The first basil plant was planted in Mexico around 500 B.C. and it was called, “the king of spices”. Basil has since become an essential ingredient in many cultures around the world. Today, basil is commonly used in dishes such as pesto, flavored oils, soups, stews, and meats. The health benefits of basil include reducing bad cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, aiding digestion, improving the immune system, reducing the risk of some forms of cancer and high blood pressure, boosting the immune system, and preventing bacterial infections.
We all know that basil is an excellent seasoning that is widely used in cooking. But, did you know it can be used in the herbal treatment of a variety of health problems? Basil is commonly used in Chinese medicine for various medical conditions including fever, cold, inflammation, digestive disorders, and heart health.
The ancient Greeks believed that basil and other herbs were the souls of the underworld, the place where the dead go. In fact, the English word “basil” (meaning “royal or sacred”) comes from an oracle announcing the death of Alexander the Great. In ancient Rome, basil was used as a cure-all, thought to have healing properties and powers to ward off evil and bring good luck. Today, the herb is used for its flavor and aroma.
A Quick Look
Basil is a bright green herb with a sweet-savory flavor that is popular in Italian cuisine. Basil grows in large, green bunches throughout the summer season. Basil is not only flavorful, but it also contains a lot of potassium, as well as Vitamin A, folate, and iron. Basil leaves may be used to salads or sandwiches, or blitzed into a pesto sauce that goes well with grilled meats.
Basil is a member of the mint family of plants. Sweet basil, often known as Genovese basil, is the most popular type in Western cookery (especially Italian cuisine). It has a sweet-savory taste with licorice and mint undertones.
Other kinds of the same family that are more popular in Asia include Thai basil, lemon basil, and holy basil.
Basil, like many other herbs, may be purchased dried or fresh. This article focuses on fresh sweet basil.
Basil is a tall, pointy shrub with slender stems and brilliant green leaves. It grows in large, leafy clumps.
Fresh basil contains 1.0 calories, 0.19 grams of protein, 0.04 grams of fat, 0.16 grams of carbs, 0.1 grams of fiber, and 0.02 grams of sugar per quarter cup.
Potassium is abundant in basil, with 18 milligrams per 1/4 cup. Manganese, copper, vitamin A, folate, and iron are all abundant in it.
Basil is only available during the summer months, although it may generally be found year-round. In the produce department of your grocery store, you may find it packaged or loosely packed.
Choose leaves that are brilliant green and aromatic, with no indications of withering or blackening.
Try growing your own basil for the finest flavor. During the spring and summer, your local nursery or grocery store may have starter plants available.
Basil should be consumed as soon as possible after harvesting.
If you want to consume the basil within a few days, put it in a glass or pitcher of water on your kitchen counter, much like fresh cut flowers. Keep the basil out of direct sunlight and change the water every day.
If you want to preserve the basil for a longer period of time, put it in the fridge, in a loose, open plastic bag, or in the container it came in.
Basil should be well washed in cold water. (Place the basil in a big basin and cover it with cold water if it is extremely filthy.) To get rid of the dirt, swish the basil around. Remove the basil from the water, rinse the dish, and continue until all dirt and grit has been removed.)
Remove the basil leaves from the stalks by pinching them. The basil may then be torn apart with your hands or finely sliced with a knife.
If you’re chopping basil, try this trick: lay a lot of leaves on top of each other and wrap them into a tight tube with your fingers. Then, using your knife, cut horizontally across the leaves to produce thin slivers. This is referred to as a chiffonade, and it works well as a garnish.
Basil is prone to bruises and may turn black if not handled properly. To prevent this, gently rip with your fingers or slice with a sharp knife with care.
The greatest way to enjoy basil is to eat it fresh. Basil wilts and loses its taste when cooked, so use it towards the end of dishes if at all feasible.
Pesto, an Italian sauce/condiment composed of fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, is one of the most popular basil recipes.
Pesto Genovese (Genovese Pesto)
This classic pesto recipe is perfect for a fast evening pasta and will be a favorite with your friends and family. For a flavorful and healthy dinner, serve it with a green salad and a large side of vegetables.
packed basil leaves 2 c. olive oil (extra virgin) a quarter cup of parmigiano reggiano 2 tbsp garlic, 1/4 cup pine nuts, roasted 1 kosher salt clove 1 teaspoon
Time to Prepare: 10 minutes Time to cook: 0 minutes There are 4 servings in this recipe.
Combine the oil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the basil in batches, pounding and scraping the sides with a spatula every few seconds.
Place in a mixing basin. Fold in the cheese until everything is well mixed.
For up to 4 days, store in an airtight container.
1 pound (1 package) pesto is enough to dress 1 pound (1 box) pasta.
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Foods That Are Related
In the article, “Basil Recipe & Nutrition” you will find a recipe for the traditional Italian dish ‘basil pesto’ which is made with fresh basil leaves and pine nuts. The recipe is also suitable for vegetarian diets. Basil is a wild plant that belongs to the mint family and has a very strong aroma and flavor. It is well known as a culinary herb, which makes it a popular ingredient in pesto, sauces, soups, and salads.. Read more about too much basil recipes and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with too much basil?
You can make pesto.
What is fresh basil good for?
Fresh basil is used in many dishes, including pesto. It is also used to make a refreshing drink called Basil Lemonade.
What foods does basil go with?
Basil goes well with many foods, including tomatoes, garlic, and eggplant.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- basil health benefits
- basil uses
- basil nutrition
- basil benefits and side effects
- benefits of eating basil leaves daily