Basil, parsley and coriander have rich aroma, delicious and vibrant taste. These wonderful herbs have been used in ancient medicine 3000 years ago. Today, we use these nutritious and healing food most of the time as decoration in our salads, sauces, and other dishes and I feel that these super plants are under-appreciated. These herbs are my top 3 pick because you can find them year round in any supermarket in the world. Fresh or dried basil, coriander and parsley are full of minerals and vitamins and they can help you to make your dishes more flavourful, healthy and zesty.
Basil is often associated with Italian cuisine; it’s hard to imagine tomato pasta without this flavourful herb. No wonder Italians call it the ‘love herb’, for its spicy aroma and refreshing fragrance. The French consider basil a ‘royal’ herb, for its sweet smell and powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The medicinal value of basil ranges from antiseptic benefits to antidepressant qualities. Basil has a high content of vitamin A and sophisticated chemical compounds which help the body to fight respiratory-tract problems, asthma, and diabetes, and improve the digestive system. Basil regulates appetite and stimulates the immune system. Nutritious basil also has sedative properties and helps reduce anxiety and headaches. It creates a sense of well-being and feelings of love. This aphrodisiac herb doesn’t only boost the flavours in the dishes; it’s known to affect libido. A basil smell was found to influence the sexual desire in men. Basil improves fertility in women and supports milk production during nursing. Dry basil leaves are often used in Asian stir fries. Thai chefs add basil leaves to soups. Italians use fresh basil to make tomato sauce and pesto. Be creative and use basil in desserts; it can be added to ice cream and chocolate truffles. Some cuisines mix fruits with basil and add it to jam recipes.
Coriander, also known as cilantro is a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. This herb has plenty of vitamin A and essential oils that provide antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Essential oils in combination with folic acid, and vitamin C create detoxifying effect and promote relief from indigestion and nausea. Unique fragrance makes this herb an excellent addition to a wide range of dishes. It’s best to use cilantro while its fresh, pleasant aroma can make any dish unforgettable. Freshly chopped cilantro could be added to raw fish dishes, salads, wheat, Indian curry, Italian pesto. I love to add coriander into marinade. Be innovative and use coriander in your stuffing, it will make your chicken or fish dish aromatic and mouth-watering.
This wonderful herb can definitely add more taste to your platter. Parsley is refreshing and zesty herb that provides many unique health benefits. Volatile oil components and flavonoids protect cardiovascular system and prevent the development of cancer. Parsley contains luteolin a special substance that has a powerful impact on health through its antioxidant qualities. Together with Vitamin A, C and B luteolin boosts immune system and helps to prevent diabetes, high cholesterol and inflammations. Fresh parsley leaves are great ingredient in fresh salads, vegetable sautés, pesto, hot soups, and seafood marinade. I love parsley in tomato sauce, and other pasta dishes, bread spreads and egg salad.
Go crazy and use your imagination how to capitalize on powerful nutrient content of these herbs. Add all three herbs into your burger, make herbs jam, or prepare a flavourful milkshake with these spices.