Cooking with Flavor
Everything we eat and drink matters. Too much saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars can negatively affect our health, so we want to limit these. Luckily, we can still use spices, herbs, and even fruits and vegetables to add flavor in a healthy way. But with so many different seasonings, it can be hard to keep track of how to use each one, so here we’ll be highlighting a fresh herb: basil!
What is Basil?
• A warm weather, fragrant herb with oval-shaped, bright green leaves
• Popular ingredient for pastas, salads, sandwiches, and pesto
• Low in calories, but high in Vitamin K, an important nutrient for blood clotting and bone formation
Fresh herbs may seem expensive, especially if they spoil before you can use them. Here are some options to save money and time:
• Use dried basil–dried seasonings require little preparation, last longer, and are often inexpensive.
• In the summer, grow your own!
• Use SNAP benefits to buy potted herbs and seeds from your local store or farmers market.
In the Kitchen
Here are some tips for optimizing your fresh basil plant:
• Pick brightly-colored leaves in the morning to preserve the powerful plant oils
• Treat cut basil with the stems like a bouquet of flowers and place in a glass of water
• Cover with a plastic bag and leave at room temperature or refrigerate
In the video, follow along with SNAP-Ed NY Nutritionist, Caitlin, as she demonstrates how to buy, store and prep basil as well as how to make pesto!