Know Your Ingredients - BASIL
Hey guys, today we are going to be talking about another aromatic herb that is used extensively in Italian cuisine - yes, I’m talking about BASIL
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most common herbs used as a flavoring agent in various cuisines throughout the world, It has a sweet fragrance and combines well with tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers. Tomatoes and Basil are a match made in heaven, I mean seriously, who doesn’t love Caprese Salad?
There are more than 60 varieties of Basil, the most common ones being Sweet Basil, Thai Basil and Holy Basil. Each variety has a distinct aroma and subtle difference in taste. In today's post, I will be talking about Sweet Basil.
Basil is considered one of the healthiest herbs and comes with a long list of health benefits.
Below are some of the HEALTH BENEFITS OF BASIL:
Basil is full of polyphenols. Polyphenols are micro nutrients that get be derived from colorful fruits and veggies that help boost the immune system and there by help prevent chronic diseases.
Basil is a good source of Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for the absorption of calcium in the body, so it helps keep your bones stronger.
Basil is great for your skin. It contains beta-carotenes, which are powerful antioxidants that may help protect your cells from free radical damage, fight oxidation and slow down the effects of aging. Who wouldn't want that?
CULINARY USES OF BASIL:
Basil can be used in a ton of ways - Basil is the star ingredient in the classic pesto sauce. It can be added to sautéed vegetables and sauces like marinara sauce to enhance the flavor of the sauce. It can also be added to flavor meat and seafood dishes. Watch the video for more ideas on how to use basil.
Both fresh and dried basil can be added to enhance the flavor of dishes and experience the health benefits of basil.
STORING FRESH BASIL:
Basil is one of the herbs that can be grown easily in your kitchen garden or just in a small container on your kitchen window-sill. You can harvest the leaves as and when required to flavor your dishes.
But if you prefer buying it from the grocery store, then here's an easy way to make them last longer:
Remove them from their packaging and place them in a glass jar with water in it (watch the video above). Place the basil along with the stems in the glass jar and place it on your counter top or in the fridge and use as and when required. This will help the basil leaves last for a longer period of time.