbs and how do you use them?