We have not only been using fresh veggies and fruits in our cooking lately, but also fresh herbs. I think they have a lot more flavor than the dried stuff. A few of our favorites are Parsley, Italian Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro. I can buy them cheap enough at the grocery store, but I get a huge bunch of them that go gross before I use them all.
So, thought I, I should plant my own herb garden!
On Saturday, I dragged my mother-in-law all the way out to a small town in Kansas that happens to have a really great greenhouse. They have great flowers and I knew I would be able to find someone to help me get started on growing herbs.
August isn't the best month to start - there weren't a ton of herb plants to choose from, but still I picked out a few to start my little indoor garden.
First we have Stevia. If you eat one of these leaves it is just like putting a little bit of sugar on your tongue. Stevia has been ground up and crystalized and is used as a sweetener now - you probably have heard of it marketed as "Truvia." I really only got this one to fill up some space, but if I ever have a sweet tooth I might chew on a leaf.
Then, we have a lovely smelling plant called Chocolate Mint. Ha! I couldn't believe it. It tastes very much like spearmint to me, not chocolate, so I will use it in iced tea.
Next is sweet basil. They also had another basil that smelled yummy, but I don't use it that often. We use basil in our italian dishes. Oh, one recipe I really like is to take a slice of tomato, top it with some chopped basil, then a slice of fresh mozzarella, and then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh black pepper. Now you have yourself a caprese salad and a yummy snack.
Last are the garlic chives which will be great on baked potatoes and in salads. Both of which are popular at our house.
So, I didn't get my parsley or my cilantro - the whole point of starting an herb garden - but, my mom had an ingenious idea of going back and buying the seeds. Since my garden is inside, I don't have to wait for next spring to plant!
Now, I just have to remember to go use the herbs instead of going straight to the cupboards!