Blog Site Discontinued June 23, 2017

Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Using Fresh Herb in Food Preparation

Using Fresh Herb in Food Preparation
Whether you plant them or pick them up at the grocery store or farmers’ market, adding fresh herbs is a quick way to transform ordinary meals into extraordinary meals. Using herb is a great way to flavor foods when cutting back on salt, fat and sugar.

If you plan to purchase herbs, choose them close to the time you plan to use them. When growing herbs in your own garden, the ideal time for picking is in the morning after the dew has dried but before the sun gets hot. This helps ensure the best flavor and storage quality.

Fresh herbs can be stored in an open or a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper drawer for a few days. If you don’t have access to commercial perforated bags, use a sharp object to make several small holes in a regular plastic bag.

Unless directed otherwise by the recipe, add the more delicate herbs — basil, chives, cilantro, dill leaves, parsley, and mint — a minute or two before the end of cooking or sprinkle them on the food before it’s served. The less delicate herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, and thyme, can be added about the last 20 minutes of cooking.

A general guideline when using fresh herbs in a recipe is to use 3 times as much as you would use of a dried herb. When substituting, you’ll often be more successful substituting fresh herbs for dried herbs, rather than the other way around.

Source: Lancaster County Extension, Lincoln, Nebraska

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