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Cooking with Fresh Herbs

Use Organic Bulk Herbs to Lower Organic Cooking Cost

Cooking with fresh herbs produces tastier food. Use organic cookbooks for recipes that use organic herbs. Buy organic bulk herbs (such as organic Chinese herbs) to manage costs.

The phrase, "the fresher the better" is often used in culinary circles and that is certainly the case when you're cooking with fresh herbs. Dry herbs can quickly lose their flavor and aromatic element when they're sitting on the pantry shelf (particularly in hot or sunny spaces). So you never know for sure how well that flavor will translate into your dish.

Organic fresh herbs are completely different. Now you have something in hand that you can take a little nibble from and test the potency. While many fresh herbs don't release their full effect until you macerate or cook them, the bite will give you a base-point measure.

Because the growing conditions for organic herbs vary from year to year, as can the soil etc., the exact flavor of that leaf will change. It's just nature! You cannot trust that one batch of mint will be like the last you bought. So unless you're growing your own, take a close look at your fresh organic herbs making sure they look bright, have no molds, etc. before bringing them home for cooking.

Cooking with Fresh Herbs: Tools

There are a couple of tools that you will want to have on hand if you plan on buying fresh herbs. One is a mortar and pestle. This will help in gently bruising leaves so they release their oils into your dishes. An herb and spice grinder is nice too (you can use a coffee bean grinder in a pinch!) so you get an even consistency in the herb size. Finally invest in a sharp knife of a pair of herb scissors so you can make short work of the herbs when preparing them for a meal.

Organic Herbs: Flavor Maximization

When cooking with fresh herbs it's important to leave the chopping or cutting to the very last minute. Otherwise you will loose some of the flavor as the herb sits. Also unless the herb is required by the recipe at the start of your cooking, add those fresh items close to the end of your dish. That will result in the strongest aromatics and flavors.

Organic Bulk Herbs: Too Much of a Good Thing

Supermarkets have this habit of selling fresh herbs in large bundles. And if you buy directly from organic farmers, you can buy organic bulk herbs. While you can wrap a damp towel around the leaves and get the bundle to last a week - after that it's really no good. That's a terrible waste and can be avoided.

For Example:

For example, you can make an organic basil pesto with 6 cups fresh organic basil leaves (firmly packed); 1 cup pine nuts; 9 cloves of garlic (chopped); 1 to 1 ½ cups extra virgin organic olive oil; and 1 ½ cups freshly grated organic parmesan cheese.

You have to process it in small batches. Chop the basil, pine nuts and garlic in a food processor and then slowly add the oil while the processor is on. Add the grated cheese, and a pinch of ground black pepper and salt to taste.

Instead, chop up the excess and freeze it in whatever type of stock you wish. Pour this mixture into pop-out ice cube trays and freeze.

Once completely frozen transfer the cubes to a freezer safe bag and label it for future use.

Fast and easy, and this maintains as much flavor as possible.

Alternatively, you can oven-dry the herbs slowly, crush and store in an airtight container. Once dried be sure to keep your herbs out of heat and sunlight.

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Disclaimer: The content of this page is an opinion and is not meant to be medical advice. We do not make any therapeutic claims for herbal supplements. This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in providing medical advice or professional services. Please consult with your doctor, health care practioner or professional service provider for specific problems or advice. Many recipes have been tested however some are submissions: no guarantee is given that the ingredients or directions provided are correct and complete.

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