Beautiful, bountiful basil. Such a wonderful summer herb. Talk about nourishing, basil has got plenty of healthful nutrients, incredible flavor and therapeutic fragrance.
Here are some incredible facts about basil that will make you want to eat some right now:
1. Flavanoids in basil protect your blood cells from radiation.
2. It's high in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
3. Basil is an anti-inflammatory food making it especially beneficial for those with inflammatory problems like arthritis, chronic pain, heart disease and Crohn's.
4. Volatile oils in basil are anti-bacterial; thus protecting you from harmful bacterial growth in the body and bacteria that may be lurking on your food.
5. Basil is high in magnesium, making it a good muscle relaxer and great for a healthy heart among other things.
6. There are over 40 varieties to try! The most well known being Italian, Thai, Holy, Lemon and Opal : )
Need a good recipe for using up an abundance of basil? This week I'll be debuting a couple of delicious recipes; but until then, give these a try!
TIP: to keep basil (and other herbs) fresh, either wrap them in a paper towel and place in the fridge OR place them in a glass jar or cup and cover the leaves with plastic and keep in the fridge. Works wonders!
Squash and Basil Farro Risotto
Grilled Pineapple and Watermelon with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
Salad of Purslane with Lemon Basil, Heirloom Tomatoes and Corn
Watermelon Pineapple Agua Fresca with Thai Basil
Cauliflower Cous Cous with Mint Basil Sauce