When it comes to cooking in the kitchen, Basil is found to be one of the most widely used herbs today. It’s used in a lot of dishes and cuisine. Ranging from Thai to Italian, this herb is aromatic and mild in flavor. It also has a hint of spiciness as well. Commonly, basil is paired up with tomatoes and used as a season in salads like Caprese Salad. It can also be used in sauces and soups to add another element to round out the flavors.

The Perfect Pesto

Basil is also a primary ingredient for the popular pesto sauce used in pasta dishes. Made with fresh basil, olive oil, cheese and garlic, this green chunky sauce is spooned over pasta or serves as a spread. Basil can be found in the supermarket in both dried and fresh forms. However, fresh basil is preferred because the flavors are better and more pronounced. Fresh basil can also be dried and stored in airtight containers as well.

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Storing Basil

But, if you want the most flavors you can also try this method. Puree the fresh basil in a blender and freeze the mixture in ice cube containers. When you need to add fresh basil to a dish, simply use the basil cube and you will have wonderful flavor. Almost a good was having a fresh bunch in your hand. When it comes to pricing, fresh basil can be a little on the expensive side. To save a little bit of money, you can also try to grow basil yourself.

Growing Your Own

Another great thing is that it’s easy for gardening beginners too. Basil just needs a little sunlight, water and a relatively warm climate. Placing it on the kitchen windowsill works great too. It’s very easy to access and care for.

Another tip for growing basil is to consistently harvest your plant. This harvesting will promote the plant to produce more. Be sure to keep it in warm weather, as it does not do well in cold weather. There are two common forms of basil. The first is the Genovese Type used in Italian cooking and the other is Purple basil, which is used in Asian Cuisine.

The Health Benefits

Basil can help protect your body from the harmful effects or free radicals. Studies show that because basil contains flavonoids and vicenin, it is helpful in protecting your cells from further oxidation. In addition, the oils in the basil leaf are shown to slow down several types of bacteria. This helps in digestion as well. The oil in basil also has anti-inflammatory effects that are similar to Ibuprofen.

With healing properties above, Basil is also rich in Vitamin A. Rich in anti-oxidants; this protects your cells from damage. This also helps keep your body from building up the cholesterol in your blood vessels. Besides vitamin A, basil also contains magnesium. Magnesium is found in your bones. It is important in the roles of your muscles and nerve endings. Magnesium also regulates your heartbeat.

Whatever you end up using, basil is a great addition to pump up your dishes as well as your kitchen. The great thing about basil is that on top of all these benefits, you also get other nutrients like, calcium, vitamin c and potassium. So why not, do yourself a favor and start adding some basil to your life. Your body and taste buds will thank you for it.

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