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The famous phrase says ‘that the devil is in the detail’ and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to herbs and cooking. They’re often the difference between a nice dinner and something truly memorable. Aside from taste alone, they also prove to be healthy supplements to food and can make you a delicious tea; mint and camomile come to mind straight away because of their unique flavours. The best thing is that you don’t need a huge space in your garden – you can 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, so easy in fact that even we do it!
Hardy herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram are usually happy to live on throughout the year, even in the winter, so we recommend these as the perfect starting point. If you want something different then your mint and chives regrow every year assuming you give them a little bit of TLC. Come summer, supplementing your herb garden with basil, parsley and tarragon brings some serious flavour. 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.
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!
No food week is complete around here unless we have some facts so:
– 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
– 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.