Herbs have become indispensable in the kitchen because of their healthy ingredients and numerous uses. Since 2006, the U.S. has celebrated the first Saturday in May as National Herb Day. Now we are already in the month of June, but herbs are worth spending as many days of the year as possible with. After all, herbs have a lot to offer!
Herbs – so rich in vital substances
The ingredients vary depending on the herb plant and the conditions during its growth. They often contain essential oils, alkaloids, resins, bitter and tannins, organic acids, minerals and vitamins. For example, vitamins C, B2, and folic acid, as well as the minerals iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium, are often present. In addition, certain digestive herb seeds such as caraway, anise, and coriander are precious. They contain unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
Herbs – a good substitute for salt and sugar
Seasoning with herbs often saves salt due to their intense flavour. For example, nasturtium, borage, thyme and sage flowers have a pleasing aroma. They can also be used as an alternative to sugar in many recipes. For example, the aniseed and licorice-tasting sweet umbel can replace some of the sugar. Sweet dishes also get a special touch from lemon balm or mint.
Herbs – so versatile
If you grow herbs in your home garden or on your balcony, you can use their aroma and effect freshly harvested from spring to late fall. The location of most herbs, which are also good to keep in pots, should be sunny and warm so that they can survive permanently and develop their intense aroma. Cress, basil, rosemary and parsley thrive indoors on a warm windowsill. Those who sow their seeds ensure a constant supply of fresh herbs.
To preserve water-soluble vitamins as much as possible and to keep the aroma unadulterated, herbs are best picked, chopped and sprinkled fresh over the dish just before eating. For hot dishes, they should be heated only briefly. However, certain herbs, such as savoury, tarragon, lovage, marjoram and rosemary, are also suitable for cooking with and release their aroma during cooking.
Apart from their use in the kitchen, for example, in soups, herb butter and curd, smoothies, bread, salads, homemade herb oil and herb vinegar, herbs are also suitable for teas, scented pillows, potpourris or as a bath additive. Those who want to dry the herbs should harvest them at the beginning of flowering. In this case, it is better not to wash them but shake them carefully if necessary. Then hang the herbs upside down in small bunches.
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