by Toby Amidor in In Season, September 9, 2012
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, In Season, August 4, 2012
If you thought all fresh herbs were past their prime by the fall, you’re be mistaken. Fresh sage is now in season!
This green herb is native to the Mediterranean. Its name comes from the Latin word salvus, which means “safe” – a reference to the herb’s believed healing powers.
Common garden sage is grayish-green in color with narrow, oval leaves with a pebble-like surface. They have a pungent mint-like smell and taste. There are numerous varieties of the herb; some are for cooking with while others are ornamental. Varieties include Curly, Minima, Dwarf, Tricolor, Pineapple and White Edge. Pineapple sage has a strong pineapple smell while White Edge has a creamy color splashed on the green leaves.
Although fresh is only available during the late summer and fall, dried whole, crumbled or powdered sage is available all year round.
by Toby Amidor in In Season, July 5, 2012
We’re kicking off August with an herb that’s been historically used to help promote male fertility. Learn why chives are so good for you, then try our mouthwatering chive recipes.
Chives are related to the garlic, leeks and onions and are native to Asia, North America and Europe. It’s thought that Marco Polo tasted chives and brought them back home to Europe where they became popular.
This fragrant slender herb has a milder flavor than onions and garlic. The plant grows as lofty stems adorned by gorgeous purple flowers.
by Toby Amidor in In Season, June 6, 2012
‘Tis the season to pick up fresh thyme. Packed with flavor and nutritious goodness, make this delicious herb part of your next meal.
This perennial herb is a member of the mint family and is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It comes in dozens of varieties but the most common is Garden Thyme which has grayish leaves that emit a minty and lemony aroma. Subvarieties include French, English and Lemon thyme. French thyme has a more narrow leaf while English has a broader-sized leaf. Lemon thyme has a more pungent citrus aroma than other thyme varieties.
One tablespoon of fresh thyme has 3 calories and 8% of your daily dose of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin A, iron, and manganese. Thyme has also been used medicinally to help relieve a sore throat.
by Toby Amidor in In Season, November 4, 2011
- Have you tried cooking with lavender?
Nicknamed the “herb of love,” lavender is in season now. For those new to the idea of cooking with lavender, we’ve got simple recipes to get you started.
The name lavender comes from the Latin verb “to wash.” Throughout history, it was commonly used in baths to help purify the body and spirit. Today, it is added to many hand soaps and body washes due to its aromatic fragrance.
A relative of mint, the lavender plant is adorned with violet flowers and green or pale grey leaves. Both the flowers and leaves can be eaten and have a pleasant yet slightly bitter flavor. Lavender grows throughout southern Europe, Australia and the United States.
Dried lavender has only a few calories per tablespoon and is free of fat and cholesterol. Throughout history it has been used to remedy various ailments including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Research has shown that lavender oil may help alleviate insomnia, anxiety, and stress.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, In Season, August 1, 2011
- This herb will add loads of flavor without extra calories.
Fresh herbs are becoming tougher to find as the weather becomes colder. Luckily, rosemary is still available, so grab a bunch while you still can!
This symbol of love and fidelity is a member of the mint family. It has needle-shaped leaves that are very fragrant with hints of both pine and lemon. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean, but today is grown in France, Spain, and the United States where California is the main grower of the herb. Popular varieties for cooking include “Tuscan Blue,” “Spice Island,” and “Miss Jessup.”
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Recipes, Healthy Tips, May 9, 2011
- Basil on pizza, one of the many ways to use this versitle herb.
In parts of Italy, men sport a sprig of basil on their lapel if they’re looking for love. Although an interesting fashion statement, we’ll enjoy basil as part of our healthy eats instead.
The herb basil (Ocimum basilicum, Labiatae) is part of the mint family. It seems to have originated in India about 4,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks called it the “King of Herbs.” The herb gained popularity in England in the 16th century and was brought to the Americas by English explorers.
Basil can be found in different shapes, sizes, and colors — there are over 60 varieties. The most common are large-leaf Italian sweet, purple opal, Thai, lemon, tiny-leaf and African blue. Sweet Italian (a.k.a. sweet Genovese) is probably the one most recognized. The bright green leaves are rounded, have a pungent flavor that’s a cross between licorice and cloves.
The main producer in the U.S. is California, but basil is also grown commercially in India, Israel, Mexico, Yugoslavia, Italy and Morocco.
by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, April 5, 2010
- Mint Julep Sorbet
In this new series, we’re exploring new ideas using our favorite herbs. Many folks buy or grow fresh herbs but aren’t sure what to do with them. Mint pairs well with spring veggies and sprouts up all over in the spring, so we picked this versatile herb for our first month.
What to do with mint »
From motion sickness to arthritis, ginger has long been the answer to several of life’s everyday ailments. Find out what gives this herb (yep, it’s an herb) its super powers and get ideas for some ginger-infused dishes.
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