Make sure to enjoy every moment of the summer with your family and friends! We hope you are soaking up the sun and making memories. Along with July comes more amazing food grown in our pots and gardens. This month we want to share some information about basil, one of our favorite herbs. Basil is believed to be native to India and has been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years. However, it is often used as a culinary herb in Italian and Asian cuisine. Basil is rich in antioxidants and contains anti-inflammatory benefits. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, and calcium.
TASTE & USES
Nothing adds that “je ne sais quoi” to a dish like basil. It is delicious and you can use it fresh as a garnish, in pesto or as a dried seasoning. Basil can be used to add flavor to any dish like your favorite pasta dish, pizza, your favorite Asian inspired soup and even cocktails. Both the stems as well as the leaves can be used for added flavor.
In order to get the most intense flavor and the most nutrients, fresh basil should be added at the end of the cooking process. Prolonged heat causes the oils to dissipate, thus reducing the distinct flavor basil adds.
GROWING & MORE
Basil will thrive both in the ground and in pots. The soil should have good drainage. Basil likes to be watered frequently and enjoys a moderate amount of direct sunlight. While many humans love the refreshing aroma of basil leaves, that same odor will keep mosquitoes away. So plant some basil in pots on your deck or patio and enjoy!