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Here’s the dill – we’re celebrating herbs this week at Big Barn!

They say it’s all the in the details and herbs can be the difference between a good meal and a great meal! Aside from the taste, they can also be very healthy supplements to food or they can help make you a delicious tea with mint, camomile and a huge array of other unique flavours. They’re brilliant for everyone because even if you don’t have much space your garden you can still enjoy summer basil on your window sill or fresh rosemary at your back door all year round.

While there’s no issue just sprinkling a few dried pieces into our dishes, a small herb garden is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to bring a whole new dimension to your cooking, and once established it’s very easy to maintain.

Hardy herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram normally live on throughout the year, even in the winter, so they are the perfect starting point. Others like mint and chives regrow every year with a little tender care. Then, in the summer, you can supplement your herb garden with basil, parsley and tarragon to bring a whole wealth of flavours to your food. Sometimes a bit of mint, or snip of chive can liven up meals or side dishes with something unique so don’t discount their importance.

Grow your own herbs

Grow your own herbs

Click here to discover lots of recipe ideas and advice on growing and cooking with herbs, with lots of advice from experts and chefs. Plus, the health benefits of herbs are also not to be ignored, so a few snips or sprinkles here and there could also improve your health!

It wouldn’t be a themed week at Big Barn without some facts, so here are our herb facts!

– Fresh herbs contain more antioxidants – substances that fight cancer and heart disease – than some fruit and vegetables
– Rosemary  is rich in antioxidants which help to maintain vitality & slow the ageing process
– The Romans believed that the consumption of mint would increase their intelligence and the smell of mint in their houses was also a symbol of hospitality
– Growing a pot of basil in the kitchen may smell good to us but it doesn’t to nuisance flies and mosquitoes who are repelled by the aroma
– Mint leaves or oil deters ants and so a few scattered leaves in your cupboards can prove a useful, natural solution
– Fresh herbs aid the digestion of food – especially fat – and help with the elimination of toxins from the body
– Chives have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system, lowering blood pressure
– Dill is effective for the treatment of colic, gas and indigestion
– Parsley is a natural breath freshener, particularly in combating the potency of garlic
– Mint can spread and take over you herb patch so plant it in the ground in a large pot

Fresh greens & herbs

Fresh greens & herbs

– Ancient records reveal recipes for herb infused oils and creams in the tombs of legendary beauties such as Cleopatra

Visit our MarketPlace to find producers and retailers who sell or use herbs in their concoctions. Or check out the local food map to find delis or farm shops in your area who sell fresh herbs or herb plants.

If you have a favourite recipe using herbs, why not share it with us? For the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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