May is the month I get inspired by the season to grow my own spring pantry. One of the many benefits is being able to step outside my kitchen and harvest edible herbs to enhance my culinary creations. Herbs are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients to use for more than just cooking. Many herbs can serve as a kitchen pharmacy to treat common ailments too.
Herbs contain medicinal cancer fighting anti-oxidants and flavonoids that support the immune system which offer a wide array of health benefits. Some of my favorites are basil, which aids in digestion and circulation; chives and arugula, which promote bone health due to their high levels of vitamin K; mint for soothing digestion and calming effects; and parsley for it’s detoxing and cleansing properties.
Using freshly harvested herbs in your recipes will add delicious flavor to your plate and expand your palette without the extra calories. You may even find these herbs substitute the need for adding salt and sugar.
Whether it’s a salad, homemade dressing or adding herbs to a cup of tea, the thrill of harvesting your own food will always delight. Culinary herbs are easy to grow, gentle on the budget and big on flavor.
May 8th is Mothers Day. Give the gift that keeps on growing, both fragrant and utilitarian too. Take a large basket and simply fill it with herb plants like rosemary, peppermint, sage and basil. Top it off with a trowel and bow. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and a daily reminder of how much she means to you.
Experiment using your favorite herbs to create a marinade to enhance the flavor of your favorite protein and vegetables or try my cilantro marinade.
Cilantro Herb Marinade
o 3 tablespoons lime juice
o 2 tablespoons EVOO
o 1 tablespoon minced shallots
o 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
o 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1. In a mini food processor, combine shallots, cilantro, Dijon and lime juice.
2. Slowly add in EVOO.
3. Sea salt and pepper to taste.
Susan Chasen is a Nutrition & Health Coach and the founder of The Organic Teaching Kitchen. She offers cooking and nutrition workshops to kids, teens and adults. Susan sees clients privately and in small groups. Susan offers on-site Work Place Wellness programs which enable employers to invest in the health, vitality, and happiness of their employees. Susan’s School Place Nutrition Program goes into schools with interactive cooking to inspire kids (and teachers) to try new foods. Birthday parties, Scout workshops or create your own Girls Night Out (GNO) are offered at The Organic Teaching Kitchen Croton. Contact Susan for health consultation. It’s complimentary to Mom Offers More Readers.
The Organic Teaching Kitchen is located at 18 Old Post Rd. South. Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Check out her monthly group workshop schedule at http://www.theorganicteachingkitchen.com or contact her at [email protected]