Harvesting your Basil…and what to do with it!

Is your garden overflowing with basil? Not sure what to do with it?

Here are some suggestions…

Hang it up to dry. Once it’s dry, you can use it to make tea! So delicious and VERY good for you!

You can also store it in a jar and put it in your spice cabinet to add to any of your favorite dishes. While fresh basil is usually the way to go, in the winter months when there isn’t any fresh basil on hand, use your dried basil from your very own garden!

BasilUse basil for Calming the Stomach. It is thought to have a calming effect on the stomach and 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help soothe indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.

Basil leaf can me used to help alleviate coughing and colds. Chew fresh leaves to calm coughing or make a calming tea of dried basil to help sooth illness.

Or you can make PESTO!! Pull all the leaves off and put it in a food processor/blender to chop it up. You can store it in the freezer in ziploc bags or put the mixture into ice cube trays. When you are ready to make pesto simply break off a piece or pop out a “cube” of pesto.  An easy, busy week night dinner idea!

PestoTo make pesto you will need:

  • fresh basil leaves, packed
  • freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • pine nuts (can sub sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts)
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Note: Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air, so to store, if you have only enough for a meal or 2, cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto and not allowing air into the mixture. The pesto will stay greener longer that way.

Add pesto to everything from eggs, to meats, to slices of fresh cucumber and of course….pasta!

 

Some more uses for Basil:

  1. If you get bitten or stung by an insect, chewing up a basil leaf and applying to the bite will help relieve the pain and pull out the venom.
  2. It is thought that Basil can help level out blood sugar if consumed regularly and drank as a juice or tea.
  3. Stress Reduction! Adding 2 cups of strong Basil Leaf tea to a warm bath will help reduce stress and help you relax.
  4. Use as a Facial Steam for Headaches. A facial steam with dried basil can help alleviate a headache. Add a tablespoon of dried basil to 2 cups of boiling water in a large pot. Lean over the pot, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam until headache starts to subside.
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