Awesome Herbs to Grow at Home
Herbs add a great deal of flavor and texture to many of our favorite meals. And while there are plenty of different varieties readily available for purchase at your local grocery store, growing your own herbs at home is something that many prefer for a number of reasons. Thankfully for home gardeners, herb growing is relatively easy. They thrive in almost any type of soil, don’t require any special fertilizer and, for those grown indoors, are not plagued with insects or other pests.
If you’re just starting out with herb growing, it can be helpful to know which types of herbs are the best ones for beginners. Here are five options that are easy to grow and harvest, versatile in use and great for your health.
Despite the fact that most people use parsley as a garnish, we think it should be incorporated as part of the main dish. Why? Because parsley is loaded with nutrients, including vitamins A and C. In fact, just one tablespoon of this fresh herb is enough to provide you with more than half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Best of all, parsley doesn’t require much maintenance to grow. Try it in our Succotash Salad or our creamy Chick Pea Cauliflower Risotto.
Not only does basil add a distinct flavor to dishes, but it’s also packed with valuable nutrients. For instance, it’s a great source of fiber and is believed to have a calming and detoxifying effect on the body. Growing basil doesn’t take much effort as it’s a hardy plant that only needs to be watered every other day. To enjoy the fruits of your labor, try your home-grown basil in our delicious and nutritious Vegetable Meatloaf.
The flavor of cilantro is synonymous with Mexican and Asian cuisines, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your use. If you love the taste, feel free to get creative – like we did with our Avocado Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice! What’s also awesome about cilantro is that it’s a good source of fiber and helps draw toxic heavy metals, like mercury and lead, out of the body. To grow cilantro, you’ll need deep soil. This one may take a bit more effort than the others, but if you’re up for the challenge it’ll be well worth it.
Part of the onion family, chives feature a distinctly strong and robust flavor that complements a variety of dishes. From a health standpoint, chives are believed to help boost the immune system, so if you’re prone to colds and other seasonal ailments, you may want to incorporate more chives into your diet. Best of all, they’re super easy to grow as they don’t require much light or space to flourish. To enjoy more chives, swap them out in any recipe that calls for green onions, like our Cheddar Spinach Cauliflower Pancakes.
Unlike some herbs that tend to dominate the flavors of a dish, thyme is better known for its balance and ability to complement and elevate the taste of other herbs, just like it does with our Quinoa Vegetable Salad. In addition to cooking with thyme, the herb has long been used for its medicinal properties. And because the plant is plentiful but small, thyme is ideal for indoor growing. Just make sure you place it where it will get plenty of sun.
Growing your own herbs at home is a fun hobby that will save you money and enable you to really bring your favorite recipes to life. And since most herbs – including the five listed above – contain valuable antioxidants, vitamins and essential nutrients, growing them fresh for culinary purposes is also great for your health, which makes it well worth the time and effort.