Savor Your Summer Herbs! Growing your own herbs for the summer will make your food taste like the summer vacation you deserve!
There is something about the freshness of summer herbs that can’t be beat. I would definitely recommend bringing them into the mix of your meals at home. It’s such an easy way to boost your meal with nutrients and flavor, not to mention it’s a really fun way to get to know the variety of herbs that are available to you.
Although it is easy nowadays to access organic herbs at your local store or market, if you have the ability to grow your own, I would definitely recommend the latter.
There is no denying the intense flavor homegrown herbs like basil or oregano will add to your meals. You can start with a very simple home garden if you have access to a yard, or you can grow in small pots in your window. It’s such a great way to connect with nature directly – especially if you grow indoors during the winter months. All you really need a pot, good quality soil, sunlight, and water!
Gardening is also a calming and relaxing activity for the mind and body, so it’s a great way to spend your time.
There is also no denying that having fresh herbs on demand when you need them is a great feeling.
Also, if you are going to grow at home, you may as well make it organic. There is a significant difference in taste. You have peace of mind knowing there were no pesticides sprayed on your herbs. There won’t be any chemical residue on your plants either. Organic herbs also have a higher vitamin and mineral content. They will also save you money as it is so much cheaper to grow your own than buy organic in store, and you will yield so much more.
How or Where to Use Herbs:
- Pasta Sauces
- Salad Dressing
- Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Vegetables
- Savory Baked Goods
- Compound Butter
Here are some of my favorite herbs and some tips on how to use them and how they benefit you.
Most common: sweet basil, Thai basil, purple basil and lemon basil
Used in pesto’s, salads, marinades
Basil easy to grow in container, or larger garden
Does well in well-drained, moist soil
Grows well in warmth, and needs 6hrs sun/day
Health benefits – anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune booster + is high in Vit K, Vit A, Vit C
Pungent, earthy taste, piney aroma & distinctive flavor
Used mostly with meat, roasted vegetables, soups & stews, cocktails, and great in marinades
Can be used fresh or dry
Can be grown outdoors in warm weather, indoors in cooler temperatures
Perennial plant, however if you live in a cooler climate you’ll have to transplant to pot & bring indoors over the winter
Keep plant well-drained, needs 6–8hrs/day of sunlight
Let soil dry out between watering
Health benefits – improve memory, soothes digestion, and relieves muscle aches & pains
Subtle, savory note that complements many dishes
Soups, stews, roasted meats and vegetables
Two types of thyme – ornamental and culinary
It can stay outdoors during the winter, and will spring new leaves in spring
Thrives in hot conditions, loves full sun
Doesn’t need a lot of water or attention, making it super easy to grow
Health benefits – antiseptic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, hypertensive & calming properties
Great for hormones, menstrual and menopause symptoms
Supports immune respiratory, digestive and nervous systems
Performs well in both garden or indoors
2 categories of oregano – Mediterranean and Mexican
Mediterranean – mint family
Mexican – relative of lemon verbena
Hardy perennial, that returns year after year without much work
Potency can decrease after several years, even if plant still continues to grow
Plant in light, well-drained soil
Performs well in part to full sun
Grows well indoors with adequate heat & sun
Don’t overwater, water only when soil is dry
Health benefits: antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
How to Store Herbs
- Keep basil fresh by trimming stems and place in glass jar of water like flowers at room temperature
- Rosemary: loosely wrap sprigs in a damp cloth in a reusable storage container
- Thyme: keep in cool, dry place for several days, or store in reusable storage container in refrigerator
- Oregano: store fresh leaves in a glass of water with a plastic bag loosely over glass, it can also be frozen
Whatever you decide is the best approach to adding fresh herbs into your culinary creations – buying fresh organic or growing at home, have fun and get creative. You will love having your meals infused with these green goddesses.