June 2008 Newsletter: Spring’s Earthly Herbs

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NasturtiumsSpring does not only mean fresh vegetables, but also fresh herbs!

If you are lucky enough to have your own garden, I bet you pride yourself on serving your own fresh veggies. If you are a city-dwellers like me, you can still enjoy some home-grown goodness and have an herb garden! I have a window that I lined with my newly purchased herb pots from the farmer’s market. That way, I have access to healthy fresh herbs anytime I need to brighten up my meal.

If you don’t have access to a farmer’s market, three are still plenty of ways to put that green thumb to use this month! Most large hardware stores and groceries carry pots of your favorite fresh herbs.

Why do I love fresh herbs so much? Besides adding delicious fat-free, practically calories-free flavor to recipes, they are very high in minerals and have hidden health benefits. So forget about herbal supplements, and start cooking with fresh herbs like basil and thyme. Ward off those spring colds that are going around your office by incorporating some fresh herbs into your diet. Here are some herbs that pack a powerful punch.

  • Lemon SageCooks love to pair sage with apples, sausage, and pork roasts, but do you know that it is also an anti-oxidant with antibacterial properties? It has been shown to reduce blood-sugar in diabetics and to reduce perspiring. What’s more, it’s been shown to help with memory retention!
  • Want a clearer complexion? Add fragrant basil to your salad, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. Basil has been shown to alleviate acne and calm blood pressure and is a reputed aphrodisiac – meow, meow.
  • Parsley’s not just a garnish! Chewing on some parsley is a great way to cure halitosis, better known as bad breath. Parsley is also known to curb high blood pressure, and help lessen the effects of allergies.
  • Rosemary is traditionally used to flavor meat and home-baked breads. However, it can also help your body avoid food poisoning because of its powerful antibacterial properties. It also acts as a digestive aid and works well as a decongestant when added to a hot bath.
  • Thyme, like rosemary, also has antibacterial properties. It’s a good digestive aid, has been know to help ease menstrual cramps and is considered a common cold remedy.

You can learn more about cooking and enjoying herbs by visiting my recipe section.

 

Grilling Favorites for Father’s Day

HerbsDad’s day will be here before you know it! Forget the tie or magazine subscription and get him something he can literally sink his teeth into! Throw him and his chums a grill-out party with some of my favorite and unique grilling recipes.

Start the party out with pulled pork sandwiches while you’re heating up the coals! Jalapeno flank steak will hit the spot for beef lovers. Anyone can throw dogs and burgers on the grill, but make it special with something new like grilled eggplant with miso dressing or chipotle orange shrimp with spicy mayo.

 

Hot Food Spots on the Internet

  • Visit startcooking.com, and help me congratulate friend Kathy Maister, the recent winner of the prestigious Webby Award for her fun and exciting site that teaches you how easy cooking can be. “The Webby Awards honors the outstanding work that is setting the standards for the Internet,” said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. “StartCooking.com’s Official Honoree selection is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”
  • Ever wanted to get expert advice from a nutritionist? Check out my friend Leslie Dantchik’s exciting and beautiful new blog, alphabitesnyc.com, where she share the ABC’s of healthy living for real people.

 

Happy & Healthy Cooking,
— Jennifer

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