Now that our potted herbs are available in the market, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with them and how to tend to them. Each one is different and there’s actually a ton of different uses that extend beyond cooking. For this reason we’ve created this herb blog series – so you can know how to not only pick out and take care of your herbs, but how to use them in ways you may have never thought of before. First up on the herb list: Basil.
How to Harvest
When picking out your basil plant you want to look for bright green leaves, avoiding any that may have black, brown or yellow spots Once at home, putting it in a sunny kitchen window will give it the perfect amount of sunlight to produce more leaves. When you decide to use it, pinch a few leaves off at a time on a regular basis so the plant can fill out.
How to Use It
Now that you’ve picked out your basil plant, it’s time to use it! Here are a few different ways you can benefit by adding it into your lifestyle:
1. Pesto – This is one of the most common uses for Basil and goes great on pasta, pizza, salads, meat and fish!
2. Drinks – Adding a little basil to your cocktail could be exactly what you need this summer to cool down. You can even add it to non-alcoholic drinks as well! Check out our drink recipes for some inspiration.
3. Headache Relief – Basil is a healing herb and can be used as a natural muscle relaxant. This also means it can be used to relieve headaches and sinus pain. You just need the steam from the plant. All you have to do is boil some water, put in a few basil leaves, and place a towel over your head. Breath in deeply for 5-10 minutes and inhale the steam.
4. Calming Bath – The antiseptic properties in basil will keep your skin soft and free from infection. Just add some leaves or oil to your bath to see the effects.
5. Essential Oil – Making your own basil essential oil can have many health benefits. From nausea, indigestion, respirator problems, stress and more, basil can be used to relieve many common health issues.
How to Store it
There’s a couple different options when it comes to storing your basil plants. One would be to put the cut stems in a container of water and keep them near a window (changing the water every other day to keep the basil fresh). Another option is to wrap the basil in a damp paper towel and stick it in the refrigerator (this will keep for 4-5 days).
Now that the herb season is in full swing, there’s no better time to stop in to Bishop’s Orchards and pick up your Basil plant. They won’t last long, so grab yours before they’re gone!