Keep a Variety of Herbs in your Pantry
Cooking with herbs doesn’t need to be difficult. If you keep a good variety of fresh and dried herbs in your kitchen it will make it even easier. What kind of herbs should you keep around, well I think all of them have a place in the kitchen but here is a good place to start:
- cilantro/coriander seeds
- chili peppers
- mustard seed
- peppercorns – red, pink, black
Once you stock your cupboard with these delicious herbs, from-scratch cooking becomes so much more fun and delicious! How do you really get to know how to use them? Explore the flavors, sample the herbs and spices. Try them fresh and dried, experiment with flavor combinations, you’ll be able to figure out which ones you love.
How does this look practically?
Last night, we needed to throw together a quick and easy dinner. I opened the refrigerator to see what veggies we had available (I keep a list of staple vegetables we like to keep on hand):
- green tomatoes, chopped
- mushrooms, halved then sliced
- zucchini, chopped
- asparagus, cut into quarter long pieces
- onion, chopped
- carrots, diced
- butternut squash, large cubes (I baked this is a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes)
There were more veggies I could add (broccoli and cauliflower for example), but I decided to stop there. I knew I wanted to include herbs since….herbs add flavor and extra nutrition!
- 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/8 cup fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 dried cayenne pepper, crushed
- fresh garlic, crushed – to taste, we like a lot
I sauteed everything except the butternut squash (which I baked), green tomatoes and herbs. After everything was cooked, I added the tomatoes, herbs, pepper, garlic and salt to taste.
I took all of the veggie stir fry and gently mixed it in with the baked butternut squash. What an incredible combination! Even Hiro loved it and ate ALL the green stuff.
A few of the benefits of the two herbs I used:
- high in vitamins A & C
- cleansing & detoxifying, especially helpful with heavy metals
- mineral rich (calcium, potassium & iron)
- cooling and refreshing flavor
- great for the brain
- immune stimulant
- warming and astringent
The next time you’re preparing a meal for your family, don’t forget to add herbs! They contribute greatly to both the flavor and nutritional profiles of the dish. Finish off your meal with a warm cup of ginger tea to promote digestion and assimilation.