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Herbs. My Top 5 + my favourite pesto

white-mulberry-tree garden fresh-garden-herb-parsely pomegrante-tree garden-gnome fresh-garden-herb-oregano fresh-lemon-garden

Its been nine days since I landed in Sydney. A slow nine days.

 

Not the kind of slow where you wish that time would go faster. This slow has been of the kind where I haven’t found myself frantically rushing around to get to the next place on time, scheduling something into my every spare minute and making sure I ‘fit’ everyone in.

 

I’v sat still, climbed trees, walked at the pace of others (seriously, my greatest challenge ever!), and just been here.

 

Slow and wholeheartedly, here.

 

My favourite spot for taking it slow has definately been my granddad’s garden. Chilli crops planted, spinach and stinging nettle in full swing, and the beautiful white mulberry tree (which doubles as a tree house) jewelled with precious juicy berries.

 

And of course, the fresh herbs.

 

These are my top five.

 

1. PARSLEY – Ok, so perhaps I’m a little biased here because I’v grown up with this herb on every single dish made in my family kitchen. But really, it is the most versatile herb ever. It goes in soups, smoothies, stews, marinades, tea, and every single dish that comes out of my kitchen now too. I LOVE parsley.  

Did you know? Parsley is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and iron, cleanses and oxygenates the blood and stimulates digestion to help our hard working organs eliminate toxins!

 

2. BASIL – tomato, olive oil, garlic, basil salt. Need I say more?

Did you know? Basil contains essential oils that promote healthy skin, and it’s full of anti-bacterial and anti-infamitory properties that boost cell health and the immune system!

 

3. THYME – In my kitchen, these pretty little leafy stalks end up in every roast chicken or lamb, every pot of simmering stock and in most marinades. You will also find me adding thyme to eggs/omelettes, vegetarian risotto’s and of course, my Za’atar mix!

Did you know? Thyme makes a great herbal tea that helps soothe and treat coughs and colds. It also contains essential oils that help protect the brain by increasing beneficial omega- 3 fatty acids in the brain!

 

4. MINT – Well, the truth is, I’m currently sipping on a cup of mint tea as I sit here and write. In fact, you will ALWAYS find me sipping on a cup of mint tea. Mint tea for morning, midday and midnight. Oh, and of course I use it to cook with as well! Fresh mint, in salads, dried mint in my delicious white bean and smoked pork soup.

Did you know? Mint is the ultimate herb for digestive aid! It begins its genius work by stimulating the digestive enzymes in our mouths (yes, digestion begins in the mouth, not the gut!),  thus relieving symptoms of indigestion and bloating. It also soothes nausea and cramps by acting as a muscle relaxant in our stomach. How awesome!

 

5. OREGANO – the trusty ‘fill in’. Unlike the my top four, oregano isn’t a herb I’m head over heels obsessed with. It really only makes this list because I use it all the time, and can always count on it to step into the leading role when other’s are not available. Dried or fresh, I don’t mind. It goes with anything.

Did you know? The health benefits of oregano and oregano oil are by far the greatest and most potent of all the herbs on my list. It really is a the herb to use to achieve great health. Click here for the low down on oregano and to learn about how it can help heal you!

 

Disclaimer – You have probably noticed that the much loved herb coriander doesn’t get to feature in my top 5. Well, I’m glad to share that it doesn’t and will not feature in my top 10, 20 or even 100 and admit to you that I HATE coriander, cilantro, whatever you want to call it. I do not feel obliged to use it, feel any less adequate in my kitchen because I don’t like to eat it and to be honest, I really don’t think I’m missing out on any tasty-full experience that I couldn’t achieve  by simply taking a bite out of my bar of soap in the shower!

 

 

RECIPE – MY FAVOURITE PESTO

 

(No measurements here guys, make it to your own taste)

 

a big bunch of basil

a medium sized bunch each of parsely and oregano

a big handful pine nuts

extra virgin olive oil

lemon juice

salt

balsamic vinegar

 

Pulse half the pine nuts in food processor until a pulp has formed. Then add the basil, parsely and oregano, some oil and salt. Process until herbs are almost fully blended. Add the rest of the pine nuts, lemon juice, and balsamic and continue to process until desired pesto consistency is reached. Taste for salt and add any extra oil, lemon juice or vinegar if needed. Store in a glass jar topped with olive oil in the fridge.



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