A Guide to Using Herbs When You Cook


In so many ways, herbs are just plain healthy for you. They make it easier to create healthy dishes which are lower in sodium and saturated fat, since they lend flavor to just about any recipe. And in and of themselves, many herbs contains healing compounds such as antioxidants and other phytochemicals that strengthen your immunity and boost your general health. Below is a guide to cooking with some of the most common and popular herbs.


This fragrant green plants lends flavor to white meats, beef, turkey, lamb and also pairs well with fruit like raspberries and strawberries. It is a great addition to stir-fries, just about any Italian dish and is great in tomato sauces or simply used as a garnish. It combines well with other herbs like thyme, oregano or fennel and can be infused in a variety of oils, include canola, sesame, olive or safflower oil.


This leafy, aromatic herb does well when lending its distinctive flavor to salmon dishes as well as yogurt and vegetables like carrots or cucumbers. It is a great ingredients for borscht or other vegetable-based soups as well as stews, in cream or cottage cheese, in salads and of course as a flavoring for pickles. Other herbs like mustard, pepper, allspice, chives and parsley go well with dill and it can be infused into canola or safflower oil.


Mint lends a lovely, cool flavor to savory dishes of pork, potatoes and peas or sweet dishes with chocolate or fruit. It is frequently used in jams and jellies, baked goodies like cakes and pies and even the famous English mint sauce for lamb chops. It combines well with other spices like cumin, cayenne, lemon verbena or chamomile and can be infused into canola, safflower, walnut or coconut oil.


One of the classic Mediterranean herbs, oregano pairs well with a variety of red and white meats including chicken, fish, beef, pork and turkey. It is also great in pasta sauces and as a way to lend more flavor to pizza. In Italian dishes especially, it is often found in combination with bay, marjoram, thyme, fennel or basil and can be infused in canola, safflower or avocado oil.


This aromatic, perennial herb is versatile and can enhance the flavor of a variety of foods, including meats like turkey, pork and beef and vegetables lie spinach, tomatoes and potatoes. It is frequently found in sauces and stuffing, usually alongside herbs like oregano, thyme and basil. It can be infused into safflower, olive, corn and canola oil.


This classic herbs is great with fruits and vegetables like apples and squash as well as a variety of meats, including beef, sausage, fish or pork. It is a great ingredient in stuffing, homemade sausage and lends a great flavor to pork roast or hamburgers. Sage is frequently used with other herbs like lemon or winter savory and can be infused into canola, safflower or avocado oils.

So if you are wanting to experiment a bit with herbs, use this as a basic guide to cooking with the aromatic wonders. If you do, you will be amazed at the flavors they can bring to nearly any dish.

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Christine . S
Christine has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.