Self-Health Habit #7:
Use Fresh Herbs in Your Kitchen

I used to be super intimidated by using fresh herbs in the kitchen. Something about their big green bunchiness seemed complicated to me. So I’m not surprised when I meet people with similar fears. But now that I’m a convert to fresh herbs myself, I challenge you to face your fears this month and start using these bad boys on a regular basis.

How did I become a fresh herb convert? I believe it was the first taste of margherita pizza I ever had, which left me in awe of how a handful of simple ingredients could result in such a mind-blowingly delicious bite. And the fresh basil gave it the oo la la factor that I’d been missing out on. I was hooked.

Suddenly, I was chopping cilantro for my own pico de gallo, slipping sage leaves and butter under the skin of our Thanksgiving turkey, and experimenting with basil and juicy ripe peaches for new variations of caprese salad. Not only were these fresh, green bunches of herbs easy to use (not to mention heavenly to the taste buds), but I was also developing my knife skills in the kitchen. Chop, chop, chopping away. 🙂

Once I became a self-healther, it was inevitable that I would discover the health benefits of herbs and give them the respect they deserve. One thing led to another, and I eventually encountered MediHerb, a line of products that actually harnesses the tremendous power of herbs—including some I’d never even heard of, such as echinacea.

But we’re not digging in that deep at the moment. Today’s focus is getting you to look your fear in the eye and seek out a recipe that highlights one of your favorite herbs. Of course, to do this you’ll need to go to the grocery store and pick up all of the ingredients you’ll need—including the fresh herb. You can do it, I promise!

If you are brand new to cooking with fresh herbs, this article at UrbanCultivator.net has some key information to help you get started. By the time you’re done reading it, you’ll know the difference between fresh vs. dried herbs, what to look for when you buy them, and when to add them to your dish to get the most out of them.

If you’ve been buying fresh herbs for a while now and want to try your hand at growing some of your favorites, read “How to Plant a Simple Summer Herb Garden” by Vicki Martinez. You’ll find some basic know-how on growing summertime favorites like basil and cilantro. And don’t worry if the word “garden” strikes fear in your heart—just start with a potted basil plant to go with the tasty tomatoes you’re finding everywhere right about now. That was my first step.

And if you’re ready to level up your herb garden, Maria Atwood’s “Cuppa Medicinal Tea: Growing a Medicinal Herb Garden!” offers some guidance on what to grow and outlines some herbal healing qualities. You’ll even find a couple of recipes for herbal remedies you may find intriguing.

No matter where you fall on the fresh herb spectrum, summer is the perfect time to experiment with and celebrate your favorite herbs, whether it’s adding fresh basil to a simple caprese salad or whipping up some cilantro aioli to accompany a perfectly grilled salmon filet. You’ll soon discover there’s no reason to shy away from the bountiful, flavorful, and aromatic world of fresh herbs.

Image from iStock/SStajic (main), CBCK-Christine (post). 

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of “Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health”, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she has discovered with those who are interested. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy. To get in touch with her, leave a message here or check out her website at PaulaWidish.com

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