Detoxify the Body Using Basil
One of the most popular herbs around, basil contributes to the culinary delights of such cuisines as Italian, Thai and Vietnamese. It is a versatile herb with a unique taste and gentle yet aromatic flavor. It adds a hint of spicy aniseed flavor and warmth to any dish to which it is added. Perhaps the most popular pairing basil has found is with tomatoes. This combination works well in raw dishes like salads (for example the Italian Caprese) and just as well with cooked dishes such as tomato sauce.
Basil is the major ingredient in pesto sauce. Pesto is a thick green sauce that is made by pulverizing fresh basil leaves and pine nuts and then mixing them with olive oil, grated cheese and garlic. It is distinct in flavor and can be served over pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread or crackers.
Basil is readily available in fresh or dried form. As with most herbs, the fresh form is thought to be the superior version. Even though most of its flavor is lost when it is dried, the herb is easy to prepare and store. Simply place it on a cookie sheet on a very low setting in the oven and let it slowly dry until it becomes crisp. It can then be crumbed and stored in airtight jars for future use. For a tastier preservation method, puree the herb and freeze it into ice cubes which you can simply drop into any dish you are preparing that calls for basil.
To be more cost effective, you may choose to grow this easy plant at home. It is a wonderful herb for growers who are just starting out and simply needs a spot that provides enough sun. Ideally, you will want to grow it in a small pot that you can keep close to you kitchen. When you need some for a recipe, you simply pluck the leaves off the plant and you are ready to go.
When growing basil, you want to ensure that you grow a bushy plant rather than a tall one. A bushier plant will result in more leaves. To achieve this, you must be sure to pinch the leaves out of the top of the plant as it grows. By eliminating the top leaves, you will be encouraging the plant to grow out sideways.
Basil is an annual plant. When the first signs of cold weather appear, it will quickly die out. You can prolong its life by bringing it inside during the first signs of cold.
Basil does have some medicinal and cleansing uses. Like its relative the mint plant, it is a wonderful aid for body detoxing and digestion. It also has minor antiseptic properties.
There are many varieties of basil. The Genovese type, which is typical in Italian cooking is probably the most popular. In Asian cuisine, you will more often find the purple-leaved variety.
Whether you buy it, grow it, dry it or freeze it, this tasty herb can help to detoxify the body as it pleases your tastebuds!