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Plant-Based Living

Summer Herb Guide

Posted on June 30, 2016

Say goodbye to the expensive store-bought packages of herbs that typically go bad before you use the whole thing. Instead, grow your own at home so they are always fresh and on hand when you need them. Growing your own summer herbs is much easier than you think. Here are some tips for growing and using six of our favorite summer herbs.

1) Basil

This herb smells like pure summer and is a wonderful addition to any garden. Pesto is one of the first dishes that comes to mind when you think basil, however, it also pairs well with fresh tomatoes and you can add it to your favorite buttery spread to liven up corn on the cob. Remember to pick leaves from the top of the plant regularly to promote growth.

2) Thyme

With a flavor profile that’s a cross of Rosemary and oregano, thyme is more than just the butt of many cooking jokes. This herb is a fantastic addition to grilling marinades and adds extra oomph to dinner rolls. If you don’t have a green thumb, thyme is drought resistant so don’t worry if you occasionally forget to water.

3) Chives

High heat will destroy this herb’s delicate onion and garlic flavors. With that in mind, add chives at the end of cooking or enjoy it raw in cold summer salads. You should grow this herb next to plants that aphids prey on as it acts as a natural repellant. 

4) Parsley

Not only can this herb freshen your breath it’s also a superfood that’s high in Vitamin C & folic acid. Parsley is the main ingredient in tabbouleh salad and a great garnish for pizza, pasta and grilled veggies. Parsley is a biennial plant, in the first year harvest leaves from the outside so it keeps growing. In the second year the leaves have a less intense flavor, allow this time for the plant to bloom and regenerate.

5) Spearmint

This variety of mint is sweeter and more nuanced than other varieties. Add whole leaves to cold teas or use it to flavor a simple syrup that you can add to drinks and fruit salads. Mint will take over other plants in your garden so be sure to give it a space to grow on its own.

6) Lavender

This soothing flower will add new depth to your baked goods and drinks. Just remember a little goes a long way! Grind it up with some sugar for making baked goods or infuse it into cream or syrup for drinks. Just remember to get culinary lavender and not ornamental for the best flavor.

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