Summer Herbs and Wheat Germ: A Delicious Combo
Whether you grow your own or buy them at your local farmers market, fresh herbs add incredible flavor to almost any dish. They also pair well with wheat germ in rubs, dressings and crumb toppings, like in our Summer Quinoa and Wheat Germ Salad. Adding fresh basil to the dressing gives it a fresh, wonderful flavor.
Herbs not only taste good, but they’re also good for you, possibly even protecting against certain chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Here are other benefits of a few favorite herbs:
Basil: A member of the mint family, basil has been used as a medicinal plant, and its oils and extracts are said to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Basil is also a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese and magnesium.
Oregano: This herb contains chemicals that could help reduce coughs and muscle spasms. Oregano may also help digestion by increasing bile flow and fighting against some bacteria, viruses, fungi, intestinal worms and other parasites, though more research is needed.
Rosemary: Some evidence shows that rosemary, in combination with thyme, lavender and cedarwood, can help with hair loss.
Herbs come from the plant or plant part, and they don’t add calories to your food. So if you’re trying to boost flavor but not your waistline, use more herbs when you cook. Like wheat germ, herbs contain no sodium—important for people who have high blood pressure. Herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, dill, marjoram, savory, chives, mint, tarragon and sage can take center stage in a dish, or they can add subtle flavor nuances such as in this baked clam recipe with fresh oregano and wheat germ.
Herbs have the most flavor and nutrients when they are just picked, but you can also store them for about a week or so. To make them last as long as possible, store herbs in bunches in jars, stems down, with water covering one inch of the stem ends, then covered with a plastic bag. It’s important to change the water every other day and wash herbs only just before you are going to use them.
What’s growing in your herb garden?