Herbs are a wonderful thing. They are not only great to cook with, but are also amazing to use as home remedies. Whether you need them to spice up a meal or you need them for a home remedy, we have put together 10 herbs you can’t live without.
Basil is one of the most well-known and most used herbs, when it comes to cooking. Basil is mainly and most often known for its use in Italian cooking. However, it is also used in other aspects of cooking and most people don’t even realize it. Basil adds a unique flavor and awesome flare to any food it is used for. A nice fact that most people do not know is that basil comes in several different types and smells. You can cook with the common sweet basil, which has a pretty strong scent of clove or you can go more citrusy scent if you want to use the lime and lemon basil.
Mint is one of the best kept secrets of the herb world. Most people naturally assume mint is used as a garnish for different dishes. In some cases this is true, it is used as a garnish. What most people don’t realize is that it can also be used in dishes themselves.Often times the first thing that comes to mind is mint flavored ice cream, however; mint, actually more specifically spearmint, makes a great addition to things like peas, carrots, and lamb.
Rosemary is an herb full of aroma. It hails from the Mediterranean and and is a great addition to chicken, pizza, lamb, and pork. When mixed with olive oil and garlic it sets off a whole new flavor. Keep in mind this herb is very strong so a little bit really does go a long way.
Thyme (pronounced time) is another little hidden gem of the herb world. Similar to basil, thyme comes in a wide variety as well. The thyme traditionally used for cooking is French thyme. This herb makes a wonderful addition any dishes that have beans, vegetables, or eggs in them.
Oregano is an herb used in many different ethnic dishes. More often oregano is used in Mexican and Italian dishes. It is in the mint family and is similar in a few ways to thyme. The flavor of oregano can be described as bitter, but when it is cooked alongside other herbs that flavor changes.
Marjoram is another secret herb that not many know about or use in everyday cooking. It, too, is a member of the mint family and is in close relation to oregano. This herb has more of a sweet flavor rather than bitter. Marjoram is a more delicate herb and is used for recipes that involve wild game, poultry, sausages, and vegetable and/or tomato- based dishes.
Cumin is the second most popularly used spice in the world. It comes in seed or powder form and its flavor is very unique: it is spicy, nutty, and has a bitter undertone to it. Cumin is usually used when preparing fish, chili, or stew types of dishes.
Sage is very similar to rosemary because of its strong flavor and aroma. This is an herb that is best used when cooking meats like pork, duck, and chicken. It is a really good herb to use for meat with a lot of fat content, but it doesn’t require a lot of it. Just a little bit will give you the flavor you desire.
Turmeric is an herb that is usually used in Asian dishes. The most common use of turmeric is for making curry or curry flavored/ inspired dishes. Curry is often used when cooking Indian dishes so it can be said that turmeric is often used in Indian dishes as well. The taste of turmeric is bitter and warm. It is often used to add color to dishes as well.
Tarragon is herb with a very subtle taste that is somewhat bittersweet. While it is a herb predominantly used in egg dishes or dishes involving tomatoes, it goes well when making things that involve salmon, rabbit, chicken, and/or baby vegetables.
While some of the spices may be already in your cabinet and others you may have never heard of, they are all wonderful to use. With the holidays upons using the ten spices is sure to add amazing flavor to whatever dishes you serve. Just keep in mind the ones that only need a little bit to add a big flavor.