Summer is the ideal time for losing weight. This warm weather season is perfect for outdoor activities like swimming, The Skinny on Herbs Articles gardening, and playing Frisbee in the park. And it’s easier to walk and bike instead of driving everywhere. This extra summer activity burns up calories quickly. And with all the delicious summer fruits and vegetables in season, it’s easier to eat lighter and consume fewer calories Sananga.
Another advantage of the summer season is availability of fresh herbs. And one of the best ways to lose weight is to prepare your food with plenty of fresh herbs. Whether you plant them yourself or pick them up at the grocery store or farmers’ market, adding fresh herbs is a quick way to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary meals. Herbs are a great way to flavor foods without adding salt, fat, sugar, and calories. And they offer the additional benefit of having antioxidants that may help protect against cancer and heart disease.
This summer experience what a difference in flavor and appearance fresh herbs can make. Try sprinkling fresh snipped chives or parsley over a baked potato topped with a dollop of sour cream. Fresh herbs will instantly kick up the flavor and appearance of all your favorite dishes without adding to your waistline.
How to Use Fresh Herbs
In general, add the more delicate herbs – basil, chives, cilantro, dill leaves, parsley, mint – to your recipe about a minute or two before it’s finished cooking or sprinkle them on the food just before it’s served. The less delicate herbs – oregano, rosemary, thyme – can be added during the last 20 minutes of cooking.
Substituting Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs
As a general guideline for using fresh herbs in a recipe use about 3 times as much as you would use of the dried herb. You’ll often be more successful substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs, rather than the other way around. For example, make potato salad with fresh versus dried parsley!
When to Pick or Purchase Herbs
Purchase herbs close to the time you plan to use them. When growing herbs in your own garden, the ideal time for picking is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets hot. This helps ensure the best flavor and storage quality.
How to Store Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs can be stored in an open or perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper drawer for a few days. If you don’t have access to commercial perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a regular plastic bag.
If you have more herbs than you can eat, place herbal bouquets around your home. You can use either single herbs, combinations of herbs, or you can use the herbs as greenery mixed in with other flowers. To help preserve the aroma and color of your herb bouquets, place them out of direct sunlight.
Popular Fresh Herb and Food Combinations
BASIL a natural snipped in with tomatoes; terrific in fresh pesto; other possibilities include pasta sauce, peas, zucchini
CHIVES dips, potatoes, tomatoes
CILANTRO Mexican, Asian, and Caribbean cooking; salsas, tomatoes
DILL carrots, cottage cheese, fish, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes
MINT carrots, fruit salads, parsley, peas, tabbouleh, tea
OREGANO peppers, tomatoes
PARSLEY The curly leaf is the most common, but the flat-leaf or Italian parsley is more strongly flavored and often preferred for cooking. Parsley tastes great with potato salad, tabbouleh, egg salad sandwiches
ROSEMARY chicken, fish, lamb, pork, roasted potatoes, soups, stews, tomatoes
THYME eggs, lima beans, potatoes, poultry, summer squash, tomatoes