Katie’s Healthy Bites: Get Creative With Fresh Herbs

by in Uncategorized, June 24, 2011
Orzo With Herbs
Orzo With Herbs - Image Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Fresh herbs are a simple yet tasty way to add flavor and color to your cuisine. But don’t waste excess herbs once you’ve used them for a recipe — here are 7 ways to use up your herbaceous bounty.

  • Herbed Salad Greens: Toss sprigs of parsley, basil, dill or rosemary into a salad to add some extra flavor to your salad!
  • Herbed Ice Cubes: When freezing ice cubes, add mint or basil leaves to freshen up a glass of water or ice tea.
  • Herbed Oil: Add 1/2 cup fresh herbs to 1 cup of olive, canola or safflower oil. For the flavors to fully infuse into the oil, allow herbs to sit in room temperature oil for at least five days before using oil. You can also puree the herbs into the oil using a blender or food processor. This is a great addition to a salad dressing or a simple flavor enhancer for fish, chicken or even vegetables.
  • Fresh Herb Pizza: Whether you make your pizza from scratch or buy it, there’s always room to add a few fresh leaves of basil, rosemary or oregano to the top before you stick it in the oven.
  • Herb-Infused Honey: Add lavender, rosemary, thyme or sage to a jar of honey for a delicious flavor and a subtle fragrance. Leave herbs in honey jar at least five days prior to use to allow the robust flavors to fully infuse into the honey.
  • Fresh Herbs and Tea: Add a few leaves of sage or spearmint to your favorite teas to spice it up a little!
  • Flavored Sugar or Salt: Crush 10-15 leaves of your favorite fresh herb. Place in a jar with 2 cups of sugar or salt. Evenly disperse crushed herbs in sugar or salt and allow to sit in jars for 2-3 weeks to allow the essence of the herbs to infiltrate into the salt or sugar. Mix herbs every 2 days to prevent clumping. Try mixing lemon balm, lavender or mint to sugar or cilantro, oregano, dill or rosemary to salt.

More Herb-Filled Recipes:

Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, personal chef and owner of HealthyBites, LLC. See Katie’s full bio »

Leslie Peck also contributed to this post.

How do you use up fresh herbs? Tell us in the comments below.

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