Add this fresh herb to your favorite summertime dishes

Dill and summer go hand in hand

herbs blogIn our ongoing series about ways to add a fresh herb to your meals, today we’re featuring dill.

Dill lends its sweet-and-sour flavor to a variety of foods from several European countries, as well as to Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. It provides a hint of summery flavor to a lemon sauce for fish, in yogurt-based dips, on vegetables such as carrots and spinach, in egg dishes or with legumes.

Dill leaves are used fresh or dried and are sometimes referred to as dill weed. The seeds of dill also have culinary uses, most commonly in creating pickled vegetables. While cucumbers create the well-known dill pickle, other vegetables that can be pickled with dill include green beans, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and okra. This Easy and Delicious Dill Pickle recipe uses fresh dill instead of the seeds.

Continue reading

Add fresh herbs for great flavor and heart-healthy benefits

Get onboard with basil

herbs blogFresh herbs add great flavor to a variety of dishes and are a wonderful complement to a Mediterranean-style eating plan. Adding herbs to recipes also eliminates the need for salt. A low-sodium diet may help improve blood pressure, thus reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Herbs also provide healthy antioxidants and, if you grow them yourself, will be at peak quality for your favorite recipes.

We’ll take a look at several different herbs in the coming months, starting today with basil. Be sure to check back often to learn more about herbs and how they can be used in specific recipes.

The benefits of basil

If you’re excited to get your herb garden started, begin by planting basil seeds indoors in early to mid-April. The plants can be transplanted outdoors when the temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night. Because it is sensitive to cooler temperatures, basil is an annual herb in Michigan. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, frequent care through pruning will result in greater production of leaves. Continue reading