by: Cyndi RobertsHerbs are fun to grow and easy to use. Herbs can
be a frugal cook's best friend because they can
enhance even the simplest fare making it seem
grand! Herbs are easy to grow--you can even grow
them on your kitchen windowsill.
The addition of herbs can change completely the
flavor of foods-from homemade breads to soups,
stews and vegetables. And they can add variety
and excitement to your diet.
A beginner should use herbs with care, adding a little
at a time and adjusting to your own taste. Each herb
has its own individual flavor and certain herbs also
have well-known associations with particular foods.
Basil is often paired with tomatoes, rosemary with
lamb, chives with cream cheese and cottage cheese.
Fresh herbs are wonderful as garnishes. Herb vinegars
can be used in salad dressings, soups and marinades.
You can also add fresh herbs to mayonnaise or butter
for a different flavor.
Fresh herbs will keep in the refrigerator for several
days. A good way to freeze herbs such as basil, oregano,
and dill is to chop, place in ice cube trays, cover with
water and freeze. Then just add to stews and sauces
Some easy herbs to grow are lemon balm, rosemary, oregano,
dill, basil, parsley, peppermint, lavendar, sage.
Of course, you can buy herbs to cook with at the
Here are some simple recipes to get you started
using herbs in your cooking.
Lemon Chive Dressing
1 clove garlic
dash of salt
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
and the juice
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Put the garlic and salt in a bowl and crush together.
Add lemon rind, juice and mustard, stirring until
smooth. Slowly whisk in the oil. Fold in chives
and season with black pepper, if desired.
This is a good dressing to pour over warm, cooked new
potatoes. Add finely chopped green onions.
Mint Iced Tea
Wash 8 sprigs of fresh mint, 12 inches long (any mint,
spearmint, peppermint, applemint will do). Place in
blender with 4 cups water and liquefy. Let it set for
about 1/2 hour and strain.
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons fresh herbs or 2 teaspoons of dried herbs
Soften the butter to room temperature. Finely chop the
fresh herbs. Blend herbs and butter well. Store in
Use to season vegetables, as a spread on bread, biscuits
or baked potatoes. Anywhere you normally use butter.
Here's something different: not really cooking, but a
recipe that you might find fun!
Basil-Lemon Facial Mask
Pulverize a handful of fresh basil leaves. Peel 1/2 of
an avocado and mash. Add avocado to basil in blender,
along with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon honey.
Mix until smooth.
Apply to clean face and leave as long as desired. Rinse
off with lukewarm water.
In short, you don't have to be an herb specialist to
learn to enjoy using herbs.
About the author:
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter
"1 Frugal Friend 2 Another", bringing you practical,
money-saving tips, recipes and ideas. Visit her online at
http://www.cynroberts.comto subscribe and receive the
Free e-course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".