Herbs are darlings to GreenPath Food. Fundamental to permaculture and organic farming, herbs naturally deter pests and provide nutrients to surrounding plants. Perennial varieties of herbs hold water in the ground all year-round, creating a cooled microclimate for their neighbours.
Herbs are also key ingredients in many dishes from around the world, with a small quantity adding distinctive flavouring. Their versatility is tremendous - for example, replacing oregano with lemongrass can change a staple Mediterranean dish into an Asian-fusion fare! Herbs also have traditional medicinal uses in many cultures, due to the high quantities of phytochemicals found in them.
Chives are one of the five essential herbs in French cuisine and the smallest species of the onion family. The delicate shape of the harvested herb provides for a beautiful garnish, as long stems along the side of a plate or chopped finely and sprinkled over the the top of a spread, soup, or potatoes, while also providing an onion-like aroma and zesty spark of flavour. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Copper, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, Zinc.
Garlic Chives are a type of onion grown for the leafage rather than the bulb. The leaves are heartier than traditional Chives with a fresh, garlic flavour and are used to season soups and sauces, as well as poultry and fish dishes. Garlic Chives can also be blended with butter to make a savory herbal butter with a hint of garlic. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-6, C, E, and K, Zinc.
Genovese Basil is a versatile herb that can be used to flavour a variety of dishes, such as soups and sauces. However, the herb's delicate flavour, intoxicating aroma, and palatable texture makes it wonderfully suited to fresh preparations. Some delicious classics include Caprese Salad with layers of fresh Genovese Basil, heirloom tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella, drizzled with a small amount of olive oil and salt, and Basil Pesto with pureed basil, garlic, olive oil, and perhaps some roasted pine nuts. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, Zinc.
Lemongrass is a culinary herb with a zesty, citrus-like aroma commonly used in Asian cuisine. It is often the secret ingredient in traditional Thai and Vietnam soups and curries, providing these dishes with their distinct flavour. Throughout various regions in African, fresh Lemongrass is often used as the base for a tea that is served post dinner. Lemongrass also has unique agronomic properties, derring harmful pest while also attractive honey bees that stimulate pollination. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamins A, B-6, C, and D.
Mint's distinctively refreshing aroma and taste makes it a key ingredient in a diversity of dishes, from lamb, to salads, to deserts, drinks, and jams. Ethiopian Mint, native to the Rift Valley, is similar to the common Mint variety but has a slightly softer texture and a sweeter undertone. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Copper, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Vitamins A and C, Zinc.
With its distinctively floral aroma, Lavender has a number of versatile uses, as a refreshing accent to both savory and sweet dishes, as well as to natural cosmetics. In savory dishes, Lavender is a perfect compliment to fish - a few lavender buds stuffed into baked fish gives the dish an aromatic kick. In sweet dishes, Lavender is incorporated into baked goods, such as cakes and macaroons, as well as other sweets such as ice cream, giving these treats a surprisingly refreshing twist. Lavender is also an essential oil that has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be used to treat minor burns and bites. Nutritional information: Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A.
Oregano is part of the Origanum species of plants, a relative of the Mint family. It is native to the temperate Mediterranean region, and therefore is a staple herb and strongly associated with Mediterranean cuisine. Fresh Oregano makes a delicious garish for pizza, as well as frittatas, garlic bread, and salad dressings. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Protein, Vitamins A, B-6, C, and D.
Italian Parsley, also known as Flat-leaved Parsley, is a popular culinary herb, widely used in Mediterranean, European, and American cuisines. It is a critical ingredient in dishes such as tabbouleh but can also be used broadly as a garnish or flavour accent, complimenting chicken, lamb, and beef dishes well. Despite its common use, Parsley is considered a "superfood," given its rich content of antioxidants and folic acid, an important B vitamin associated with cardio-vascular health. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Protein, Vitamins A, B-6, and C.
Rosemary is another member of the Mint family originating from the Mediterranean region. This herb has a pinewood-like aroma and a bittersweet yet fresh flavouring. Rosemary can be used fresh or dried, and its strong taste makes it ideal for stews, roasts, and meats. Rosemary oil is commonly used as both a fragrance and to treat a variety of ailments. The herb also has historical cultural associations; for example, in Europe in the Middle Ages, a bride would wear headpieces made of fresh rosemary, as it was thought to be a love charm. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamins A, B-6, C, and D.
Sage, another staple of Mediterranean cuisine, has both culinary and health-promoting qualities. Fresh Sage has a distinctive appearance with long narrow leaves, fuzzy texture, and dusty coloring. It has a both a sweet and savory flavour and is often used in dishes such as roasted and chicken, as well as omelets and other egg dishes. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Copper, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Vitamins A, B6, C and K, Zinc.
Thyme is an aromatic herb with small-leaves that is distinctively fragrant and often used in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. It goes well with lamb, poultry, and tomatoes, as well as soups, stock, and sauces. As an essential oil, Thyme is traditionally used to treat sore throats, headaches, coughs, and colds. Nutritional Information: Calcium, Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Protein, Vitamins A, B-6, and C.