They’re fresh, aromatic and abundant in disease-fighting nutrients – and yet most of us only use herbs to sprinkle over dishes. Time to get generous! Star fresh herbs in salads, make your own pesto and spread, add oregano and thyme to roasted veg or try one of these health-boosting herb recipes to enhance flavour and your wellbeing.
This humble herb can be righteously called a superfood. Parsley is packed with vitamin C, K and A, folate and iron. Thanks to it’s natural diuretic abilities, parsley supports your body’s detoxification and improves digestion. Curly-leaf parsley is often used to garnish meals, whereas the bolder flavour of flat-leaf parsley works well with grilled fish in sauces like gremolata. Here are two more surprising ways to add parsley to your meals:
Strawberry Quinoa Tabouli from Feasting at Home
Chicken Piccata with Angel Hair Pasta and Asparagus from Brooklyn Supper
The star of Italian classics like pesto and Caprese salad is a good source of vitamin K, manganese and pro-vitamin A. Basil is also known for it’s antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory components. Let’s have a look at how you can use this health-boosting herb into more recipes:
Spinach Crepes with Mushrooms, Basil Pesto & Tahini Dressing from Rebel Recipes
Basil Peach Panzanella Salad from SoFab Food
Watermelon Basil Sorbet from Ahead of Thyme
Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, rosemary supports your memory and concentration. It may even provide protection against neurological damage and brain aging. So how can you get more of this fragrant herb into your food pattern?
Rosemary Garlic Beef with Wild Mushrooms from Feasting At Home
Grapefruit Rosemary Infused Water from Tasty Yummies
As a member of the allium family, chives share many of the same health benefits as onions and garlic. The compounds found in chives are linked to better heart health and immunity. Apart from egg dishes, what do chives go well with?
Pineapple Chili Chicken Skewers with Garlic Chive Dip from How Sweet Eats
Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Chive Pesto, Sunflower Parm and Smoky Chickpeas from The First Mess
Mostly used for pickles and salad dressings, fresh dill contains plenty of calcium, iron and disease-fighting nutrients. This Scandinavian favourite aids digestion and has cholesterol-lowering benefits. So borrow some inspiration from the Nordic cuisine to start eating more dill:
Parchment Baked Lemon Salmon and Potatoes with Dill Yoghurt from Half Baked Harvest
Zucchini Dill and Sweet Potato Loaf from Donna Hay
Who doesn’t like to sip a calming cup of mint tea? Mint is soothing for your stomach and a natural breath freshener. What’s more, essential oils made from mint are touted for their anti-microbial properties. Try these two sweet herb recipes to get the benefits from mint:
Mango and Herb Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing from Donna Hay
Creamy Mint Chocolate Vegan Ice-Cream from earthyandy
Since the Ancient Greeks, oregano has been used medicinally to treat respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. Modern research confirms that this Mediterranean herb contains potent antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help reduce infections, including the common cold. Have a look at these classic ways to add oregano to your meals:
One-Pot Greek Oregano Chicken and Orzo from Half Baked Harvest
Aubergine Parmigiana from Jamie Oliver
Bonus: If you don’t know what to do with leftover fresh herbs, have a look at these great tips to preserve herbs:
- How to Preserve and Freeze Fresh Herbs into Olive Oil by Tasty Yummies
- How to Dry Basil (and Other Herbs) by Love To Be In The Kitchen
- Making Herb Paste: And Easy Way to Preserve Fresh Herbs by The Herb Academy
- 7 Delicious Ways to Make Homemade Pesto by Greatist
- How to Make Infused Olive Oil by Tasty Yummies
How do you like to add fresh herbs to your meals?