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Wellness Wednesday

10 Ideas for Using Fresh Herbs

using fresh herbs

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“It’s a lot to text … give me a call when you have the thyme (see what I did there?)”

Reading this text from my sister-in-law, Natasha, reaffirmed that A) we share a shameless love of bad puns, and B) she was the perfect person to contact to learn more about what to do with the herbs I planted earlier this summer. Natasha is an avid gardener and a lover of natural remedies. Plus, she doesn’t judge me when I tell her about all of the herbs I’ve wasted or killed simply from having no clue what to do with them. We talked about all the usual suspects including parsley, rosemary, basil and thyme. Here, in no special order, are some of my favorite ideas from our chat.

  1. Whip together basil, cream cheese and garlic in a food processor as a simple dip recipe or a toasted bagel topping.
  2. Make drinking water less boring by infusing a pitcher with mint, rosemary, basil and chunks of fresh fruit.
  3. Add chopped tarragon to roasted potatoes — perfect for an evening meal outdoors.
  4. Make an herb-infused simple syrup. Combine one cup water, one cup sugar and three to four fresh rosemary sprigs in a saucepan. Bring to a light boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and let cool. Remove the sprigs and store syrup in the fridge for up to a week or two. Simple syrup is perfect for at-home cocktails or mocktails!
  5. Combat the summer’s heat and humidity with a cool mint compress. Soak a washcloth in ice-cold water with fresh mint leaves. Place the cloth behind your neck, kick up your legs and relax.
  6. Infuse olive oil with your favorite herb and garlic, and serve with a hearty bread for dipping.
  7. Make a caprese salad for a side or mini meal. There’s nothing quite like the combination of fresh, springy mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
  8. Impress your guests (or yourself) with cool and creamy guacamole. Just blend three to four smashed avocados, minced garlic, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and diced tomatoes or salsa. Add kosher salt to taste. Your chips now have a new best friend.
  9. Trim fresh rosemary and thyme, hang to dry, and add to tea to soothe a head cold.
  10. Freeze chopped basil and olive oil in an ice tray or muffin tin, and save for future cooking adventures.

If you’ve stopped by Wellness Wednesday before, you know the drill — share your favorite ways to use fresh herbs in the comments section! And thank you for taking the thyme (I couldn’t resist) to read and share your ideas.

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