Basil is pretty good for you
Basil is one of my favorite herbs. You have plenty of reasons to use every leaf of a basil bunch, because it's really good for you. I have studied some scientific studies on basil. The high levels of antioxidants and minerals in basil really ensure that basil has significant health benefits. However, it is not entirely clear what amounts of basil should be used to achieve its health benefits. Nevertheless, basil is a great addition to any kitchen and adds both flavor and personality to many dishes.
The less you cook fresh basil, the better it is. We find basil to be most aromatic when used fresh and raw. If you add it to your hot sauces or soups, only add it at the end, as excessive heat will significantly affect the flavor or even make it bitter.
Basil combines very well with olive oil, tomatoes, herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano and also with eggs and meat such as chicken and beef or fish such as salmon.
Freshly cut basil sprigs are best kept in a slightly damp towel in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To further extend the shelf life, cut fresh basil and freeze it in ice cube trays filled with water for future use. Once solidified, place the basil cubes in freezer bags to free up your ice cube trays. Make a nice batch of pesto and freeze anything you can't use before it goes bad in ice cube trays, with a layer of olive oil on top. Use the pesto in pastas, soups, risotto and baked salmon on top.
Remember that you can go in the sweet and savory direction with basil. We are happy to give you some options:
- If you've never put fresh herbs in your salads before, let today be the day. Fresh basil leaves are delicious in salads.
- Mix basil into a strawberry cocktail or mocktail. A strawberry daiquiri or strawberry margarita for example.
- Puree basil, olive oil and onions in a food processor or blender and add to tomato soups.
- Make a turkey sandwich with homemade basil mayonnaise. (just chopped basil, salt and pepper in mayo).
- Combine freshly chopped basil with garlic and olive oil to make a dairy-free pesto variety that can handle a variety of dishes, including pasta, salmon and whole-wheat bruschetta.
- Enjoy a warm cup of invigorating basil tea by steeping chopped basil leaves in boiling water for eight minutes.