Culinary Herbs – Fresh From Your Garden

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Culinary Herbs – Fresh From Your Garden

You may wonder why you should choose to plant an herb garden when you can purchase dried or fresh herbs. There are many benefits from planting your own garden like saving on grocery costs, having plants to nurture and aromatherapy. One of the main benefits of planting is that when you need an herb fresh for your recipe, it will be readily available.

Though you may go to the market frequently, it may be difficult and turn out to be a waste of money to stock up on certain herbs that you use frequently. There are some herbs that are ideally used fresh and no dried substitute to serve the same purpose. Snipping an herb fresh from the plant has a special quality to it that you can taste.

Here is a list of herbs that are ideal to use when fresh.
 
Parsley. Dried parsley, though available, cannot be used as that finishing garnish on the side of your plate. Parsley, when store bought, has a shelf life and will wilt after some time and can no longer be used. Most people use parsley sparingly. Buying a whole bunch of parsley would be ok if serving a lot of people, but for normal use, using your own plant is better.
 
Cilantro. There is no available dried cilantro because it is never used that way. The cilantro herb is always used fresh. But like Parsley, it also does not last a long time after it is cut. The leaves will get mushy and brown when no longer good enough to consume.
 
Mint. Imagine the delight of a fresh mint leaf in your ice tea or other hot or cold beverage preparations. Mint can’t be brought dried and sometimes you just need a few leaves to flavor whatever you are preparing. If you are going to have a celebration in your home and people will be indulging in alcoholic beverages, then it is advisable to buy a whole bunch.
 
Basil. There is a lot of dried basil in the market but nothing beats a fresh basil leaf or two added to your sauces. Though basil is not expensive and easy to buy, you may not be the type who consumes a lot of it in salads. You may use it infrequently and sparingly as an additional ingredient instead of as a main ingredient.
 
Chives. It is best to serve this herb fresh and chopped into small pieces and sprinkled as a final ingredient. This herb plant grows profusely and a couple of pots will be able to satisfy the need of a small family for its use. Having a supply of this will do an amazing transformation to a lot of dishes that you make.
 
Dill. Fresh dill adds that special European taste to your dishes. The taste is subtle and a sprig of this adds color and texture to sauce based dishes. Fresh dill is a must for any gourmet cook. Dill is easy to grow and is high yielding.
 
Enjoy herb fresh from your own indoor or outdoor herb garden everyday. Learn how to plant and what benefits it can have to your life and even how to use it in so many different ways.

Ginny Greene is an herb garden enthusiast. Visit Herb Garden Center for tips on growing your own fresh herbs and how to use them in cooking, crafts and home remedies. Also learn how to harvest, dry and store them for later use.

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