What are herbs?
Herbs, so here we get to know what exactly a herb is. They are plants that are packed with fragrance and abundant health benefits. Which can be used for flavouring of various dishes and used for garnishing purposes?
Herbs can also be used for medical purposes. Many fragrances also consist of natural herbs for best aroma.
Herbs are basically leafy or can also be the flowering parts of the plant whereas spices are different from herbs. Spices are dried and usually made from the other parts of plants.
Herbs have a lot of uses in various field like medicinal, culinary, and sometimes, spiritual too.
There are numerous types of herbs that are available in the market and are naturally extracted from the trees and consolidated into herbs. Herbs add a nice flavour and aroma to any dish that you prepare. Try using herbs in at least some dishes like pasta, pizza, noodles. These are some of the famous dishes where herbs are generally used for flavouring purposes.
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8 Best Herbs for Hanging Baskets
Here we discuss some of the famous herbs that everyone knows:
The alternate name for cilantro is coriander leaf or also called as dhania. Its flavour is best described as citrusy and bright. This herb can be used in cuisines of Indian, Mexican. The famous dishes using this herb are dhania chutney and salsa. It looks like parsley leaf, but cilantro leaves are much smaller compared to parsley.
These are available widely in two varieties which are peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint has a strong and cooling sense after tasting due to its high concentration of menthol. Spearmint is sweeter in taste. Mint is generally used in Thai foods and used in the preparation of jellies, sauces, and cocktails such as Mojito. These leaves are rough and jagged green.
These are also known as sweet basil. It is the most common herb used in the United States. Its flavour is best described as peppery with a mild anise flavour. There are several types in this herb which are sweet green basil, purple basil, Thai basil. These are largely used in Italian dishes for best flavour and aroma. Sweet green and purple basil cannot withstand heat so they should be added at the end of cooking, but Thai basil is stronger and goes well with high heat cooking.
These are also known as wild marjoram. Oregano herb is combined taste of sweetness with some spiciness gives the best taste to any dish. Fresh oregano is difficult to find but dried oregano has a stronger flavour than of fresh one. This herb is again used in pizza and portion of pasta seasonings. These are flat and oval and can vary from fuzzy to smooth.
This herb has strong and pungent like fragrance. Originally native to the Mediterranean region. Rosemary is widely used in Italian dishes and flatbread is sometimes made savoury with rosemary oil. This herb goes well with fish, poultry, and vegetarian dishes like potatoes. It looks unique in shape, grows on woody stems as needles.
These are hollow stem structured with a refreshing light oniony taste. This herb goes well with blue cheese dishes and risotto cakes. When this herb is finely chopped it can also work wonders as garnishing item. This herb looks a lot like lawn grass.
These are also known as bean herb or mountain savory. These comes with two varieties winter savory and summer savory an aromatic plant comes from the mint family used as a culinary herb. This herb as slight peppery flavour whereas winter savory is pungent and strong flavoured than summer. This herb is generally used in European cuisines and commonly added to soups and stews. It looks long and thin stalks like structure with narrow leaves.
These are tiny leaves growing on woody plant fits best with other herbs and spices like basil, sage and lavender. This herb is majorly used in French cuisines as it plays the major role after parsley and bay leaves. This herb can be used with soups, broths, and stews. Some varieties of these herb have a pointy leaf with red tinted stems whereas some has rounded leaves and green stems.
How to Choose and Use Herbs?
Look for herbs that are fresh, erect and can be held upright without anybending. Leaves should be vibrantly coloured without any brown spots and should have their scent strong.
If you wanted your herbs to last longer then refrigerate them.
When you wanted them to add in any dish make sure you add it at the end, so the heat doesn’t destroy their flavour.
Growing Herbs in Hanging Baskets
Great way to grow herbs at home is by planting them in hanging baskets with required sunlight. These can be placed or hung to your kitchen window so that harvesting is easy as opening the window and tossing some fresh home-grown herbs to your recipes.
This planting is like planting that is done in any container or growing mats. Use a good quality of soil mix with drains well containing some organic material to hold moisture. Herbs do not need many fertilizers like flowering plants, so go easy.
The larger the hanging basket is you can use for more different types of herbs to grow in it.
Fill in the container with soil if you want line up the container with fabric before adding soil which helps to protect basket and prevent soil from washing away when you water it.
You the best quality seeds and cover them with soil. Sprinkle water and leave them for a couple of days while following the procedures given.
Make sure that the hooks are strong and firmly attached to avoid further injuries.
In some cases, when you water basket will drip so take a moment to notice where all the water is going.
Not all the herbs need a lot of sunlight there are many herbs that grow very well with little sunlight. There is nothing to be worried about sunlight, unlike many other plants.
But you must be able to rotate baskets into sunny and shady locations as needed without hurting the herbs.
Once they are potted, it is natural to skip from our mind that baskets need extra care as they are exposed to air and sunlight throughout the day, requires more water than a container pot.
Check the baskets morning and night, watering as needed.
Health benefits of herbs:
Peppermint has a history of use in medicine. It relieves IBS pain and reduces Nausea. Peppermint oil can improve causing pain in the bowel.
Basil helps to fight several infections and helps to boosts immunity by increasing immune cells in the blood.
Rosemary helps in preventing allergies and nasal congestion.
Herbs are natural plants which come with health benefits too. It is easy to grow herbs in the home without putting in a lot of efforts. Trying growing herbs of your own choice at home.
Modern-day inventions have made everything easier likewise plating too try plating herbs in baskets and toss them in dishes for best aroma and tasty flavor.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting