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Go Green

Cooking with fresh herbs

There’s nothing like taking in the crisp, green aroma of a freshly snipped herb, and that scent, of course, flavors your food, too. Plus, fresh herbs are bursting with benefits — they’re filled with nutrients that you can’t get from a salad. Herbs like basil, chives, dill, garlic, rosemary, even lavender, have the power to perk up your mood, help control cholesterol and relieve a cough. They are rich in antioxidants, aid with digestion, fight infections, increase mental function and so much more.  

Garlic Herb Butter

Use this versatile butter on bread, popcorn, veggies, sandwiches and more. 

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon herb of your choice (try dill, basil or oregano)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

Cracked pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a food processor (or mix by hand in a bowl). Transfer butter mixture onto parchment paper or plastic wrap. Cover tightly and roll into a log. Refrigerate until firm. 

Herbed Popcorn

3 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)

¾ cup popcorn kernels

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoons garlic salt

2 teaspoons parsley (dried)

1 teaspoon thyme

Add oil to the bottom of a pot and warm over medium heat. Add popcorn kernels and place lid on top of the pot and heat over medium heat until kernels are popped, shaking pan occasionally. Melt butter in a separate dish and add seasonings. Pour on top.

Herb Salt

Herb salts can be made in endless flavor combinations, are a handy staple in the kitchen — and make great gifts. 

1 cup salt of your choice (try Himalayan pink salt)

¼-½ cup parsley (more if using fresh herbs)

2 tablespoons dried basil (¼ cup if using fresh)

1 tablespoon oregano 

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 garlic clove minced

Optional: Add additional herbs of choice

Add fresh parsley, garlic, lemon zest and a bit of salt to the blender or food processor. Mix for 10 seconds. Add additional ingredients and blend again. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour salt mixture on sheet and spread evenly. Dry overnight in a cool oven. Store in a container. 

Chimichurri

Use this condiment as a sauce or dip — serve over fish, chicken, vegetables or with crackers.  

½ cup olive oil (try flax oil for added omega 3)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)

½ cup-1 cup fresh parsley, chopped finely

¼ cup fresh basil or fresh cilantro 

3-4 cloves garlic, minced 

1 small red chili or 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 

½ teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasonings

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Chop fresh herbs finely and add to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Chill for 1-2 hours. 

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